Finally had the opportunity to go back to Zambia! And boy it was meant to happen. With my problematic need to do things with a purpose (overachiever, yes I know), I wasn’t ready or capable of creating a purpose all on my own. The timeline is 2016 and was just getting used to naming my mental illness. Working in retail as a sales associate, in the Home department in Macy’s. Tired of tumbling down, I wanted to go to Zambia to rediscover myself, answer questions that I needed to ask in person and say goodbye to my old friends because when I left for the US abruptly. With no closure, constantly looking back and never feeling a chance to come back because plane tickets are mad expensive, no clue where I would live or how to communicate with the communities.
But I wanted to change that, I had to go to!
So I went through my bucket list:
- Attend a Beyonce Concert
- Attend a Rihanna Concert
- Attend a Kendrick Lamar Concert
- Travel to a new Country on my own
- Adopt a Pit-bull
- Adopt a Child
- Donate to my old schools in Zambia
If you would like to know why my list may be tangible or intangible to you, that’s a whole other story to write later.
Back to the Story…
Without the funds and plan set, I knew I had some sort of dream of going back to the schools I used to attend. It would grant me the excuse to roam the halls, meet my teachers and talk to students who were just like me. It seemed so far away, something I would do in my 40s after my teachers truly would have passed or forgotten about me. Now it gets interesting why me working in retail is important. After sharing my want for travel but could only be done with a purpose. Explaining my plan to donate and close that chapter of my life. When one day my co-worker slips me a note about Hostel International, that provides the “Explore the World” scholarship to travel the world with a purpose. With their motto saying “Travel changes you. You change the world”. I applied but with everything bad happening because of the result of my choices, I expected to be rejected.
Received the email a couple weeks later while I was eating at a restaurant during my work break, went in the bathroom to open the email because either way, I didn’t know how I would react to it. When it said I was a receipt of the scholarship. I was crying while sitting on in a stall re-reading the results. I don’t remember the rest of the day but all I knew that I was going to Zambia no matter what. And I had a responsibility to make my dreams come true.
I made it happen, thanked the donors, asked my mentors about coming into communities with their intentions in mind. Understand that this isn’t about me but instead it’s about providing the schools with an added resource to do with it that would benefit its students. I was excited at all the possibilities, challenges, changes and growth this journey would provide for me. So I had $2000 to allocate to four schools in the summer of 2017. And I was excited to hear every story at each school, while seeing old friends, mentors and family. The journey was long and full but I am able to say that these communities will continue to flourish and be a big part of my life. For the rest of my Zambian adventure.
Thank you for reading! Comment what’s your dreams are? Your bucket list?