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My Journey Of Rediscovering Christ

I haven’t always been the most spiritual person. I grew up in a religious family but I always found church boring and unnecessary. It seemed like such a major task. One that I was not willing to take part in, so around the age of 14, I stopped going to church and stopped praying. I wouldn’t say that I stopped believing but my faith was not where it needed to be.

All throughout high school and college I walked a faithless walk. I did what I wanted to do and really didn’t care much about building a real relationship with God. It wasn’t until I was 24 years old and I went through my first real heartbreak that I realized I needed to do something else to heal the pain I was in. At this time I moved to Dallas in an attempt to make myself feel better. When that didn’t work I decided to turn to God. During that time period, I was in a lot of pain but I found comfort in God. It was an amazing feeling and I had never felt more peace than when I was in his presence. I would pray a lot and seek God in the times of turmoil. But unfortunately as I built up this relationship with God, I began to backslide as soon as I moved back on the east coast. There were a number of reasons for this, but mostly because I was surrounded by none believers who did nothing to help my spirit.

Since then it has been a constant up and down of me always promising to get back in the church and to read my Bible and not actually doing it. Being in an MBA program is so hard that after your week is completed you sometimes want to use the whole weekend to decompress, but I’ve been feeling like there is something missing from my life. I’ve tried to fill the void with a number of things. I would even say that coming back to school was an attempt to do as such but the emptiness still persisted. I finally realized that what I was missing was a relationship with Christ.

It is not easy to just pick back up where you left off and some times it can seem scary trying to take the steps needed to find Jesus but I built a plan for myself to take baby steps to where I need to be. I have tried to come back hundreds of times but this time I am determined to will myself back into His presence. I have decided to start with prayer and daily reading of His word. I have set up a series of reminders to do so, as well as, have told close friends about my journey so they can hold me accountable. I have begun bringing my Bible places with me to ensure I read a little each day. I signed up for daily devotional emails and have made an effort to talk about Christ to my Christian friends. My goal is to sharpen my faith muscles by surrounding myself by His word. I want to rebuild my foundation so that the pains of this world can stop having such an affect on me.

I am curious to see my transformation as I continue to study the word and delve deeper into my relationship with Christ. I am excited to see the person I am with broken chains and deliverance. I know this won’t be easy but I am ready and willing to put in the work to ensure that my spirit is right moving forward.

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Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

“When we obliterate nature and our bodies with polka dots we become part of the unity of our environments” – Yayoi Kusama

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The great thing about living in a major city is that there is ALWAYS something new and fun to do.

The most recent hot spot in DC has been the Hirshorn for its Infinity Mirrors Exhibit! After a month of trying, I was finally able to get tickets to the the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit. Although the tickets are free, they are extremely hard to get and they usually sell out in two minutes.

 

About the Exhibit

This specific exhibit, Infinity Mirrors, is called as such because of Kusama’s use of mirrors to give the illusion that the space is much bigger than it really is.  In all actuality, the art is broken up into small rooms and can only fit a small number of people in it at a time.

What you need to know before you go

Despite having timed passes the lines to visit each room is very long. The museum allows small groups of people to enter each room at a time and you are only allowed 20 seconds in each room. They do not allow you to bring in any bags, food or liquids into the rooms.

There is other art…

Although the Infinity rooms are the main attraction, the Hirshorn features other art from Kusama that allows for some really great photo ops as well.

Final thoughts of the exhibit

This exhibit is amazing. If you can get tickets I say go! The lines were a nuisance and because of it I wasn’t able to see every room. Having 20 seconds in a room was annoying because you couldn’t really get a chance to take in what you were seeing. By the time you had a chance to admire, and appreciate the art work, they were opening the door and carting in the next group. In order to ensure that you have some memories one needs to walk in with their camera in hand and start snapping away immediately. There is no time to think about your pose and perfect angle.

Although overshadowed, the free standing art is something to be admired as well especially the polka dot room. The polka dot room was my favorite space because each visitor was given a set of polka dot stickers and told to put them anywhere in the room!

