Be the Cause

hi-lights of my trip

The night before we left South Africa, we had our last BTC “pow-wow” (the evening gathering of the group to acknowledge each other for some special act of kindness we observed or talk about how we felt about that day’s activities). One of the things we shared was our high-lights of the trip. Although we all came up with something, there are just too many to have been able to recount them all. For me, the 3 high-lights that came readily to mind were more about me, than anything I did or saw. I’m not sure if thats because I’m selfish or if I just havent processed everything else yet. The most profound moment was when I had my feet in the water at Cape of Good Hope, where the Atlantic & Indian Oceans meet. I was absolutely awe-struck that I was standing at the southern most part of the African continent. I shared with the group that it is sometimes hard to comprehend how someone (me) can see so much sadness and problems and so much beauty with the same set of eyes. As a kid or even a young adult, I would never have imagined that I would ever leave California, let alone, have a passport, and see as much of the world as I have in the past 11 years. I feel truly blessed. The next highlight was my gardening experience in the Molweni village. I love to garden and I the only regret I have about living in an apartment is that I dont have a yard to work in. I got to make up for that there. I was so honored to pull weeds and rocks out of that dirt and it was so encouraging when some people from the village came down to help us. That was the hardest physical labor I’ve ever done, but probably the most meaningful too. I thought I appreciated farm workers before, but now I respect them too. The third high-light was the overnight stay in the Zulu village. I thouroughly enjoyed every moment of that adventure. But on another level, it was a very humbling experience. In my time spent in Morocco, I’ve always concluded (in a rather arrogant way) that Morocco is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I’ve said that to everyone (including my Moroccan husband) who has ever asked me what I thought about that country. Having stayed overnight in the village, in somewhat uncomfortable conditions, I realized that I never had to use an out-house in Morocco and I never had to deal with lizards and frogs “inside” the house. I’ve always had access to water and enjoyed clean and sanitary eating and bathing conditions. I was very humbled and embarassed by my previous statements about Morocco. I look forward to the opportunity to visit Morocco again and really appreciate some of the things I might have complained about in the past. I also think that the absolute beauty of South Africa and the collective energy of the 17 of us are also high-lights for me. Every single memory of SA includes some beautiful natural scenery and the faces of my BTC friends. This has been the most amazing trip and I consider myself to be the luckiest person I know. I’m so glad I decided to go. Michele

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