Sunday, August 23, 2009

We're Back!

We made it back. I am so glad to be home. I am so sad to be home.

Initially I walked in and felt like I didn't recognize it but it quickly felt comfortable and relaxing. John's mom had bought us a few groceries and made us a dinner but we all agreed we really wanted a pizza instead. We will have the dinner for lunch today instead. I had 108 emails (mostly facebook stuff and ads I could delete). I didn't know what to do. It was the middle of the night in Kenya and I was feeling a little delirious but wanted to stay up until at least 9pm to start transitioning, plus Isabelle had napped in the plane and was wide awake.

I was asleep moments after getting in bed at 9 but was awake at 1am and couldn't get back to sleep. Even though it was only 4 hours my body knew it was 7 or 8am in Kenya. How does it know? I did stay in bed until almost 5 but now I will be forcing myself to stay awake all day today so I can sleep all night tonight. Then again maybe I should just follow Isabelle's lead in the jet lag transition and take a week but sleep whenever I want. The trouble is I have a meeting on Tuesday night that I need to be awake for so I would like to be mostly transitioned by then. Plus that is our anniversary (yes I have a Vestry meeting at church on our anniversary evening)so I would like to have some energy afterward to spend some time with John. Although we might have to have a lunch date instead of a dinner date.

A couple months before we left I read this by Edith Schaeffer from "the Tapestry"

"Morning brought cold sunshine to light the white ice and snow-covered islands with sparkling brilliance..The beauty...of the Finnish people (over the) next ten days, in sharing whatever there was to share, filled us with much emotion. Miss Anderson apologized for the fact that since the war, most Finns were eating only two meals a day. Breakfast consisted of porridge and milk, bread made with dark rye flour, a bit of cheese, a berry sauce something like jam but with very little sugar, and coffee. The next meal came at 4:00 pm, with boiled potatoes, a small amount of meat or sausage or fish, and some pudding and coffee. Vegetables were almost nonexistent and too expensive for ordinary people. Beets ground up in vinegar sauce were the only vegetable we had during the ten days. But the Finnish people had nothing different after ten days, as the stayed on in the same situation!"

The entire time we were in Kitui this passage kept going on in my mind. While the lack of water, the dry dusty landscape, the poverty, the pit toilets didn't seem "that bad" while I was there, I knew I would leave and return home where I would take a long hot shower, casually flush the toilet after every use and be able to get in bed without washing my feet each night. They are all still there. Still without water or plumbing, still covered in the dusty red clay.

This passage by Schaeffer didn't continue on in the book I have so I don't know what, if any, conclusion she drew about this story. It was in a book I have titled "The Charm of the Simple Things". (bought it at Angie's garage sale) It was put there to draw me to simplicity. Certainly that is something I have been thinking about alot this past year as well as while on this trip. How much less I really need and what is really important. Certainly that is something I experienced on this trip. Seeing people so content in their life, not that they didn't know they were poor, and sharing themselves with us. Appreciating what we had to offer and then giving us so much more.

I will be spending the next several weeks wading through all the lessons I learned and wondering how this experience will change me, change our whole family. This is just one of many lessons to consider as I process.

1 comment:

  1. Oh! I can't wait for the blog posts to follow! All of you have been so prominent in my heart while you were gone. I've even caught myself doing and going different places and thinking, "this isn't what Mel and John can do right now, and they people that they are meeting never can." I'm glad your home. Maybe we can get together this week or next.