This August 19th, I will be embarking on what should prove to be one of the most epic journeys of my life. I am going to Rwanda to proudly support two organizations that I believe are making positive, global change:
- Africa Healing Exchange is developing a unique and sustainable recovery model to treat trauma and substance abuse, while also offering new tools for building resiliency and preventing future trauma in post conflict areas of the world.
- LEAF International empowers youth globally through their own cultural musical traditions to enhance self-esteem and educate, while creating skills, connections and community.
I will be taking photographs for both organizations and delivering gifts from LEAF to the orphans that we've been working with. This entire trip is self-funded. Thanks to a generous donor, the flight to Johannesburg was covered. I only had to cover taxes and fees. I have paid for and received all of my immunizations. I still need to rent one lens and get from Johannesburg to Kigali and cover all accommodations, food and travel in Africa.
- The Canon telephoto lens has been rented and should arrive tomorrow. I wanted this lens specifically because it allows me to photograph people without being in their faces, making it easier to get compelling photos of people.
- A wonderful connection that has visited LEAF with our Mizero kids in 2009 has offered to allow us to stay with her and her husband. We are working out the details for how many and what days. What a blessing!
- As I've posted on Facebook, there was a fire at the Nairobi Airport that has effect our travel from Johannesburg to Kigali. Tickets have escalated in price, so contributions are needed and greatly appreciated.
- Thanks to the donations received, I have successfully purchased my final ticket from Joburg to Kigali!
- While in Kigali, I will be playing an intregal role in helping solidify LEAF's Rwanda program with the Intore Troupe, through meetings, photography and listening sessions. As a LEAF Board member that has been particularly drawn to that program in the past, this is quite an honor!