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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Swimming for Africa

     I have been overwhelmed by the support I have felt in preparing for my trip.  I have left conversations with friends feeling encouraged by their excitement for me and their desire to be a part of this adventure. I could write all day of these conversations as I hold them close to my heart and reflect on them in moments where I am feeling overwhelmed or scared of the unknown, but I will take a moment now to write about one in particular.  
     A parent of one of my previous students is from South Africa.  She had me over for dinner a few weeks ago and shared their family pictures from a recent trip to Cape Town.  We then talked about Africa and about where I'm going and what I'll be doing. I instantly felt that our hearts connect with a passion for those unprivileged, especially children.  She asked me questions about the school and about my time in Malawi.  When I left, she told me she wanted to be a part of this with me.  
     A few days later, I received an email from her.  She had committed to supporting me monthly, but wanted to do something else to help.  Her idea completely floored me.  She works out at Gold's Gym and swims for her workout.  She has asked for friends to sponsor her $1 for every mile that she swims.  Her goal is to swim about 3 miles a week.  I love this because she has invited people in and will be doing this through her passion for swimming.  I am also excited because there is a pool at the school in Malawi and I hope to swim as well.  This will allow us to stay connected, even though we're continents apart.    
      As if this wasn't enough, I talked with her a few weeks later and she told me she was having so much fun brainstorming ways in which she can support me.  Her and her husband have also been thinking about the possibility of hosting a dinner party and inviting 3-4 couples.  This would provide another opportunity for raising money while also fostering relationships and having time together with friends.  
      This is just one of many things that have completely overwhelmed me in the past two months. I am so thankful for friends such as this who have committed to supporting me.  I feel so loved and I know I am not doing this on my own.  I am truly excited to see what lies ahead and to share with you about my experiences.  I could not do this without the love and support I have in my life.  

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