Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Welcome What? Home.

The moment walking off the plane to my family was so unreal. I could not help but smile knowing that my family who I haven't seen in 4 months was awaiting my arrival. Here I am embracing the little ones.
 Lara was happy to have me home. 
 How cute are they? They made signs for me.
This guyyyyyy. Meet my best friend Joshua Miller who has been on a mission in Costa Rica for the past two years and the only communication I've had with him is hand written letters for the past two years. He got home while I was in Africa and came to the airport! It was so crazy seeing him in real life rather then pictures. Words cannot describe this moment. I missed him so much and so glad he is finally home. 
 How adorable is he right? I know, I know.

Matthew Payne also greeted me at the airport. These guys are too good to me. 
 The family. 
 I got two main men in my life aside from my father and my little they are.
 It is so weird being back in America. I feel like it's so fake here and nobody appreciates what they have. Nobody understands that we have everything. I knew I was going to have reverse culture shock but I didn't know it was going to be this bad. I'm still trying to get used to sleeping in a bed without a misquito net, sitting in a living room with carpet and a flat screen T.V. mounted on the wall, an unlimited amount of food available in the fridge, and ice water. It's all so overwhelming. I just love the fact that I am a completely different person then I was before I left. I have realized so much about myself and about life in general. I am so blessed I was able to have this adventure for the past four months and I'm so excited to see what other adventures my life has in store. 

Thank you to everyone who read my blog. You're comments and kind words really helped me through this summer. I hoped you learned/gained some perspective through my pictures and stories. I could not have asked for a better learning experience. I loved every moment and learned more then I could have ever imagined. Now back to real life...until next time Africa.  


I'm aware that this blog is dedicated to Africa but I just need to put these pictures somewhere because I love Paris. I had a two day layover on my way home from Africa and I could not have chosen a more opposite place but I loved every second of it. 

Is this real life. Yep. 
Hi I love Paris
 Cute date with Mallory and Creme Bruele!!
You know, I don't usually volunteer to eat snails but seeing that they are a delicacy in France, I had to.
 I overreacted. It wasn't that bad.

The most beautiful view of Paris. 
 In love

Moulin Rouge. Yeah, that happened. 
 Phantom of the Opera Mansion. Yeah, that happened too.
 This is not a painting. This is me in the hallways of the Opera house. Gorgeous much?
 I could see myself living here. Everything from the people to the beautiful buildings to the weather is just so appealing. I'll be back, France. 

Last Day In Africa

 No better way to spend your last day in Africa then at a zoo riding camels and feeding giarffe's! 

 New favorite animal? OBVIOUSLY

 Henry was the best. He loved us and totally hooked us up with feeding the giarffe's. Don't know why but we accepted it and LOVED every second of it. 
 I didn't really have an opinion on camels until I hung out with them for pretty much the whole day. They are super obedient and so adorable. This one inparticular speaks Swahili. It's trainer, Robert who we just randomly started talking to when we walked by was so great. He loves his camels and has a dream of being a professional boxer hence the bod he's got going on. Good what? Times.

 Digging Robert's shades right? Oh and his shirt has a camel on it and says, Hump Day. hahahah I LOVE UGANDANS
This is a wild monkey who was so protective over it's baby and it was adorable. It was just chilling on the playground of the zoo and loving it's child just like any mother would. Seriously, how precious is the little baby monkey?!
 Let's not forget about the other animals we got to admire but not get up close and personal with. 
The Chimpanzee (I could not help but think of Planet of the Apes and how I want a pet chimp named Caesar)
 The lazy Leopard. 
 The alligator, not to get confused with a crocidile. Wait not I'm confused if this is an alligator or a crocidile. Shoot. 
 The zebra. I would like to describe it as a cross between a donkey and a horse with stripes added. 
 The rhino!! People say these ones are dangerous but I refuse to think that. I think they're cute.
Lion's are so much prettier in real life and in Africa then they are cartooned/in the Lion King
And my least favorite animal award goes to the ostrige. I don't even know how to spell it but who cares because this animal is plain creepster.
Best story of the day goes to Maddy feeding the wild monkeys wandering about in the zoo. We got super excited to feed them so we do but then this guys ripes the food out of her hands. It was crazy. She got scared and eventually ran away ahaha. Oh let's also mention how when we were eating lunch another wild monkey ripped Maddy's sandwich right out of her hand. Hahahaha it was the funniest thing ever. She had like a 20 second delayed scream. Only at an African zoo do you just chill with random monkeys. 
I was not excited to go home but we knew it had to happen eventually. Here we have Mallory, Sam and I just about to depart. It was real Africa. I'm just really gunna miss you. You made me a different person and changed my perspective on life. You will always have a place in my heart and I hope one day I can come back. Nice time.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

