I have been crying most days about…. everything….. really I am not so choosy; about leaving, about going, about my family being here with me, pretty much everything about living in this space right now.  I am so grateful for these experiences and meeting these people that I just want the whole world to know them, to care about their lives, and love them as much as I have come to love them.  We ended a busy day going to our favorite park for food with my best friend here and her 6 kids.  It was the first time they had ever been and we had a blast despite a bit of rain. For 4 years we have seen each other almost everyday and spent countless hours of conversations, tears, laughs, outings, and even being together for the birth of her last baby almost a year ago. I love her watoto and as they all got out of the car and we said goodbye for tonight I put my head on the steering wheel and cried. Saying goodbye is so difficult but I was reminded today it is because our time here has been so sweet.  
foro, anni with rafiki 047.jpgedit
Annikah told me today that we can all go to America but she will stay and she quickly got many offers of folks to she can live with.  She was weighing her options but when I mentioned Bibis and McDonalds and she was back on board with the whole ‘go to America with my family’ thing. But with friends like these who can blame a girl for wanting to stay?
foro, anni with rafiki 024.jpgedit
So with a week left 3 parties has turned into 5 gatherings or shindigs of sorts but amazing for us we live in a communal culture and everyone is helping out passing out invites, gathering mats, cooking foods, and going to the market.  Folks have been stopping by all day everyday and even waiting for us if we run out to do errands.  It has been overwhelming and exhausting but also fills my heart to know that not only will we miss this place and the people that have forever changed my life but they will miss us too.

Yesterday, I decided I was so stressed and overwhelmed and I needed to go for a run, not 5 minutes in I came upon a huge crowd in the street and a few skuli kids telling me what happened; a man on a piki piki hit a car and his head was busted open and bleeding.  The man that was injured was the older brother of our neighbor so I was instructed to run home and bring the car.  I was glad to help but it was stressful to be in the midst of an accident again thus I decided from now on I will do Taebo in the house 🙂 That is if I can hide well enough. Two nights ago Jason ran out to visit a friend and neighbor came inside to talk to me and cry that I was leaving and me being in the shower at that particular moment did not matter at all! Yep, she came right on in.  So I have now realized and come to accept that I will not have any “rest” or reflection time that my Mzungu self is craving until we arrive stateside and while that is ok I really need prayers to sustain me through these last days.  I woke up early this morning and read the Word.  That helped as it always does.  After Jesus washed his disciples feet and said “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.  I tell you the truth slaves are not greater than the master.  Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.  Now that you know these things God will bless you for doing them.” John 13:15-17

 He has done so much for me and I AM blessed, in fact spilling over with friends and family that love me both near and far.  He is my example and I fail miserably most days but I will do to others even if it means sacrifice (and I think it pretty much always does).  But with sacrifice comes rich rewards….
luti visit 004.jpgedit
and I get to hug kids and sit with friends talking about all that has happened since we met and see these beautiful faces and kiss those chubby cheeks and remember that God was so good to provide the care in a time of need.  Saying goodbye is wrecking me but it is also confirmation that our time here was well spent.  These last years of my life have been richer because I have learned to rely more of God than on myself and I have learned to love people in new ways, in ways that require me to draw on Jesus.  I am still a hot mess most days but God is working in me and through me and for that I am bursting with blessing.

So we have 6 days left on this island and there is party planning, selling stuff, realizing just how much junk one family can collect over a few years, and packing.  I heard talk today of all the Skuli kids wearing their uniforms and going to the airport to say goodbye but we are hoping to say final goodbyes on Sunday night and Monday morning and actually shower and change before boarding our flight.  We realize of course we may have an audience for these tasks but that is “the plan”  ( I know, I should know better by now but alas we try).  I will remember that with each unexpected ‘hoodi‘ comes a life that I have been privileged to know, and I pray, reflect the love of God to.  I am remembering that I will soon miss these visits, these faces, this language, this place, and this rich culture.  The memories we are making and the goodbyes we are saying this week are precious and I will breath it all in……

  1. Anonymous says:

    So sorry that coming home is so painful for you, honey. But as you grew, and shared a new culture and made new friends, we who were left here 4 years ago felt pain in your absence. We became more stagnant, because we were without your love and joy of life amoungst us. We missed watching the daily antics of Anni and Evy as they grew into the people they are. So as you share tears of sadness there, you will be welcomed with tears of joy and relief that once again we get to share the strong energy that makes you such a remarkable woman in our midst. Your spirit is so strong, that all who have come in contact with it are blessed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Bibi!!!! “Your spirit is so strong, that all who have come in contact with it are blessed.” Yay Roxanne, thanks for sharing all the complexities of this part of the journey. PS: come to LA!