Jonah always talked about visiting Africa, it was one of his biggest dreams. He loved animals, and, as my dad reminded me while we were watching the sun rise from our view through a little plane window, “They have the best animals there.”
That was something Jonah used to say, sometimes quite impatiently, when we asked why he wanted to go to Kenya. I hadn’t thought of that in a long while, and that made me do something that I rarely do. I cried.
Every time we look around here I see how amazed and excited Jonah would have been and it brings tears to my eyes like nothing else that he never got to be here in person, only in spirit. Perhaps it will change as we continue through the trip and going to Africa becomes part of my own memories rather than my imagination, but everything I see I see him looking at it too, looking around at everything and trying to see everything all at once because there’s so much too take in here and yet it’s only a small fraction of what will see that day.
As much as I’m sad because this visit is for him but he can’t be here, I’m still very excited, because this trip is also for mom, dad, and me. This is the trip where not only do we get to see what life is like in Kenya and how Free the Children is helping in the communities, and not only how much Jojo would love it here, it’s a chance for Kenya to become one of my experiences, and for me to see how much I’d love it here. And I think we’re off to a good start.