This Is It

This is my last post in Africa and I’m freaking out. I am currently in a hostel in Entebee. About 5 hours from Mbale. Let’s back track a little before I talk about how I am on the verge of crying.
Sunday was so great. I actually didn’t cry which was surprising but it was so unreal to say goodbye to everyone from the ward. I’m going to miss them so much. They have inspired me to have more dedication and to be more serious about being a member of the church. One of the biggest lessons I learned from them was that the church isn’t a Sunday church, it’s an everyday church. I need to be living my life faithfully every single day. 
The missionaries serving in Mbale made our life and got braceltts made for us. That is when the tears first started rolling. How cute are they to make up custom made bracelttes with our names on them? It’s so rad because we can totally relate to them. We both are in Africa doing some kind of service and I’ll see half of them back in America and ahhh I just have an obsession with missionaries, esspecially these ones AND all of my besties all over the world, obviously.  
 Elizabeth is so adorable and wrote me this amazing letter. She is so cute and was the first one to welcome me to the ward. I am going to miss her so much.  
Maddy and I spent our last full day in Mbale (Monday) buying fresh fish and a live chicken. Yeah, a LIVE chicken. It was the best. The chickens here are so chill, they don’t even cluck unless they are in a taxi. We Boda’d home with it and it was just straight chilling not even knowing we were going to be eating it for dinner in 3 hours.
This would be considered animal abuse in America, here in Africa we call it dinner. 
I really didn't feel bad eating it. Am I terrible? Nope, just African. 
Our last meal was Mr. chicken, fish, avocado salad, cabbage salad and fried rice. Cami ended up getting really sick with Malaira actually so we ate it at the hospital with her that night. I couldn’t sleep that night because I was leaving the next day and I just staying up blogging and thinking about my time here. I still can’t believe I am leaving. This is not real life. Did I really just spend four months of my life in Africa? Yeah, you did Kelsey.

Tuesday, I woke up early and made sure everything was packed. I’ve been progressivly packing the past week. I met up with Sam at a random restaurant in town to say bye. I made him a bracelett of American colors and gave him my backpack. It was so sad to say bye to him. We became super close and I’m just really gunna miss him and visiting his restaurant and the food he made for us and everything about him danggit. Our final goodbye was a super short hug and a wave as I Boda’d away. That is when I cried. All the way home. I thought about all the people I've met here and how big of an impression they made on me. How I am obsessed with Africa in general and relying on a random stranger for transportation. How I am considering coming back and opening up my own restaurant.... 
..I met up with Maddy at home and we ate our last rolex at our favorite internet cafe. The waitress’ Sara and Olivia had like a full on speech for us about how much they are going to miss us. It was so cute.
We rushed home to get our suitcases and I took one last picture of the house. Sam spray painted this wooden plank for us. Ahhhhhh, I’m freaking out right now.
Here I am on the way to the bus station. Thank you Maddy for capturing this moment. This is my last picture in Mbale. I really hope to go back one day. I am not ready to leave, I could see myself living here but I know my life is waiting for me in America. This experience has changed my life forever I can’t even explain. I have grown so much and learned so much about life and cultures and who I am and what I want to be. I get on a plane in 8 hours. My next post mostly likely won’t be until I get home on Satuday. I don’t think I’ll have time to post in Paris but we shall see. I love my life. I am so blessed and grateful I was able to spend my summer in Africa.