This just in:
It’s been a month from yesterday that I’ve been home from Africa.
In Africa, they use the word “now” in three different contexts
The word “now” means sometime between now and eternity.
“Just now” means sometime between now and the end of the day.
“Now now” means this moment.
I have had a few different homes this summer, and of course I made my own context of words to go along with this “now now” triplet.
“Home” to me was either a campsite called Morester in South Africa where I lived in a building named Naomi with about 60 other girls – or it was a tent in Zambia outside of My Father’s House Orphanage where I slept with my 7 SMAG girls.
“Almost home” would have been Garden Valley, Texas where MA training took up a few days less than a week before we left, and debriefing took up 3 long days when we came back. GV was familiar and it was AMERICAN.
“Home home” is Monson, MA, my bed, my house in the middle of the woods, my parents, Devon, my church, my friends, Springfield College. Home home is what I missed painfully while I was gone. Home home never changes. Home home is my constant.
I’ve been home for a month and I still come to a moment of amazement and gratitude when ever I realize that I have a bed. Not just a bed, but I have a shower, a toilet and a sink about 10 feet from my bed. I can take as long of a shower as I want (not just 3 minutes while timing 2 others), I can control the temperature and I don’t have to walk far OR carry the water for it. Can’t believe how fortunate I am. I can get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night without waking up 2 other people (or, I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night because one of my girls needs to go to the bathroom). Better yet, my toilet FLUSHES! I don’t have to do my business in a hole with a toilet seat on top of it! I can wash my hands each time I use the bathroom and I can even drink the water that comes out of the faucet!
I know I am making Africa sound like a pit of a place, which some might think it is, but the differences is what makes it that much more indescribable. The simplicity of the people who live in Zambia is nothing like Americans who even think they are simple. Every time I think of them it teaches me that I don’t need any of the things I have. I learned much more form the people there than I could ever teach them. The experience was one that I would go back to in an instant. I love my home home, but I love my home away from home too.
My heart will always be in Afrika.