Ugh. I hate even typing that.
But it’s true. And I’m asking you to please read this blog post from start to finish to understand why.
. . . . .
We aren’t going to Kenya today.
The past couple weeks have seen an increase in violence in key Kenyan cities, including Nairobi, exactly where we were headed. On Friday, May 16, a twin bombing in Nairobi heightened ongoing international security concerns. (As in, the UK evacuated all their tourists. Whoa.) Because our team’s safety was Mocha Club’s biggest concern, it is in everyone’s best interest to postpone the trip.
This was not an easy decision to make. The Mocha Club staff has kept a close eye on the events that unfolded last week in and around Nairobi, as well as maintained constant communication with partners on the ground. Following the State Department’s release of a travel warning and honest discussion between all team members, the team collectively decided to remain in the United States and pursue the trip at a later time.
As you can imagine, the phone call connecting our team and the Mocha Club staff on Friday afternoon was full of awkward silences and lots of disappointment. It felt terrible.
But it’s the right thing to do.
The goal of the trip was and is to share the stories present at New Dawn – particularly the ones YOU made possible.
We feel that were the trip taken as planned, those stories and our ability to share them with you would be marred by questions of why we went, what was happening regarding the attacks and subsequent security alerts, and ultimately – fear.
The students of New Dawn deserve full attention, both ours and yours. We would rather wait and tell the story right than go and relate a story peppered with fear or uncertainty. We’re still incredibly excited to share with you and bring you along on our journey – it will just be at a time other than this week.
I have lots of emotions, as you can imagine. I’m frustrated to live in a world where terrorists make decisions for me. I’m angry that this is the everyday life for our friends that are students at New Dawn. I’m confused about the timing and why this happened NOW instead of last month or next month. I’m sad that our whole team, and all our readers, will not have the experience this week that we expected. I feel very sorry that I’ve spend five months telling you about THIS WEEK and now THIS WEEK will be lived in Nashville, Tennessee instead of Nairobi, Kenya. I’m brokenhearted for sweet Lizzie, who donated to the school, filled out an application to go with us, was randomly chosen and perfectly fit with our team.
We do plan to reschedule. We hope to reschedule.
I want to go to New Dawn so badly; it makes me feel physically ill to know a plane takes off today which I had planned to be on that would take me there.
. . . . .
I have lots more to tell you tomorrow, particularly about the part of this decision that made me cry this weekend. But for today, I kinda don’t have any more words.
Our trip is postponed. I’m so disappointed.