Tuesday, July 26, 2016

This Ones for Africa

You know how when you have a really great story and you don't know where to start and people always say...'AT THE BEGINNING'

Well the beginning of this story goes back to when I was high from a wisdom tooth surgery. 
This was the moment that I decided I WAS going to go to Africa the next summer. Everyone laughed and didn't believe me until I was still talking about it a week later. 

So I signed up to go on a trip with HEFY (humanitarian experience for youth) 
and on June 1st my journey began. 

It began with me in a frenzy finishing to pack for 2 and a half weeks literally less than 2 and a half minutes before I checked my bags. 

I got the pleasure to spend my domestic flights traveling with the one and only Alyssa Mackay. 

Also fun fact here. I had a layover in....FLORIDA. Which is important because thats where the bestie is currently servin the lord. 

From Florida the next hit was the NEWARK AIRPORT. This is also a big deal because my other friends Rachel and Ross had the final realization that duh they are supposed to be married and in love forever at this airport. 

This was also where we met the rest of the group. All except for Kylie who we actually had already stalked in the airport bathroom in SLC. But I mean this encounter was a little less creepy. We had a group of 12 girls, 6 boys, 2 trip leaders, 2 dads, and 1 mom. 

First about those dang cool trip leaders, they are dang cool. 

Kylie used just about an entire years worth of paid time off to be there with us. 
And by the end of the trip Chaz had spent more of his married life with a bunch of hooligans than he had his wife. 

From Newark we flew to Portugal where we stood in a customs line the size of mars. 

We then took another flight to a different spot in Portugal, where our adventures truly began. 

We began with a kayak tour of the portuguese coast. Which was incredible and beautiful and so many things. 

Also life tip. 

When your European kayak tour guide (who is wearing itsy bitsy boarding shorts himself) says the beach you'll be kayaking past next is a nude beach he is probably not joking. He also is probably not realizing he's with a bunch of mormons. 

After the BEAUTIFUL tour of Portugal's coast we joined a sweet family for dinner who was awesome and incredible..because I mean you would have to be to host that many strangers over for dinner.

And then SURPRISE, you guessed it. More airplanes...but we did get to sleep on a bed which was pretty magical.

This is where the real party starts. AFRICA.

Oh man flying onto the island I was nervous that the plane was going to either land in the water or crash into the huge volcanic mountains. But no worries we did land safely and I only shed like three tears.

After we made it through customs and all that Jazz we went and started what became a long love story with this like 28 person van.

We then went on a really awesome drive up this hugeee hill which was called Monte Verde. The place was beautiful and we were literally in the clouds up there.

We also swam in an ocean this day which swimming in the ocean is literally the love of my life.

The next morning we started with a scripture study at the beach, where I promptly dropped one of my shoes down a hole in a pile of rocks. So thank you to the three men who spent the morning trying to fish a shoe out of a hole with a stick.
Not all hero's wear capes.

The first Sunday we were there was the European conference for the church and basically the thing is
a church meeting in a language you don't know+horrible sleep schedules= a bunch of sleeping Americans in the back row.

Anywhooo after church we got to meet the three families that we would be building for.

The first family was a grandmother and lots of little grand children that came with her. She made a living by making costumes and headdress things for ceremonies and such. We didn't get to know her as well as I would have liked to but she was so sweet to us and kept pointing to her heart and then all of us. The whole group was almost able to fit in the living space for her and her like 12 grandchildren.

The next family we met was Odette and her two daughters.
Wow what incredible people.
Odette has a conversion story that is awesome. She was down at her luck at this point in her life and one day she had her head out the window and saw two Elders attempting to visit one of her neighbors... the neighbor didn't answer but in passing one of the Elders noticed her and smiled and said "Hello sister" she said the word sister hit her like a brick and she knew then that she wanted whatever it was that these Elders had that gave them such a special spirit.

This one Elder said one sentence and now some beautiful women is a strong and faithful member of the church (young women's president) and is raising two daughters to do the same..AND THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW. They have no clue what those two words did.

When they say...'sometimes your just planting seeds' they are not lying!!

The third family was Vera and her kids
one older daughter whose name I forgot
and a granddaughter Tiesha.


The boys were such pranksters, refused to lose at thumb wars and loveddd tapping your shoulder then acting like it wasn't them.

So now I'm just going to chat about some of the highlights of my trip


They were absolutely gorgeous and I loved everything about them including spending all day with salt water all up in my contacts.

Holy cow Cape Verdeans do not like to lose and when a volley ball game is at stake things get pretty intense. Ecspecially when there is not an actual net so you have to spend the whole time guessing where one might be. Also they will all be screaming in Creole so when you look to your trip leaders for guidance they will have none to offer.

lol at one point in the trip the group got in a heated debate about this shirt it had an image of bear made out of pizza and he was holding a mug. So the question at hand is the mug full of cheese because it's pizza, or is the mug full of honey because it's a bear. Then the third option was suggested...maybe its beer. Then Tyler (the wearer of the shirt) says 'that's not even what beer looks like!' Then someone says, 'how do you know what beer looks like?' THEN THIS IS THE CLIMAX 'I know what beer looks like..I've been to a Jazz game before...duhhhhh!

lol @ Mormons.

One of my friends serving a mission in CV told me to find a friend of his named Susy.
So I did and I loved her.
She taught me how to African danced and laughed at me when I was awful at it.
Which really just means that she was a true friend.
Saying goodbye to her was so hard. She gave me her bracelet to remember her by.
And also about 15 kisses on my face. I got on the bus to leave with lipstick all over and I think my trip leaders were only a little bit concerned.

I got to meet Kleidy through facebook before I even went. It was so fun when I got there to meet her in person. We spent almost every night together and then GUESS WHAT. She was marrying an American so a week after I came home she got to America and I got to attend her civil wedding and she came to my farewell. It was so fun to be able to stay friends with her and to see her more when I got home.
but I have all the faith in the world that I will see them someday in the probably distant future. I love them all & I love Cape Verde.

Also if your wondering why there are no pictures.
I got robbed.
lol sneaky little guy came into our bedrooms by climbing the balcony and stole our stuff while we were sleeping. Little did he know the bag he was going to steal had literally three Books of Mormon.

So I hope he enjoys that.




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