Thursday, April 1, 2010

An Odd Start

My journey to Kenya began in November of 2001. Nick would have been 15 at the time and a sophomore in high school. He came home one day and asked if he could go somewhere with someone and I said sure, without really knowing where he was going or with who.

All of us parents have done it and all of you kids know we have. It’s not that we don’t care about what you are doing; we just can’t fit that information into our heads along with the other 25,000 pieces of information that we are required to carry around just to survive. And if you as a kid have a pretty good reputation around the house, no history of getting into trouble, when you bring home any kind of consent, we as parents are just going to sign it.

So it was that some Saturday morning in mid November, 2001, Nick jumped into somebody’s car and went to the Power of One concert in Green Bay. He had a good time and brought home a t-shirt, which I believe finally got turned into a rag just this past weekend.

Some months later, a flyer came in the mail for Nick. It was for Lifest, a Christian music festival sponsored by the same organization that puts on the Power of One concerts. Nick seemed to know all about it and really wanted to go. I looked into it a little bit and it sounded like it could turn out to be a nice weekend getaway.

We bought our tickets and a campsite. July 11, 2002, Nick and I packed up my husband’s old red extended cab Mazda pickup, our ancient popup camper, Val and her friend Jacquelyn and headed to Sunnyview Fairgrounds in Oshkosh.

Oh, my goodness, who would have ever thought that we would have such a good time. It was four days of over 100 musicians, comedians and speakers on six different stages. Sure they were all Christian acts, but who would really even know that rap and heavy metal could be Christian. We didn’t see too much of Nick; he had other friends that were there that he hung out with. Val and Jacquelyn were goofy 12-year-olds, but it was such a family friendly atmosphere that I totally felt ok with them being on their own.

I was hooked and ended up dragging Val and a various number of friends to Lifest for the next four years. And in 2005 that trip to Oshkosh would lead to a trip to Africa.

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