Bittersweet. That word pretty much sums up my thoughts about going home. As my semester here begins to come to an end my heart is filled with this confusing mix of sadness and excitement.
I am going to miss all the amazing people that I have grown to love, but I am so excited to see all of the ones I left behind.
I am going to miss our little GoED family, but I am excited to be home with my family for Christmas.
I am going to miss eating mandazi (sweet, fried bread), but I am excited to eat donettes and voodoo donuts.
I am going to miss drinking orange fantas everyday, but I am excited to finally have some Dr. Pepper again.
I am going to miss playing football with the local kids, but I am excited for intramural indoor soccer.
I am going to miss having class on our front porch, but…..well, let’s face it, I’m not excited to be in a normal classroom again.
I am going to miss being able to buy a pineapple anytime of day for only like 80 cents, but I am excited to eat froyo anytime I want.
I am going to miss baking in the kitchen with Aidah, but I am excited to never have to worry about running out of chocolate chips.
I am going to miss the wonderful warm weather, but I am excited to go snowboarding.
I am going to miss being able to sit out on the porch at night in shorts and a t-shirt, but I am excited to live a life without ruthless mosquitoes.
I am going to miss being able to barter over any price, but I am excited to not have to worry about getting ripped off everywhere I go.
I am going to miss being able to take public transportation for only like 25 cents, but I am excited to have my own car again.
I am going to miss Aidah’s excellent food, but I am excited for unlimited ice cream at the bon.
I am going to miss walking everywhere, but I am excited to be able to go out in public without feeling like Justin Bieber in a crowd of teenage girls.
I am going to miss the amazing ways that God is working in my heart and the changes that are occurring, but I am excited to see what more He has to teach me at home.
Part of me absolutely cannot wait to get off the plane at 8:52 on Saturday and see the people I love, but another part of me absolutely does not want to get on the plane at 4:00 on Friday and leave the people I love.
I’m scared of that horrible feeling that is going to come into my gut as soon as I step on the plane and leave Rwanda. The same feeling that is going to double in size when I step on the plane in Washington D.C. and say goodbye to the other students. I’m scared because I know it’s coming, but I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t know how to prepare myself for that heartbreak.
I’m comforted because I know that I will be overwhelmed with joy to see my friends again. To see my family. To bring the changes that have happened within me back home to share with others. To be a part of my George Fox community again. I’m comforted because I know that God is always with me, regardless of what country I am in.
Along with the fear comes the love. Along with the sadness comes excitement.
Someone at our Owning Poverty session said, “Wherever you are you have to believe that you are exactly where God wants you to be. That there is no better place for you to be at that moment.”
It’s a constant battle between those things that are bitter and those things that are sweet. It’s an annoying feeling. Nobody ever wishes for it. It’s not like you would sit around and think, “Man, I hope today is a really bittersweet day.” But, that’s life. I know that I just need to focus on the positives and appreciate the experiences I have had, live in the present and enjoy each day as it comes. To know that God has placed me exactly where I am because that is exactly where He wants me to be. For today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it (In the Bible somewhere).