Where Namayani is Going Next (and What She is Doing)

Oh dear, as my life progresses more and more into independence, the longer and longer my bucket list becomes. The more places I learn about, the more places I want to go and see. But, for the time being, here is what I am hoping.

1. Kauai, Hawaii – March 31- April 7

I will be traveling to Hawaii for the first time for Spring break with my family. I am super excited because I have never been to the islands before.

2. Portugal/Spain/Morocco- June 12-22

This will be the very first part of a senior trip in which I hope to be road tripping throughout these countries with my aunt and uncle. I am incredibly excited and also a bit nervous to be doing such an independent trip.

3. Peru- Summer of 2020

I am so pleased to announce that I will be returning to Peru with a friend of my mom’s. Hopefully we will be able to see some things I have seen on my previous trip, but also experience plenty of new activities as well!

4. Spain/France (El Camino de Santiago)- One of my college summers

I will hopefully be completing the Camino (an 800km walk across the top of France and Spain. While I don’t know when, I plan to take the train from Paris to St. John Pied de Port, where I will begin the French route to Santiago. If I am really ambitious, I would like to do it in 3 weeks, or possibly longer if I choose to drop down to Portugal.

The 6/22/16 Version of Me

Once a long time ago (aka just over a year), I was spending my last day on a hilltop looking over Orbomba, Tanzania.  My group and I had one final mission- to write letters to ourselves.

While this is typically a personal thing, I truly felt something stirring deep within me and  I have decided to share it with you. Some personal pieces have been omitted, but I hope this piece moves you to do some action planning.

Dear me,

…I deeply hope that you will not ever forget what you experienced on this trip. Don’t forget how lucky you are, how much you have, or how little work you have to do to obtain necessary resources. Don’t forget your friends here in Tanzania, the mamas, the kids, Mollel, Leki, Jackson, Jacob, Charles, Nixon, any of them. They are the reason for your spur of excitement to change the world around you. They are what started this plan of action to change lives. Don’t forget the filthy water source, Jackson’s three hour walk to get to school, Nixon’s dislike of cutting his nails, the flies surrounding the children, the amount of time it takes to build a school, the effort required to haul thirty liters of water for miles, the talent it takes to cook one meal, the hours of time spent herding goats, the air of poverty hanging around the slums of Arusha, the low budgets of the people here, the days one might go without food, the disgusting feeling one gets after eating cup after cup of porridge. Don’t forget the charisma of the people, the spirits that they all keep and maintain even though the times get rough, their joy seen in their faces, the determination of the mamas when they hike mile after mile with water slung across their back. Don’t take anything that you have for granted. Don’t complain, don’t ask for excess or luxury when you don’t need it. Don’t waste what you have because someone somewhere was wishing that they had it. Don’t let the struggles you have witnessed go to waste. Do something with it, change those around you, make the world a better place. You did not go halfway across the world, on the other side of the planet, to experience something insightful and just let it all go to nothing. You did not pay five thousand dollars to let this experience go by and not do something about it. So get off your lazy ass and go do something. Stand up for those with no voice, help provide the resources needed to get a family through a day or week. Don’t let the things you have learned rot away into oblivion. You learned a lot here, you changed a lot here, [so] go make [some more] change, a difference. Go live and help others, if not, you’re throwing away all you saw, all you learned, all your experienced. Go do something.

Until next time,

6/22/16 Version of Me