The JBFC Experience: a Mom’s Story

October 1, 2014 9:50 pm Published by

Editor’s Note: Guest blogger Vicki Vrooman is a JBFC volunteer and a parent of a JBFC volunteer. Her son Weston traveled to JBFC in Tanzania for the first time in 2012. As Vicki explains in her blog, Wes still talks about his experiences and it’s continued to inspire her and others.

My son, Weston, traveled to Tanzania, Africa following his junior year of high school. He wasn’t sure what the experience would entail, but he couldn’t wait. When he arrived home from his time in Tanzania, I could tell that he was a different young man. He couldn’t stop sharing stories about the girls. He was so touched by their joy, their openness to meet new people, their desire to get an education, their hard work, their stories. He kept telling me that he “had to return to JBFC.”

Throughout the following year, I began to see Weston take his schooling more seriously. He began to discuss his future and what it would look like, always, of course, stating that his future included returning to Africa again. Weston would compare life here in the States and life in Africa. He wanted to raise money to help the girls. He wrote them letters. He shared his stories with other high school students, encouraging them to join him in Tanzania for a “life-changing” experience. Sure enough, the following summer, Weston traveled yet again to Tanzania.

He couldn’t wait to see the girls. He calls them, “my girls.” On his second trip to JBFC, Weston was asked to teach theater exercises with the girls. He absolutely loved this experience. (Read about Wes’ 2nd summer in Tanzania here) In fact, he said, “I can see myself returning and teaching at JBFC one day for a while.”

As Weston is pursuing his college degree in theater, he has dreams and hopes for his future. Of course he wants to act professionally. But in his future plans, he continues to say, “Mom, I will be returning to JBFC. I have to see my girls.”

I am proud of my son. I love that he realizes the value in his time at JBFC. I believe that he sees this as more than a trip. It is a part of his life. He has said on more than one occasion, “Mom, I received so much more from these experiences than I could ever give. These girls have changed my life.”

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This post was written by Mainsprings