August 29: All my bags are packed and I’m ready to go… August 29, 2013

Posted in on August 29, 2013

It’s a bit surreal to think that in a few short hours, myself and 14 of my fellow colleagues will be leaving our respective cities and traveling half way around the world to start a project that will forever change the future of a community of people in Maai Mahiu, Kenya.

With the support of family, friends, and our peers at Softchoice, we’re about to start a life changing journey – not only for others, but for ourselves as well.

Leading into this trip, I’ve spent a lot of time in self-reflection. Thinking about the ‘what if’s’, ‘what is it like now’, and ‘what will be’ as a result of our time spent on the ground. It’s a bit of a mind overload, to say the least….

Now, I’ve never been anywhere in Africa… and although I like to view myself as a well-travelled individual, I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed leading into this experience.

It’s with mixed emotions of excitement, anxiety and hope that I depart for this mission. I can’t help but admit that I’m starting to feel those pre-trip jitters. This is something unlike any trip I’ve been on before… but the reality is, this isn’t about us. It’s about the impact we’re there to make. The experiences that we will take home with us forever, are merely a fringe benefit of the greater cause.

As we lead into our adventure, I’m excited to watch this mission evolve and take shape. I can’t even imagine how this trip will change me personally; my views of the world, as well as my view on my own life coming home after our trip… but I’m excited to see that unfold.

The African proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” is something that I’ve continued to give a lot of thought to as we get closer and closer to departure. That’s what we’re there for. Although we may be worlds apart, we’re all the same. I don’t think anyone can anticipate the emotions that will occur once we’re on the ground… but the growth we’ll experience as we learn about the culture, the people and the impact of this project will be unwavering.

To my family, friends, and colleagues who have contributed to this cause, asante (thank you)! I can’t wait to share the experiences we’re about to have with you while on the ground, and once I’ve returned.

So for now, remember: Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean, I’ll miss you until we meet again!

Ian Zagrodney
DWC Softchoice Cares Participant
Kenya, September 2013

Posted in on August 29, 2013