Key Word: Epiphany
cross-posted on the GYPA blog here.
I've been creating and executing youth travel programs to Africa with Global Youth Partnership for Africa since 2004, and every so often there are moments that vindicate the difficult months of planning, recruitment and logistics necessary to create a student trip to Africa. One of those moments happened tonight.
After a long bus ride from the coastal town of Limbe back to Yaoundé, our American participants sat together to discuss some of the things we have seen and how we want to contribute to the vibrant community we have all become a part of. After a few had shared their thoughts, one of our participants pointed out that the key word in our conversation had been ‘epiphany.’
What was immediately apparent to all of us is that we have been deeply impacted by what we have seen and the conversations we have had. The epiphanies came in all shapes and sizes; they were subtle observations about what we could learn about human nature by being welcomed into a Cameroonian family home, and they were entrepreneurial breakthroughs about how to use emerging technologies to improve the lives of Cameroonians who had entrepreneurial ambitions of their own. Listening to one epiphany after another, I remembered why I enjoy these programs so much: they change lives.
With only a few days left in our adventure, we are spending a few days volunteering at spots around Yaoundé, meeting a few more NGO’s in town, watching a Cameroonian movie and climbing a mountain, all while continuing to think about how these global partnerships can be sustained after our short time together is over.
Labels: west africa