For the One

I had stayed up way too late for a work night, scrolling through pictures and stories that tugged at my heart. I read through reports of orphaned newborn babies receiving a safe place to stay and women presented with hope in the midst of suffering. All of this started to shift my perspective on the concept of travel. It began to adjust the way I viewed my own wanderlust.

The 47 Parks trip I took last year was very me-focused, and, despite my love for personal adventures, I realized that it was time to direct my attention and resources towards others.

(Enter Iris Global Ministries)

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Village of Joy in Mozambique where I’ll be staying for most of my trip.

Located in northeastern Mozambique exists a missions base entitled Village of Joy. This remarkable place hosts a variety of ministries that serve the local community, and it happens to be the location of my next big trip. This time, I will choose to make any natural outdoorsy explorations my second priority – the beautiful Mozambican people will be the sole focal point of my stay.

So what will I be doing, exactly?

  • Supporting the Children’s Home (playing with, teaching, and loving kiddos)
  • Working in the Baby House
  • Volunteering in the Clinic
  • Assisting with any work projects
  • Joining established prison/hospital ministries
  • Helping in the Sewing School
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Look at all these fun goodies I get to give away! (Much appreciated, friends)

A big thank-you to everyone who has supported this trip financially or donated useful items that I’ll take over with me. I eagerly anticipate reaching out in love and continuing my quest to explore the world.

Africa, here I come!

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My crazy itinerary: The stars indicate places of significance where I’ll be spending a good chunk of time.
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RRG Recap

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The cabin I shared with friends (and a couple mice, apparently)

Length of Stay:

  • Four days, three nights

Highs:

  • Good climbs, good people
  • Kayaking in an abandoned, flooded mine
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The mine entrance: creepy, yet fun
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A little different feel than my last kayak adventure in Kentucky

Lows:

  • A couple thunderstorms meant a few less climbs than planned

Favorite Climb:

  • Workin’ for the Weekend (10a)

Favorite Treat:

  • Miguel’s Pizza (a Red River Gorge must-have)
  • Ale-8-One ginger/citrus-ale (a Kentucky must-try)
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On the wall, happy as can be…

Blue Grass Escapade

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Kentucky: state of mountains, mines, and impeccable scenery. This region of Appalachia also happens to be one of the best places to rock climb on the east coast. Red River Gorge (RRG) features some fantastic routes in sandstone cliffs forged many moons ago by a tumbling river.

It was the perfect place to spend a long weekend.

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Getting ready for the daily warm up.

Armed with bug repellent, climbing gear, lots of crag snacks, and two competent friends, I enjoyed hour upon hour in this wild space. Muir Valley, named after the “Father of the National Parks”, was a serene location with enough shade to make the Kentucky heat bearable.

I still sweated.

A lot.

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Finding our climb

But it was so much fun to climb real rock – to be 100 feet above the ground hyper-aware of every movement and rock feature. The wildlife was present, but unobtrusive, although I did get to watch a snake eat a mouse.

Kentucky, you’re ruthless, but beautiful.

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