in less than a month, i will be back on home turf. 🙂 it is rather difficult to believe that 3 months is already nearly gone. i’ve learned so much – about africa. about life. about myself. about poverty and the strength of others. about the world. and i realize that this 3 months was just ‘dipping my toe’ in the water, so to speak. i’m not alone in having mixed emotions about the end of my volunteer period – i’ve spoken to many others that also find themselves not ready to re-enter the ‘normal’ life, whatever that may be. many of them extend their stays. others return later. others hope to return but can’t or don’t. and i’ve learned that africa gets in your blood. hmmm.
and so. if you are on fb with me, you know by now that i fall in the middle group – returning later. i will return to africa in september, and this time, I will stay for a year.
what i haven’t told you yet is WHAT i will be doing during that year. i will join the staff of foot 2 afrika as volunteer coordinator/house manager. you know about my work with the orphanages and women’s group – and by the way – a big thank you to those of you that have sent funds to help support the groups and/or ordered bags from the woman’s group! XOXO! i have also been assisting with some marketing help, such as revamping of the website (kudos to my awesome friend debbie daniels/internetworks who agreed to volunteer for this!) and new logo (ditto kudos to the fab cindy reed/cyn-pro graphics who made johnson very happy with the new look!). i also have been interacting with prospective volunteers, learning about visas and immigration, hostel management, etc.
when i return in september i will work more closely with volunteers and the community organizations, making sure everything is working smoothly, as well as other aspects of hostel management. i will be busy and i do have a lot to learn. but much of this is a perfect fit for me as well. i love this organization and the people behind it, and i’m thrilled to be part of the team. but also important to me – i will be able to still spend time with our project organizations – to love the children, feed and clothe them, help educate, plant a tree – whether that is through my own (albeit limited) personal funds, my time, or connecting my friends and family to these opportunities to make a difference. i think that this is what, when we cut through all the rhetoric, religiosity and rhyme, jesus calls us to do. love others through action. hands on. i don’t know that i’m doing any or all of the right things but all i can say is that it’s what i feel called to do right now. and i feel quite lucky to be in this place.
when i return home in june, i will have lots of fun partying with you, catching up, delivering purses, and shopping for the stuff i know i need to bring back. but then…there are some other things i must deal with. the financial sort. i have only a limited amount of savings remaining. i can live quite cheaply here as my room and board are my pay for the job. but i must reduce those darn expenses back home. it just seems that maintaining a car payment and storage payments (for the stuff i didn’t sell or give away) for a year, well, just doesn’t make a whole heck of a lot of sense. oh yeah. i’m gonna have to deal with the iphone too. i doooooo love my technology but honestly my cell phone bill is almost as much as a car payment. sigh. i confess….i am having a bit of heartburn thinking of letting my sweet little white inifiniti g35 go…..but *shrug* it’s just a car. and it’s just a cell phone. i keep telling myself that. maybe there’s an option! *wishing hopefully* i DO need a cell phone after all… 🙂
well, i have no idea of what comes after this next year of life in africa. but i know it’s where i should be. i am looking forward to it. i will use every bit of savings to live simply and cheaply here while following my heart. and i will continue to trust that all things will work out as they should if i do the right things. doing what god is leading me to do. i feel pretty darn lucky all things considered. 🙂
oh, i still always appreciate your support. you don’t know how much it means to me when you tell me you read my blog, that you look forward to it, that you are inspired by it, that you think i’m a good writer…actually whatever you tell me, i love it. 🙂 and i’m so very much looking forward to seeing you, and talking to you in person. three months will fly by quickly at home too, so we’ll all have to work hard to get our get togethers, lunches, parties, etc arranged. but i will find time.
and thanks also to those of you that supported me financially as i came here almost 3 months ago, and have sent money to help our children here. you have been blessed many times by those that received your gifts. and i continue to says blessings and thank for you.
all works of love are works of peace. wherever you are in the world, you can do your own works of love!