Graduate’s First Steps Story: Mordekay, DR Congo, 2022, Part 2

This week, ARI and American Friends of ARI are fundraising for rural leaders to travel to ARI, with our Little by Little fundraising matching campaign on GlobalGiving. Read our story and consider supporting them with a donation.

Spring marks a new class of participants at ARI. Rural leaders are preparing for their journey to Japan.  For some ARI participants, this is their first time on a plane. Others travel more than a thousand miles to attend the Rural Leaders Training Program in Tochigi, Japan, leaving their families and community work behind for 9-months. On the last day of our Little by Little matching campaign, we return to Mordekay telling his story of travel from the DR Congo to Japan to begin nine months of intense leadership training. Let’s continue with the conclusion to his travel.

From Addis Abbebas (BOLE INTL) / Ethiopia to Japan (NARITA), a duration of 12:05. 

It was a new page, a new story, and of course a new tasting. We indeed had a good meal on every flight, but this time it got tastier and tastier.

Everything was going well until then, and I knew that me and my brother Shukuru weren’t the only ones going to ARI until I started asking some of the passengers “Sir, Madam, are you also going to ARI?” it was a funny question, but it was already connecting us with other people, we were writing a beautiful story and sharing our experiences until others asked us to take a souvenir photo, oh what a wonderful trip! it was already a new community, a new culture, a new learning experience,… 

Finally, we reached Narita (Japan), and what a wonderful airport – wow! I watched and gradually began to discover Japanese culture, with its soft-spoken, understanding, and slightly shy people. Everything was based on technology and with many strict observations about the pandemic at COVID-19.

However, we got a surprise! We had just finished almost all the formalities at the airport, and we realized that Shukuru’s luggage had not come in the same cargo as mine. This cost us another 1h30 or so, fortunately, the help and intervention service was flexible, being already tired and down, we were without words since I was not supposed to go out and leave Shukuru alone, we were already in contact with ARI, they were already aware of the situation until the help service asked us to go, leaving ARI’s addresses and contacts. 

As soon as we stepped out of the airport, we were off to ARI, and Shukuru’s luggage had arrived two weeks later at ARI, what a relief? This trip was an unforgettable experience, allowing me to discover different cultures and at the same time realize how vast and diverse the world is. I will always be grateful to ARI for shaping me differently and to the United Church of Canada for sponsoring me. 

Thank you for joining us on this journey to ARI this week. If you wish to help sponsor future participants like Mordekay and Shukuru, please donate to our project on GlobalGiving, and see your donation matched, extending the impact futher into the future.