Summer in Tanzania: The Parent Perspective

June 27, 2012 5:21 pm Published by

Guest Blogger: Vicki Vrooman, Holland Hall Parent & JBFC Volunteer, offers her perspective on sending her son nearly 9,000 miles away to JBFC in Tanzania and the profound impact it had on her and her son.

My son, Weston, has been in Tanzania, Africa for two weeks now working at an orphanage with JBFC. I can’t believe that he is so far away across the ocean on another continent! I wasn’t worried until I took him to the airport and the reality that I was sending my child nearly 9,000 miles away really hit me. He was going to be somewhere that I didn’t have access to him if I needed to.

All I asked from him was that he text me and let me know when he landed in Dubai and then when he got to the orphanage. He was great–and he contacted me with very short, quick texts that said he was there and that he loved me! Whew!

Weston and the Holland Hall group
But as the days progressed I longed for pictures and more texts from him. I knew that he was experiencing things that will forever change him and I couldn’t wait to hear the stories. Fortunately, I’ve been able to see a few pictures of Weston and I can see that he is happy–always smiling!

“I’ve never loved a group of 

kids the way I do these.”

The other day, I got a text message that was the very best response I could have gotten from my boy. He told me that it was going awesome and that he had to return to Africa.

“I can’t just go once,” he said in a text message. “This place is indescribable; how purposeful it is to general happiness!”

Wow! I responded by telling him how much I loved him and I got an immediate second text.

Weston & Jonas, a JBFC Student
“Seriously though,” he continued. “I will start saving up to go again as soon as I get back. I’ve never loved a group of kids the way I do these.”

I can’t tell you how that makes me feel as a mom. I’m so happy for my son and so proud that he wants to go back to Africa to be with these kids.

I hoped that Weston would gain an understanding and compassion for others. I wanted him to see how fortunate he is to have grown up where he did. From the few text messages I’ve received so far, I believe that Weston has been deeply touched from his experiences.

I know he went to help them, but I believe that he is the one who has received the most. He will be changed forever. I, myself, am inspired to go to Africa to meet these amazing kids and be a part of the JBFC family!

I am so thankful that my son has had this opportunity and I appreciate all of the people who helped Weston financially so that he could go. Thank you, Christopher, and the entire JBFC family for welcoming my son and giving him this opportunity.

To the other parents out there, I know it is a little scary. But I would wholeheartedly encourage you to allow your children to experience JBFC in Tanzania. One of our roles as parents is to help guide our children to become compassionate, giving adults who will want to make a difference in their world. What better way is there to open our own children’s eyes to the world!

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This post was written by Mainsprings