A few nights ago my parents hosted a BBQ as a bon voyage to Zimbabwe. Maggie was kind enough to send out I am Strong if You are strong bracelets and necklaces for another push to raise money for The Elias Fund. They were immediately a hit, as shown above by the gentlemen and then ladies showing off how strong we really are! I cannot wait to finally meet all of the amazing team members face to face: Eric, Scott, Jenna, Josh, Kyle, TJ, Ian, Mike, Jamie, Noemi, and Jackson. As a teacher, I am fortunate to have these days preceding the trip off to fully focus on packing and getting myself ready for this unbelievable opportunity. Below is the beginning stages of sorting out what I truly need to take versus what I want to take with me on the trip.
The biggest goal that has been reached is actually fitting my sleeping bag underneath my backpack. It took way too long to fit it through the two straps underneath my carry- on backpack! As I was going through my t-shirts, I came across a gem; check out the Dispatch Zimbabwe t-shirt circa July, 2007. Fast forward five years, and I have to keep pinching myself that I am lucky enough to be joining The Elias Fund on its Pilot Trip to Zimbabwe! I am looking forward to meeting our friends in Harare, Chiredzi, and the Shangaan village. We have an incredible group of people determined to help break ground on a primary care clinic in a Shangaan village. Other projects include hopefully breaking ground on a community center in Tshovani, assist in refurbishing the Chiredzi Poly-clinic, and potential for working on Elias’ home. I hope time is on our hands, allowing us to reach out to as many people and areas as possible and I cannot wait to see what we end up accomplishing by the time our plane lands on July 19th back in the United States. By no means is this trip a one hit wonder. The Elias Fund will only continue to grow and expand, reaching out to as many people in Zimbabwe as possible as time goes on. My intention is to help out as much as I humanly can, remaining strong to help those in Zimbabwe stay strong.
- Ashley J.
To learn more about Ashley, visit her bio page.