There is a famous quote by someone (who I cannot for the life of me recall) that says “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
That’s a pretty significant amount of miles – quite a distance and it requires courage. But what about when you aren’t walking those miles? What about when you hit mile 1,000 somewhere in the sky above a continent you have come to love in just a short space of a year, while still being homesick for the one you left behind? What if approximately 8,388 miles later when you landed on solid ground in stifling heat and humidity you begin two months of figuring it all out. Where you suddenly began to go through all the fullness of joy and all the sorrow again? What if you decided to defer that sorrow and just focus on the joy?
My break was great. I visited both of my passport countries and was able to see and be with friends and family in both. My church family at NCBC let me stay in the mission house again. I went up to Townsend (tradition!) to help with CHARM and day camps and family fun nights. I also was able to go up to Canada to see my dear friend from Korea, now living in Bangkok, get married. After that wedding weekend, I flew back to TN via WA and was able to see my parents, my sister, the Culps and lots of friends including Stephanie there. Then I went to England to see more of my family and to spend some time with my dear friend Lindsay.
And now I am back, more miles flown, over more oceans and mountains, back in my room in Tanzania. I have been back now for less than 48 hours, and the paradox of life is in full force. I feel the sharp tug of all my ‘homes’ and the comfort of being back ‘home’ in my bed all at once. I decided to try to write about it, but it seems a bit unfair that I haven’t written in so long.
Tanzania has been so good for me. The people here are amazing and the community that I dropped into embraces all that stroll through this little town in the Southern Highlands. It welcomes and encourages those who have been here for 2 days or 2 months or 2 years or 12 years for that matter.
I will try to write more — about my summer — about my life in Tanzania — and about figure out the spaces and places in my heart and my mind — but it might be pole pole…