Sunday, November 16, 2008

Being Home

It's Sunday afternoon. Jori is in bed. Darin and Tyson are off watching the Vikings game at Monelli's. Jori and I may join them later for some dessert, but right now I am content being inside where it is (relatively) warm. There is snow on the ground. Yes, snow. Having just spent 10 weeks in 80+ degree temps, this is not really sitting too well with me.

We were so glad to be back at our church, Evergreen Ministries, today. We really missed the fellowship and teaching while we were gone. We were excited to see lots of people that we really missed while we were gone. Tyson and Jori jumped right back into their Wonder Years and Little Lambs programs. The only bummer is that I heard a lot of nursery volunteers have decided to back out, which is only a concern to me because I am the nursery director. Argh. Come on people. That will have to get dealt with at some point, but not today.

A few of the people that did know who we are and where we had been asked if we were glad to be back. That's kind of a loaded question in some ways. We are glad to be back with people that we know and good friends that mean so much to us. Tyson and Jori are excited to have their toys back and seem to be perfectly content being back in Michigan. It is just strange, while we were in Africa, they hardly ever mentioned anything from back home, and now that we are in Michigan, they hardly mention anything from Africa. It is sad to me that they already seem to be forgetting so much of what we did and so many of the people that we met. I know it's normal. Their kids, they live in the here and now. And really, if they were asking for things and people from Africa or were really sad about being back in Michigan, that would be really tough to deal with. It's great that they are so resilient.

It's not quite as easy for Darin and I. We have really come to love the country of Africa. We love the people, we love the atmosphere and the pace of life. I know that our marriage was hugely blessed by the time we spent together in Africa. While we were gone, we often talked and dreamed about one day living in Africa. And you know what, it really wasn't such a scary thought. Other than our friends and family, I couldn't think of any reason not to go. Now we are back home. We're trying to get settled in, still adjusting to the time change, still putting away a few final things that we kind of haphazardly unpacked. People have asked if we're happy to be home, and I really don't know what to say. I am glad to see friends and talk to family by phone, but I really feel so out of place right now. People can ask questions about what we did over the last 10 weeks, and I can try to answer those questions, but I can't really put into words what we experienced.

I am overwhelmed at being home and seeing so much stuff. I mean, it's everywhere. And being in this huge house after spending time with people who were living in houses the size of one of our bedrooms is kind of unsettling for me. It would be so easy, I mean so very easy, to just forget about everything that we saw and the people that we met. I could choose not to think about people who are living in situations that I have cried over and I could just jump right back into my life here. That would be easy. I think it is going to be much harder to live here, remember what we experienced in Africa and make changes in our lives because of those experiences.

Today we sang a song that has the line "dancers who dance upon injustice". We listened to that song a lot in Africa, and even though I had heard it a lot before going to Africa, it was such a different experience hearing those words as we drove past rows and rows of tin shacks. What does it mean to "dance upon injustice"? I am not exactly sure, but I think it is not an easy dance to learn.

So I know this post is totally random and rambling, but those of you who really know me should be able to make some sense of it all. I just have so many mixed emotions right now. I am happy to be home, but yet I am sitting here crying because I feel like in order to get back into life here, I have to let go of the life we were living for the past 10 weeks. I just don't want to slide back into an apathetic life.

1 comment:

Lia Leenstra said...

All I have to say is Amen!! I know the feelings!!