Ruby Woo Goes to Africa

4 Mar
Hi friends,
Over the course of my life, I have had the extreme privilege to go on not one, not two, but five mission’s trips with my church.  Two of those times were to the lovely island of St. Kitts, which while beautiful, definitely has so more scary areas. (Remind me to tell you about the time I thought I was going to get stabbed by wayward Rastafarians.  It’s the most true story ever, and I was definitely that girl sobbing on a curb because I was so scared.)
The other three trips were to Kenya, Africa.  Our church has started dozens of churches across the nation, and every year, in order to graduate from high school, the high school seniors (who attend our church’s school) go on a mission’s trip to Africa.  I got to go when I was eighteen, and then I’ve been two more times over the past five years.
There’s a lot I could tell you about going to Africa–from how interesting the food is to how amazing the people are to at peace I am when I’m over there.  (Honestly, I’ve never felt more like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in God’s will).   But, since this is a fashion blog, I’m going to talk a little bit about what to wear when you find yourself in Kenya.

Something that every class of seniors gets told before they go over is that the emphasis should never be on how they look, but what they are sharing from their hearts.  The people in Kenya are very modest (for how hot it is over there), and they also have some standards about femininity.  For instance, you very rarely see women in pants, and the skirts are always well below the knee.  
I bought this dress (the black one from Target) for less than $20 in three different colors.  It fits all the big criteria–long, not revealing, and not tight.  (Well, obviously I’m going to be adding a tank top underneath…can’t be that exposed!)  I bought it two sizes bigger than I wear, and have a belt to keep it from being a tent.
Obviously, I’m not bring a $700 leopard tote over there, but I did get two pieces of luggage from ShoeDazzle that are soft and velvety and leopard!  They’re both big enough to carry all the essentials (like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, Bible, and water bottles), but still cute enough to take on vacation.

This is more of our standard “uniform” while we’re over there.  Boys all have one color shirt on, and girls all wear the other color.  We all wear long khaki skirts.  (Although, I lucked out one year, and the teams split (high school on one team, and NOT high school on the other), and we didn’t have to wear the uniforms the whole time.)   The bright colors help everyone stand out while we’re in the slums with the thousands of people pressing around (so that the big guard guys can see us no matter how many people there are), and it helps everyone feel a little more unified.
Anyway, I’m super excited about going.  Not only do I get a chance to build good friendships with all the kids on the trip, it’s also always a really great time for me spiritually, and it’s a good reminder of all the amazing things I have at home that I take for granted.
I’ll be gone for three weeks starting May 23.  I’m hoping to leave a few pre-written posts for Stephers to stick up, but I’d also LOVE to have a few guest bloggers lined up.  Anyone interested?  Let me know!
And, I leave you now with pictures from my last Africa trip…
With the kids in my class from Umoja I.

With the kids in my class from Umoja.

My class in Kwa Njenga.  Can you see the awesome blue shirt?!

In Eldoret.  This was Sunday School, hence me not wearing red or blue.  I got to go that year with one of my best friends, who is next to me!

This is one of my favorite pictures–the girl on my lap is Mercy, and she had the best smile ever.

On the plane! 

In Kakamega with my class!

Yay for no red or blue shirt!
Anyway, I’m super excited about this year, and I’m so thankful that I get to go back!

PS:  Don’t forget to enter our giveaway!  


One Response to “Ruby Woo Goes to Africa”

  1. posidanielle March 4, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    That is so amazing that you have gotten to go on 5 mission trips. I find it awesome that you take time out of your life here and go to a different country to help them out. It's so wonderful!

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