For three and a half weeks our Journey Outreach Team has been enriched by the presence (both with a small as well as a capital P!) of Jacinta Aalsma, a freshly accredited Journey Pratitioner from the Netherlands who spontaneously joined us following my invitation to the world wide Journey family to share the experience of bringing the Journey tools to schools and communities in rural Kenya. Jacinta first contacted me a couple of months earlier requesting help for any kind of Journey experience in Africa and I whole heartedly welcomed her to join our team. And what a blessing it was. Meeting her for the first time in downtown Nairobi the day after her arrival, I was astonished to find someone quite young, at age 22 rather in the age group of most of our Kenyan Training Practitioners who in turn where delighted to find not only a great friend in Jacinta but also a role model that they could follow – someone their own age/generation who mastered the life changing transformation of the Journey Practitioners Programme.
Having been in Africa twice before – in the Gambia as well as in Uganda – Jacinta easily itegrated into our rural Luo home life and explored every aspect of it with great enthusiasm and curiousity. She didn’t mind sharing the room with two and the small house with 6 others. Neither did she have any problem living without running water and mains electricity.
Every morning she was joyfully awaiting yet another visit to a local school or community group in order to introduce or deepen the Journey work. Then, with the day’s work done, she’d walk to market, get herself busy in the kitchen – it took a few days to persuade the locals that she’d really love to! – or try to expand her Luo vocabulary by communicating with Dani, the grandmother, or Toto, the toddler. Sometimes she’d chat with our children Elia and Zoe or with her special friend Sheila, somtimes she’d walk around with camera at the ready to capture Kenyan life in the home. Sometimes she’d borrow my laptop and write up her own experiences or sit quietly, reading the book she’d braught along or opening into the message from a Journey card she’d picked from the pack that I’d put up for common use. Always joyful, always content and always happy, I didn’t hear a single word of complain from Jacinta. On the contrary, she made useful suggestions on how to improve our Schools introduction syntax, gave invaluable honest feedback after each day of teamwork and was ever willing to share all she was – just what I wrote on my balloon of Appreciation & Gratitude which we celebrated her with on the last night or our time together.
And one of the most heroic deeds I’d like to write on her flag is that she typed up the entire Journey in the Classroom script in Luo language – not only once but twice as the first time it didn’t get properly stored on the USB/Flash disc an so had to be re-done.
Just as Moses put it in his self-composed farewell song and performance: “Thank you, Jacinta! We love Jacinta, Come back, Jacinta!”
Jacinta, you’ve acquired a permanent place in all our hearts and I believe an eternal invitation to call this place HOME too!
Blessings and much Love. May you joyfully continue to live your dream and may all abundance, all resources, all courage and your beautiful willingness to each day move a little bit further beyond any comfort zones remain with you!