We arrived home in the United States yesterday. It was a bit of culture shock to come back to the way of life here. The crowds in the airport. The built up cities. The traffic back on the right side of the road. The lack of Swahili in the background. Even though I did not understand most of it…it was like music to me. It is good to be home but I know that Tanzania will always be a part of me.
As some of you know I came back to some challenges that I have to face. When I got to Wash DC I felt weak and vulnerable. I had to face things here in America that I could not take care of from so far away. I had a moment when I no longer felt like a warrior. I was sad. I cried. But those companions who traveled so far away with me, on an adventure for which I went on without really having any idea of what it would be like, reminded me that I am a warrior. Asante sana rafiki. Thank you friends. Thank you for being as welcoming and giving as those Tanzanians who said “karibu” to me over and over again. I believe that my sadness was deeply rooted in the fact that I was no longer able to enjoy the presence of that beautiful land and its people. Reality can be harsh but we must face it. I will continue to learn from standing (especially in my peaceful radiant warrior pose), learning and living. Living in this moment, this time, this reality. I am so blessed. Bwana asifewe. Praise the Lord.
I am a warrior because:
I sat in a window seat on our flight from Mount Kilimanjaro and looked out the window as we ascended into the sky – without any anxiety! woo hoo!
I stood in silence about 30 feet from an elephant who could have charged our jeep (and picked it up and thrown it which Efram told me AFTER the incident). I recall our pastor saying “it’s been nice knowing you” and I laughed in that moment of uncertainty.
I let go of my American facade of reserve and detachment and I hugged and danced and sang with my brothers and sisters of Tanzania. I held the hands of little ones and my heart melted. I left true love.
I tried foods that I had never had before – okay I have to confess I did not eat when we went to the Massai village – I pushed my food around on my plate – something I have learned from some American kids I know.
I got dirty … took cold showers…slept in misquito nets..rode in a small bus that came close to the edge of the road climbing mountains…slept in a platform tent in a wildlife park, okay I was white knuckled at first in the bus but I learned that I am not in control. I trusted our beloved drivers and pilots to take me and bring me safely home each day.
I trust more. My faith is stronger. I believe more deeply. I am willing to let go more. And when this happens friends…our hearts become bigger and more open and we are happy. I am so happy. Annoyance and hardships and really scary stuff will get in our ways but be strong and walk through the fire…because when you come out the other side it is glorious.
I will continue to post blogs as I look through my pictures and journal and can share more of this journey with you. So stay tuned! I have some research to do on some things I learned about there…I have two brilliant research assistants who I can ask to help. I will figure out how to get the pictures that tell my story on to this site – it was a bit of a challenge on the IPhone. I have thoughts of writing a short story or book.
Yes – I am glad to be home. Yes -I want to go back to Tanzania one day. I also want to see other parts of our world so I can enrich my story. One chapter at a time.
Love to all of you – stay with me…hold my hand as we live our days. God bless!
p.s. I miss Violet.