I cannot believe that I fly out tonight. It’s impossible to think that 4 1/2 months have come and gone and my time here is up. I’m getting all emotional and teary eyed just writing this post because my heart is simply not ready to leave this beautiful place. Please don’t misunderstand. I am SO intensely excited to get home and spend Christmas with my family and my friends and to sleep in my own bed and eat good food and take hot showers; but I guess it is true when they say that a heart will always stay one day too long. Carly, Maggie, and I were talking the other night that it is so silly that we are so sad to leave, when literally a week ago we were all so homesick and ready to be home that we thought we would have to change our flights to get home earlier. Now, if I thought my mom wouldn’t totally freak out, I would be ready to change my flight to stay another week.
I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to spend only a short time here in Ghana and to meet some of the most beautiful, joy-filled people on the face of this great earth. My only wish is that I could bring every person that I care about back to Africa with me to show them what life is all about. It’s not about things and possessions, it’s about God’s love for us and our love for others. It’s about living in community with people and spending time together. It’s about living simply and humbly. It’s about celebrating the life we have been given, and living for now, in this very moment. I know this is a lesson that we all grow up learning, but I feel like since coming to Africa, these words have taken root in me and are growing and flourishing to take on new meaning in my life.
I pray that when I return home people can look at me and recognize change. Life here has just been so simple and easy and I want to return home and continue to live simply, and continue to allow myself time to just BE. I want others to see in me the joyfulness that I have seen in the Ghanaian people. I want others to see that I love people with all my heart and no reservations. I want to give myself fully, not only a part, to the Lord to make of me what He wants me to be.
I want so badly to go back through this blog and erase any bad posts or negative comments I ever made about Ghana, but I guess that would mean that I wasn’t being totally real with myself. I just want everyone to know how incredibly wonderful it is here and know that though sometimes it gets hard living in Africa, the good times make up double time for the bad.
I wrote in my very first blog entry that I thought this would be the most life-changing adventure of my short 19 years, and it has not let me down one bit. 3 African countries, many stomach viruses, many many nights with no electricity, no running water, and no indoor plumbing,.. the list continues. It has definitely been an adventure and it will be extremely hard to top. I also said in my first post that there was a possibility that I would wither away to nothing.. too bad that didn’t happen. Actually the opposite happened, but hey, what are you gonna do? They say that if you leave Africa without gaining weight then you did not fully enjoy and immerse yourself in the African culture. Well, I guess I immersed myself double time. I also said in that post that I may or may not return as a hippie.. I guess I’ll let you guys be the judge of that..
My heart is just overflowing with all that I have learned since being here and I just hope that I return refreshed and renewed and ready to take on whatever God has in store for me. I cannot thank all of you enough for the continued prayers and thoughts and emails and comments and packages and letters that I received. I have so many amazing people pouring into my life and I am a better person for knowing each of you. I love you all from African to America and back again. I pray that I can be as much of a blessing in each of your lives as you have been in mine.
So, I guess this is it. I know you are all deeply distraught about not being able to read all my thoughts and feelings anymore on my blog anymore (haha, or not). And I really had planned on being better about blogging, but you know.. it’s Africa. However, if you are interested about my thoughts and feelings still, I will be home on Wednesday the 17th and would love to get coffee or lunch or something. I just want to see people and catch up and hear about everyone’s lives.
Okay, that’s all. Farewell blog, until the next trip abroad.