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old town mombasa, kenya {one of my favorite hangouts}

old town mombasa, kenya {one of my favorite hangouts}

In 2006, I gave away everything I owned, left my partnership at the private equity firm and transplanted myself to Rwanda. I wanted to reinvent myself through new experiences and become more of who I wanted to be. To say that my time in East Africa {Rwanda, DRC, Uganda, Kenya} involved some difficult times would be quite an understatement.

I witnessed so much heartache and so many experiences that I have yet to understand. I also witnessed some of the most human moments I’ve ever had the privileged to experience before.

Over the past decade, I’ve come to understand that tragedy and beauty are inextricably intertwined. I must release my fear of tragedy in order to truly experience profound beauty.

In early 2006, I met a young street kid named Francois. Over time, he became my son. We have been by each other’s side since. Across eight years in Rwanda and Kenya, he taught me more about humanity and family than I could have ever fathomed. He changed me. I thank God for him.

In 2007, I met Ilea Dorsey {Angaza} in Rwanda as we united to build KEZA. After a lifetime of searching, soul mates were joined together and our journey continued, more powerful than ever before. In 2012, Saoirse Sky Angaza entered our lives as an unimaginable force. I have been her greatest admirer and pupil, since.

Francois is 20 now. He’s been preparing to return Rwanda for the past year. It’s time for him to go on his own walkabout, to discover himself and his purpose. But this is not a moment for goodbyes. Not at all. This is only the next chapter, of which we all look towards with great excitement and anticipation of extraordinary things.

Africa is forever engrained in our hearts and minds. It’s part of us. I am eternally grateful for the perspective that came from the decades dedicated to studying, listening, experiencing and learning from Mama Africa. I suspect there are many lessons yet to enter my psyche as I continue to process through the experiences. I also still have my agency there, which I will continue to direct with my partners.

We carry all the souls and all the experiences from Africa with us as we journey into the next chapter. It was an awakening most are never so fortunate to experience.

We will spend a few months back home in Nashville, soaking up the time with family and friends, taking time to meditate, dive deep into our yoga practices, cleanse, listen, learn, gain energy and prepare for the next chapter of our lives. One that will place us in the center of a completely different continent, a vibrant and creative culture and back on the coast, where we feel most at home.

It will be a time of discovery and creation. A time of peace. A time of self actualization. And a time to amplify our united goal to champion an ubuntu revolution.

We greet the next evolution of our lives with gratitude, a broader worldview perspective, unbounded love for humanity, clear eyes and open hearts.

3 Comments

  1. Joanne Miller on November 18, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Beautifully written. Will be interesting to see what the next adventure in a new country brings you and your family. So glad you are home for the holidays. love you…

  2. Dan Miller on November 18, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    Jared – I think it’s amazing how the experiences of our lives become part or the fabric of our very being. But we get to choose how those experiences shape us. We can frame them to then wallow in blame and pessimism or we can use them as unique foundational pieces to see solutions and opportunities other miss. I know which path you are on and am anticipating more exciting chapters in the coming years.

  3. Wencke on November 19, 2014 at 6:47 AM

    Hi Jared

    A beautifully written blog and I wish you all the best for your new adventure especially a warm holiday season with your loved ones. Where are you heading next?

    Hugs from Germany

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