As this tour comes to an end, I’m going back home a changed person. I learnt many things along the way that I will use along the way as I go back to my normal life. I met many people whose names I am still able to remember and put into consideration that I have been to 17 cities in the space of 2 months.
I have seen the seasons change for the first time and I saw them change with people whose significance will never change to me. I learnt that family is the biggest thing to have and it should always come first. Though we were 6 different people from different backgrounds with different personalities, we always managed to live together happily.
Though we did have times where we were arguing with each other and did not agree on decisions made we still figured things out and went back to being good friends and a happy family. We always looked out for each other and kept close which was always a good thing to see. We got to know each other better and make closer friends.
I learnt that you always need to push yourself out of the comfort zone; I met so many people and approached them to get to know and introduce them to our team and what we were doing, which is something I am not so good at usually, I’m more of an introvert but all that changed once I realized the more people you introduced the more opportunities would show up.
I learnt that our stories are not as typical as I thought they were. As a girl that was born in a society that had suffered genocide and had seen it all, genocide was a very typical thing to hear every day but once we got here and read our stories and talked about the history of our country or our encounters with everyday life, then seeing people’s reactions is astonishing. I had been so used to hearing the way people were devastated by the genocide and volunteering during the memorial week for the walk to remember this year, I did not realize that people were not used to hear or see what I saw so it opened my eyes on what people abroad see and know about countries like Rwanda.
I also learnt that no matter how long or you short of a time you spend at a place, making good friends only take a small amount of time, I can give an example of Ms. Ashleigh Powell from Liberty University. I met Ashleigh in the space of 6 hours and only got to know her over lunch and I left the next morning, but she has become a person who I admire and who’s friendship I will cherish. Her passion for what she is believes in is astounding and I am grateful for having her in my life. Another example would be Ms. Marin Loken from Pepperdine University. I got to know Marin for a little longer and got debate with her as my partner; she a fierce intelligent woman who I truly look up to. I only got to know for 2 days but I do remember the lump I had in my throat as I said goodbye to her. No matter how short you’ll be at a place bonding with a person does not take long.
I learnt that time management is a very important thing. When Americans say 1 pm, they mean 1 pm. I learnt how to plan my day according to how much things I needed to do. This was also very important since I needed to find enough time to study and do tour business.
I learnt that you can never be overdressed. I learnt that I don’t look or act like a 14 year old in AmericaJ. It doesn’t matter how old you are, as long as you are passionate about what you do, you will always strive.
I learnt that how old people are shouldn’t scare you. For 2 months, I have debated with people who are between the ages of 19-24 years of age, and I always have been afraid of looking like a little kid who thinks they can debate but I realized that how old you are doesn’t determine how good of a debater you are.
I learnt to put all trust and faith into God. A lot of things happened while I was on this tour, some of them were not what I would’ve wanted but all things are done by God for a reason.
And I thank God for making this tour go on so well and I thank him for everything.