(Some of this is a repost. Some is new.)
I've walked on the Great Wall,
and dived the Barrier Reef.
I've hiked the Knysna forest
and I've soared over the Serengeti plains.
I’ve hung on for dear life on jeepneys in Manilla,
and in matatus in Nairobi.
I've dodged potholes in the Rift Valley,
and gotten lost in Taiwan.
I've explored the back streets of Manhattan,
and have known the freeways of LA.
I've bargained for fuel in the Congo,
and pleaded with police in Mozambique.
I have walked on a glacier in Alaska,
and sailed around islands
in the mid-summer heat.
I’ve camped on the beach in Niece,
and had dinner in a castle in Talinn.
I’ve sat sat in tukuls in Sudan,
and ghops in Korr/Kenya.
I've heard the people's stories
and kept them in my heart.
I've visited around fires in the Bushveld,
and danced around ones in the Maasai Mara.
I've stood on Table Mountain,
on the rim of the Grand Canyon,
on the Twin Towers
and climbed the stairs of Lady Liberty.
I've picnicked under the Eiffel Tower
and walked on the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
I've swum with wild dolphins,
and watched green turtles lay eggs by my door.
I've watched foxes care for their young,
and lionesses teach their cubs to hunt.
I’ve been chased by a rhino and an elephant.
I learned how to love driving in really bad mud.
I’ve been to more countries than I am old.
I've survived a massive earthquake,
typhoons, and floods.
I had a ticket for a plane that crashed.
I’ve sung in the most beautiful concert halls in the world,
and to an audience who could not hear.
I've lived among people in poverty,
and among ones who have too much.
I’ve had tea with Presidents,
and chai with friends
for whom it was all they had at home.
I have always had enough.
I've taken pictures in the rice paddies in Taiwan,
and in the deserts in Namibia, Kenya, and the USA.
I've had my camera confiscated,
and my voice silenced.
Notwithstanding, I've chosen to speak.
I've watched people die,
delivered a decomposed body to a family,
and have seen a baby being born.
I've seen the dead come back to life,
and those who think they live, slip away.
I've cried hard, and have laughed harder.
I have known and been known.
I've been tempted. I've succumbed.
I've resisted. I have known grace.
I have failed, I have hurt.
I have succeeded, and rejoiced.
I have loved, and been loved.
I have been blessed.
I have laughed with strangers
And have made lonely neighbors smile.
I’ve taught adults and kids alike.
I've been called talkative and quiet,
passionate, adventuresome, intense,
even a bit of an activist.
I’ve been mugged and been conned.
I’ve been attacked by a mob
and have stared death in the eye.
I have survived.
And so, I'll keep speaking for those without a voice.
I'll keep asking questions.
I'll keep taking photos and telling people's stories.
I'll keep sharing that which God is teaching me.
I'll keep living life to the fullest.
I'll choose no other way.
Today, I am 41. Last year, I wrote about some of the things I've had the joy of doing in life. I looked at that list again, added some things.
The bottom line? For me, life with God is an amazing adventure! Some uncertainties despite.
This time last year, I was in Nairobi with no idea what was lying ahead. I only knew God gave me total peace about moving on. A year later, I do not regret the move. I still don't know what's ahead after I've completed my studies, but for now, I'll continue to choose to enjoy life to the fullest.
Thanks for being part of my journey.