The impact Africa has made on me can only be described as gratefulness. I am grateful for the people I was able to nurse. I am grateful for the worldwide friendships I have made. I am grateful for the new perspective that I have.
It has been over a month since my return back 'home.' This is a word that has a new definition for me. Landing in Detroit (not my destination), because of tornadoes in Chicago, after my 20ish hour flight from Pointe Noire made me feel more at home than I could have imagined. Being back in the United States was very exciting, sad, frightening and awe inspiring all at once. I was glad to finally no longer be on a plane for one! I was so sad to leave my new life, friends and part of my heart in Africa. But was filled with anticipation of what this new chapter will bring all at once as I stepped off the plane and into my families arms.
It has been a busy month filled with family, friends, holidays, travel, and transition.
When I returned, I spent a week in Beaver, Pennsylvania with my sister, brother in law and niece. Then traveled south to my old stomping ground to see my Tennessee family for a night. Then my westward travel started with an overnight stop with friends in Kansas City and finally my destination in Colorado. My original plan to take a long road trip was changed when my family learned of some health concerns for my father. Because of this, I got back to Longmont as soon as I could. I have spent the last month helping him out, he is doing well. Now I have many places I long to spend more time and look forward to visiting as life allows.
I miss my 6 berth world filled with friends at every turn, food served with no work, and babies to snuggle on demand. I miss the ocean breeze (not the port!). I miss the immersion in a Christ centered community. I miss all the people that squeezed into every corner of my heart that are now scattered across the globe.
I am reminded of the challenges of transition as I move back home and find my new place. I am searching for a job that will bring me joy. I am spending meaningful time with family and friends. I am trying to be present in the midst of the uncertainty and openness of my future. This is probably the first time in my life that I have no idea where I will be in the next 6 months. Of course I have a general idea, somewhere in Colorado nursing. But this is the first time in my life that all is on the line. It is very exciting. Also, scary. I am embracing it though. Soon, I will be able to fill in my blank canvas of a future. As my life has been so far, I trust that all will be as it should.
Thank you for reading throughout my journey. Thanks for your prayers. And, thank you for your patience of the tardiness of this post.
Weird/fun things about coming home: hearing English all around me, how beautiful the Chicago airport bathroom floor is (sparkly stones, vivid colors and so clean!), being able to get Greek yogurt in the airport, having to plan and execute my own meals, easy access to nature and the outdoors, and so many men (6 girls for every guy on the AFM :)
and, my University picked me to feature on their blog, a huge honor! See it here.