When I was told to write a blog post about the Big Hope 2 Conference I decided to wait longer. Why? Because I thought maybe there is going to be something very huge that is going to change my experience and that I will never forget — something similar to meeting the President of your country, your favorite singer or even signing a contract. You know THAT FEELING! The days went by so fast and as I am sitting here I realise that the things that touched me and changed the way I see things were the little things.
My first experience was with an incredible woman named Angela Samata. She is a BAFTA Award winner and her story is so life-changing. After she shared her story, I decided to linger and eventually I had the chance to speak to her. We instantly connected. After exchanging our contacts, I was hopeful that she would keep her promise of staying in touch with me. When I was about to leave and talking with my friend outside of the ‘VIP’ place for guests, she decided to come out and interrupt my conversation with a friend to invite us to her table. It might be nothing to some, but I was touched. In that very moment I saw humility, love and honesty. It’s only been a few days but she emailed me already. She kept her word and I like it; but I’m also here wondering: how can a person who has been through so much have such a beautiful and warm heart?
Another experience was when everyone left me at Liverpool Hope University alone. Somehow that day I did not feel too well, and everyone was in the mood to go downtown. So after taking a nap, everybody had disappeared. Talk about being hurt? Honey, that was betrayal at the highest level. LOL! So I decided to have fun on my own. Guess what? I read a book. Huh! While I was reading, one of the speakers from our discussion forums decided to come speak to me. In my head, everything was spinning. Why would he talk to me? To my surprise he just wanted to know about Rwanda. We had a conversation and I knew it was an opportunity to get connections. It is not every day that you get the chance to speak to a multi-millionaire from Nigeria. We exchanged contacts and he was very humble the entire time. People are actually not who we think they are. There is always a person beneath the position and the power. Everyone is human and no man is more important than the other. He showed me that.
Lastly, one of the greatest highlights has been getting to know Hope College students. It’s crazy how just a change in an environment can make people come closer and make people know one another better. I discovered personalities, laughs, smiles, cries, vulnerabilities, and the list goes on. That was my favorite part. And it’s all these little things to me that mattered on this trip. I felt like for once I have people I know and am safe with away from home. Shout out to all of them!
By Brenda Indekwe