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South Africa Part 10: The Return Back Home

The last thing that was a big treat for us was that  my boyfriend and I got a free upgrade to business class during our layover in Dubai.

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Us in business class. Can you see how excited we were to be there!

The amount of excitement that we were filled with was that of a child being able to eat ice cream and cake for dinner!  Don’t get me wrong coach on Emirates Airways is really great but Business Class takes your flying experience to a whole other level.

For instance, business class is located on the top floor of the plane (Yes, this plane has two levels). As soon as we got to our seats we saw how big of a difference it was flying business class. The biggest thing were seats that could be laid out horizontally with a push of a button so that one could sleep on the flight the same way that you sleep in your bed. This was so BOMB!

The second major difference was the food. Though the food in coach was delicious, the food in business class was much better. The food seemed fresher as though it was cooked by a chef on the plane (although I know it had not) and as soon as we sat down we were given a choice of champagne, and mimosas before take off. Oh and did I mention that they had premium alcohol in business class.

In business class they feed you, LITERALLY, all through out the flight. I thought we were pretty well feed in coach, but in business class they come around with many different things such as: warm croissants, pastries, and warm nuts.  There is also a lounge area in the back of the plane and a fully stocked bar! My boyfriend and I took this as a chance to try some expensive alcohol that we probably will never buy with our own money! In the lounge they had even more snacks for us to munch on during the flight  including cheese, small cakes, and crackers. And yes we did get fed three meals while in business class, so all the extra snacks were just an added bonus! Flight attendants also  laid out linen table clothes for each person before we ate. We also had actual glasses and silverware in business class that made you feel a little bit more at home.

Because our seats converted to beds I slept way more on this leg of the trip than I did when I went to South Africa. I am not sure when I will ever get an opportunity to fly in business class again (considering for one leg on Emirates it can cost you upwards to 5k for a business class ticket), but I sure did enjoy my 13 hour flight from Dubai back to the United States!

South Africa Part 8: Discovering Cape Town

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After our tour of Robben Island we decided to go  to lunch and walk around Cape Town a bit. Unfortunately I did not take as many pictures as I should have during this leg of our day. We stayed down by the water front and took in the atmosphere of this tourist town. We walked around and grabbed lunch at a restaurant right by the water front. The wait staff was very polite and was very attentive. As I said in other posts, service in South Africa is top notch and the people who work in service seem to be extremely grateful to be serving customers.

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People walking around the water front of Cape Town

After we ate we proceeded to walk around and take in the atmosphere. We went to the mall and saw how similar the mall in Cape Town felt to the malls in America.  We also got a chance to take a picture with one of the signs that says “Table Mountain”, with the back drop obviously being Table Mountain. These signs are actually sprawled out around Cape Town for tourists to take pics with.

The first thing that I would say that I didn’t not expect while in Cape Town was the obvious European influence in its architecture (obviously if you know the history of South Africa this isn’t that surprising). Even though I haven’t been to Europe yet, I could imagine, that this is how some places there would look. Although there are a lot of Black people in Cape Town, I would say I was also surprised at the diversity. There were Indians, Chinese, and White people. It felt a little bit like Trinidad to me.

South Africa Part 7: Robben Island

We had one more day in South Africa and we were going to use that last day discovering Cape Town and visiting Robben Island.

We purchased tickets to Robben Island prior so that we knew for sure we would have a place on the tour. They offer about 3 tours a day. Each tour takes about three hours. An hour each way to and from the island and an hour touring the island. We took a small boat to Robben Island.

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On the boat from Cape Town to Robben Island

The first part of the tour was the bus tour around the island. We had a guide who gave us the history of Robben Island and its many uses. Unlike what most think, Robben Island was not only for prisoners, it had many other uses including a place for leapers to live. The views from this island are amazing and breathtaking.

