Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Trip of a Lifetime
I'm incredibly proud of my best friend. She is, as we speak, on her way to South Africa. The trip is in connection with her former employer, Alive Hospice, Nashville, TN. Diana worked at Alive for 7 years until she moved to Georgia just over a year ago.
She became aware of the wonderful work that Hospice does when her dad became ill and needed assistance. Diana, her sister, and Hospice and Palliative Care of Southern Indiana helped make a difficult situation, bearable. She vowed to "give back" and she did; first by volunteering at Alive and then by becoming a full-time, valued employee.
But, back to the trip. Alive has a Sister Hospice in Krugersdorp. They have, through the years, raised money to send much-needed supplies to South Africa. Diana was supposed to go last year but it conflicted with her move to Georgia. This trip, as last year's, organized by Naomi Tutu, daughter of Desmond Tutu, will help foster even more good will between the two non-profit care facilities.
Diana should be arriving in Capetown in about three hours, after a 22-hour flight! She'll then travel to Johannasburg and then on to Hospice in the West, located in Krugersdorp, to visit with the staff.
Some side-trips include visiting the Krugersdorp Game Preserve, and touring Robben Island Prison, "home" to Nelson Mandella for much of his life sentence. He was finally released in 1990. I'm sure that trip will be a very emotional experience.
Anyway, I'm just so proud of her! At a time when many people our age are choosing to slow down a bit (I'm not judging. You're earned it!), Diana is exploring the world. And, not the world of fine Paris café's, or Greek ruins, or Bahamian white-sand beaches. She's exploring a part of the world that most of us know nothing about. She is reaching far beyond her "element." I applaud her for taking this trip of a lifetime.
So, tell me. How far would you venture from your "element?"