It had every ingredient of a tasty adventure in the making. It proved to be just that.
First stop was Doha, Qatar.
Think Aladdin at an Arab Night Market.
We couldn't find any magic carpets or a genie in a bottle but we did get to enjoy some authentic shisha and tea.
It took us a few days to get acclimated to the 8 hour time difference. We were back on Rusinga Island within the first week and began work right away.
We began meeting with all of the 38 families together in a group. We also had a lot of tedious work. Things like organizing over 100 children's names, family info, school fee's, school uniform size, etc...
It took a lot of time but it was all worth it. Seeing Journey4YOUth dollars being put to work and the effect it was having on the youth was priceless.
Usually (after a tour) it's normal to feel that way. This year was different...
I felt creatively exhausted and didn't even touch my guitar for the first month.
Eventually I got sick. Malaria & Typhoid Fever (joy).
Good thing though.
I ended up writing 7 new songs!
Even more so. Our friend Emily King who helps us with Journey4YOUth design & do admin work.
It's crazy seeing it grow...
Five years ago I was running myself into the ground trying to manage music, touring and Journey4YOUth.
We rang in the new year in Botswana; living with Katie's sister Sarah. She is serving in the Peace Corps (check out her blog). After spending a few months on East Africa your mind (body and soul) all need some time 'off.' So spending a few weeks and enjoy the comforts of a fan and electricity was the remedy we needed.
We felt a lot of emotions during our South Africa tour. All I really want to say is that the situation out there is really really really complicated. The people we met and spent time with are (and were) some of the most beautiful people I've ever met. In my opinion South Africa has come a long long way. But they still have a ways to go.
History is being made right now in South Africa. Every single day is another day closer to whether or not the truth and reconciliation time period is going to work.
This was written on the outside walls of one of the townships/ghettos.
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“Ubuntu [...] speaks of the very essence of being human. [We] say [...] "Hey, so-and-so has ubuntu." Then you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, "My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours." We belong in a bundle of life. We say, "A person is a person through other persons."
"A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as if they were less than who they are."
What I took from it is this. If you are sick, I am sick. If you are hungry, I am hungry. If you are (oppressed, homeless, thirsty) than I am too...
Cape Town -> Johannesburg -> Doha, Qatar -> Paris, France -> New York City -> Chicago -> drive -> Cincinnati.
That kinda trip will make you turn into a Zombie.
I call it Jet Lag from Hell.
But it's all about the journey.
Not the destination.