I wrote this on the way home, just catching up and thought I would post it now so I can remember what was on my mind those last few days in Africa.
What have I learned here? What will I do with everything I've seen and felt? I'm not sure. I haven't begun to sift through my emotions much less the photos and video I took in the last 10 days. It will take me some time, but I do know that this trip has had a profound impact on my life.
There were so many things I didn't get a chance to write about,
- how wonderful Nardi from our guest home is (she made smoothies and gluten-free breakfasts)
- how she accepted a bouquet of flowers as if each petal was made of gold
- the sound of morning prayers waking us each morning at 4 or 5 AM, how loud they were!
- how passionate the people are here and how welcoming and how deeply religious
- the way the views from the roadside were different from moment to moment
- about when the power went out and we used flashlights to eat by
- Teff the superfood and how delightful it has been to eat in away that makes my body feel great!
- being affected by the powerful stories of mothers who went from not being able to feed their children to feeling a sense of worth and pride in their jobs
- children who are well-fed but still starved for attention, the need for more help
- the silly jokes and laughing that kept us upbeat in the midst of seeing so much darkness
- how sick I got on the last day, so sick I could barely hold myself together
- how neat it was to learn to say Amesayganalu and Sime Mano? (Thank you and What's your name? in Amharic) and Denje and Befano (good and beautiful in Sidamo)
- the delightful worship and praying together on the rooftop with two girls from Texas who liked me as much as I liked them, and whose love for God made me want to know Him better
- the construction process going on everywhere using long acacia wood beams, and the variety of building structures made from wood and grass and mud
- the barbed wire on every homes' fence in the city, and the outstretched hand of every person without a home and without a protective fence
- the love we felt for a man begging at our window needing to escape his circumstances so badly that he huffed glue while he was speaking with us
- the disparity between those who have and those who do not
- watching a whole busload of people stop for bathroom break in the bush
- holding a scarf as a curtain around each girl in our van who needed to do the sam
- the beauty of the Blue Nile River Gorge, the peacefulness in that mountainous place
- so many more things that are already fading