Saturday, April 14, 2012

2 Years

This past week marked 2 years of me living in Botswana. It also was the 2 month mark until I get to go home. It's crazy to think I have been gone that long and only have such a short amount of time left here! There have been plenty of times I thought the 2 year mark would never come, and now it has come and passed. 

When I was an undergrad at Miami University, I took a summer trip to China for a month. That was the first time I had been out of country and overseas. It was a great trip with many memories, but I specifically remember meeting some other people in the program who had been there for 1 or 2 years. After meeting them I remember thinking to myself there was no way in hell I would ever be able to live and work/serve away from my friends and family in a foreign country for 1 or even 2 years like those people were doing. And now I have done just that.

As my time here dwindles I have noticed that lately I have been a little disengaged with what I am doing here. I am starting to make plans back at home and pack my things here. I'm finding it hard to stay motivated with the few projects I have left. Many of my projects are coming to an end and even though new opportunities pop up I have to kindly turn them down due to lack of time. I still have 7.5 weeks here, so there are still some things that can and need to be done before I leave. Recently I have started to realize the importance of properly saying goodbye to the people here that have supported me (big and small) throughout my service. I have spent 2 years of my life here in Machaneng. Throughout that time I have formed a number of different relationships. 2 years isn't something to look at lightly, it's a nice chunk of my life. I hope I do a proper job of saying goodbye to all of my friendships and acquaintances I've made here. I don't want to forget someone and then on the plane or 6 months down the road feel guilty about it. It's weird that I will no longer call this place home.

In the end these past two years have been a lot of growth and learning in myself. One of the biggest things I think I have learned about myself over this time is my ability to press on. No matter what came in my path throughout my service I picked myself up and kept on this journey. I never gave up and now I am almost finished. The end is approaching and I look back at all I have done, even when things looked bleak, and I feel very accomplished and proud. 

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Walls of Encouragement and Love

Since I have been gone a lot on the weekends the past few months, my house has become very dirty. I decided to tackle some of the massive amount of cleaning it needs this weekend. As I was straightening and cleaning up my bedroom, I came across some of the letters people have written me that had fallen off the wall. When I first came to site I started a wall of encouragement by hanging up every letter and card I received. Over the past two years this wall has spread into three walls! I decided to not hang the fallen letters back up, since I will only have to take them back down again in the next month or so. As I was piling them I found myself reading back through the letters and cards. After reading them and reflecting I wanted to say THANK YOU!!!!! Thank you to anyone who took the time to write me and send me a care package over the past 2 years. Thank you for the kind words of love and support. You have helped me to get through the rough times of service and remember why I am here. You have helped me to stay strong and be persistent when the easy thing would have been to give up and go home. These walls have been a physical sign and reminder of all the people back home who have been thinking of me, praying for me, and showed an extra bit of love and support through my service. I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH! I am soo grateful to have each and every one of you in my life and I can't wait to see you all soon :)

walls of encouragement
some art work sent to me by some of my cousins
the letters and cards that fell off the wall. feeling the love <3
"There comes that mysterious meeting in life when someone acknowledges who we are and what we can be, igniting the circuits of our highest potential." -Rusty Berkus