I’m sitting in a hotel in Thika, Kenya, about 45 minutes or so outside of Nairobi.  It’s nice and pleasant.  I even have an extra cot in the room (I have a real bed, not sure why this is in here, they said they don’t use it so it must just be the best place to store it?).  So, it’s the extra cot where I find myself at 9 tonight.  I’ve got my iPod on listening to Brad Paisley (thanks fam!) and I’m trying to get some things on paper and thought I’d try to catch up on some blogging.  I turned to the front of my diary (here a planner is the big giant calendar you put on your desk and a diary is what you carry around to keep your dates straight) where I thought I had a list of things I wanted to blog about stored.  It is there but so is the fourth note I’ve found from Lady Laura of Sealand. 

           

            “God Bless!  I missed you, can’t wait to have you Stateside!  Laura”

 

I’ve found them tucked under the water filter, in my Drama Queen make-up bag and under my pillow.  Laura came to visit me and I dropped her at the airport last night.  We were sure we’d cry, almost did before we left for the airport.  However it was so crowded at the airport we were overwhelmed and rushed to move the car so away we went blowing kisses and laughing.  On my way from the airport around this time last night, we saw zebras and even a wildebeest!  It was awesome!

 

Since leaving Laura last night, I’ve been on the verge of tears about constantly.  Anything, everything, you name it and I want to cry.  Brad on my iPod is about to make me cry, for Pete’s sake!

 

I had no idea it was going to be like this.  Leaving Kenya that is.  I have learned more than I’d ever thought in the past two years.  I have made amazing friends and it’s been hard, really hard sometimes.  But sometimes, like when I’m sitting on the couch with Eunice doing my hair or when we are teaching Josephine, Simon and Barna how to dye Easter eggs or when I’m singing praise songs with ‘my’ staff during Monday morning devotions or when I’m in a community telling them how much they’ve taught me and how I will never forget them as they are the ones that gave me my first African name, Atyang . . . .

 

Yup.  I’m now sitting here in Thika, listening to Brad.  And yup.  I’m crying.  Like a baby. 

 

A part of me really just wants to go home.  I want to skip the next three weeks and just be home.  I don’t want to pack (although, Mom, you’d be proud, I’ve already started and made significant progress!) and watch my furniture dwindle from my apt.  I don’t want to ‘soak it all up.’  I don’t want to hear one more person tell me that I can’t leave and need to stay forever.  I don’t want to say goodbye.  I don’t want to think about coming back or never coming back.  I don’t want to be sitting on this cot, using up the TP to wipe my eyes and blow my nose. 

 

This sucks. 

 

And yet, I really do know that things could be worse.  I have seen hunger.  I have seen drought.  I have seen homelessness.  I have seen HIV and AIDS.  I have seen orphans.  THAT sucks. 

 

Why I am not there I have no idea.  It doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I embrace what I have, who I am and where God takes me next.  What matters is what I do with the past two years.  What matters is loving, really loving people and caring for them where they are without being mean and crabby and trying to change them.  What matters is allowing people to do the same for me. 

 

I wanted to really look at where I was emotionally.  I thought I’d do that in my private journal (my third since starting this journey) but here it is all spilled out.  I am sure there is more. More words, more tears, more sighs, more, more, more. 

 

And I thank God for that.

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