Sarah Evans
Sarah Evans
Tanzania 2019
Mambo! Hello! I am a recent graduate of the Sociology and Education departments with a passion for serving disenfranchised youth and upholding the importance of education as a gateway for future success. Join me throughout the next nine weeks in Arusha, Tanzania as I volunteer at the Sasa Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and children through education. Read More About Sarah →

one week.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned as to have the life that is waiting for us”

-Jeffery Campbell

If you would have told me four years ago that I would be graduating from Belmont, a school that I did not begin my college experience at, and packing up to leave for Africa for the summer, I would have thought you were insane. Yet here we are, several days after my college graduation and exactly one week before I board a plane and travel to a country that I have never been to.

That is the funny thing about life though, it never seems to go the way that we planned. I can tell you that without a doubt in my mind, this was not the plan that I had made for myself. However, I cannot imagine a more perfect plan. In all honesty, I feel like I am living in a dream right now. I am about to embark on a once in a lifetime adventure, and I couldn’t be more honored to have been awarded this grant in order to do it. Tanzania is going to be the most amazing experience, and currently, the only emotion I am really feeling is excited.

With that being said, I think it is important to recognize that I am going to have hard times while I am abroad. Acclimating to a culture nothing like my own is hard. Language barriers are hard. But these are the places that we grow. While I am excited for all the amazing times that are to come in the next several months, I am also excited for the hardships, because I recognize that these are where I am going to learn.

Everything that I have been doing for the past several weeks has led me back to Tanzania.  When I am washing my face, I try to be mindful to not get water in my mouth as I can’t do that in Africa. At the grocery store, I think of all of the foods that I have access to that I will not have for my time abroad.  In the best way, I feel as though I can’t escape my thoughts about leaving.

When I received the Lumos grant last Spring, May 2019 seemed so far away. I thought that I have plenty of time to get ready. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The last year has flown by and while it is hard to believe that I am done with college, it is even harder to believe that I am days away from going to Africa, something that I have dreamt about doing since I was 13 years old.

Today, I (finally) started packing, and I think it hit me for the first time that this is real. However, in order to get to that point I needed to let go of my expectations for myself, for this trip, and for the way that I thought my life was supposed to go, and honestly,  even though my life is changing in ways I never anticipated and although I slammed with final preparations for Tanzania, I have never felt more at peace.

Arusha, I cannot wait to meet you.

Song of the week: Keep Your Eyes Open by NEEDTOBREATHE


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