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Robben Island main entrance

The final stop of the tour was the prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years imprisoned. The tour started in a holding area where prisoners would first be brought to be booked and processed. While we all found a place to sit, a man came to the front and began telling us some of brutal history of the prison, and he revealed that he himself was also a prisoner for many years with Nelson Mandela. The tour continued as he walked us around the prison grounds telling us about the different sections of the prison, and some of the things that prisoners were forced to do. The tour finally concluded with us passing by the cell that was designated to Nelson Mandela.

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Entrance of the prison that held Nelson Mandela for 18 years

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Holding cell of prisoners

 

Grounds of the prison

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Mandela Prison Cell
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Our tour guide was a prisoner here during the same time as Nelson Mandela

Being on this tour was a great way to end our trip to South Africa. Walking the same steps of one of my heroes was a transient feeling that I will never forget. Walking the grounds and thinking of being imprisoned behind those walls for years was a sad feeling that reminded me how much people had sacrificed all over the world for black rights.

South Africa Part 6:New Year’s Day

After the wedding my boyfriend and I went to the Airbnb that we were staying in on the property of Val De Vie. This place was HUGGGEEEE. We stayed there along with some of the other wedding guests. One thing that we had no idea of until we got there was that this was the exact same house that Prince Harry stayed in when he came to Val De Vie. We were mind blown once we found this out by seeing a picture of him and the house attendant standing in the house. Considering we all paid about $150 each for two nights,  we couldn’t believe that we were staying in the same place as Prince Harry. “If it’s good enough for Prince Harry, It’s good enough for me” became my motto for our stay there. Our Airbnb also came with a house attendant who made us breakfast each morning. Once again I can not stress how amazing the people were while we were there. The lady was the care taker of the house, as the owners of the house only used that home to vacation, was amazing. She was so kind and warm and she seemed very happy to see black people renting out the home.

The day after the wedding my family decided to have a braai (BBQ) at the cottages where my parents and other relatives were staying. All guests were invited! Because it was New Years Day many places, including some grocery stores, were closed so we decided that we should purchase some extra food just in case there wasnt enough food for everyone. We all came to the consensuses that we should get a few extra buckets of chicken and french fries from KFC. I stand with my statements that KFC tastes wayyyyy better overseas than it does in the United States.

As we were driving off of Val De Vie property, I looked over out of the window, and what did we see but wild Zebra running around! This was so awesome and very unexpected! As we pulled over to look at them it seemed as though they were looking back at us like “What are these stupid humans doing?”. img_20170101_203037_267We eventually drove to KFC, got the extra food, and headed to the cottages where the braai would be taking place. Once we arrived it was surely a sight to see as we had to drive through a vineyard to get to the cottages( every place we went in South Africa was a sight to see). It was so great to be surrounded by family, friends, food, and a scenic background for another day!

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Driving through a vineyard to get to the cottages

South Africa Part 5: The Wedding

The morning of the wedding I woke up after three hours of sleep and headed to my sisters cottage to begin the prepping for the day. I got my makeup and lashes done and all of us bridesmaids began doing what we had to do to get my sister ready for her big day. It was December 31st so this meant that we would be bringing in the new year with family and friends and celebrating my sisters big day!

 

My sister’s wedding was extravagant. It was truly a dream wedding. From the flowers, to the food, to the Rolls Royce that was sent to pick her up, everything was perfect. Her wedding was held at the Val De Vie Polo Club. As mentioned before ,this place is most well-known for Prince Harry taking part of polo matches. This club is in the wine lands and is surrounded by beautiful mountains and made for a beautiful backdrop for my sister’s wedding day. There was a cocktail hour where servers passed around an array of fresh cooked foods (so fresh that I burned my tongue). The servers were also taking requests of any drink that one wanted. Champagne was flowing as a marimba band played. There was also a caricature artist who was drawing pictures of guests. Once the wedding space was opened up to guests we were met with a beautiful place setting with our names on it. We also had a three course meal and an open bar that seemed to be stocked with everything and anything. The servers were amazing. I can not stress how grateful I was to those who worked my sister’s wedding because their kind nature, willing spirit and overall good attitude made the evening that much more pleasant. As midnight struck we all entered the new year together. It definitely was a magical night.