Having moved around very little in my lifetime, I have only experienced homesickness twice (and it is a bad sickness) ~ once when Claude and I moved from Northern Virginia to Southern Pines, and now as I try to re-enter life in our very green and luxurious environment. Even the fading flowers of autumn are breathtaking. Still I am homesick for the barrenness of Dodoma, the dusty paths that we walked daily, and the sense of community among those who had virtually nothing. Jessie and I are trying to figure it out. When I told her that I missed Africa she asked me point blank what I missed. It took me awhile. “I miss the simplicity of life there,” I said, and we both put together vaguely our feelings of community, all of us working with a purpose or the same goal: to help God’s children. This is not to say we are special or have any claim to righteousness, just that it fed our souls. John Tampa’s sermon this past Sunday resonated with me ~ especially when I thought of the 4 little girls that had fallen in love with Jessie last year and watched them rush to her on that first day and embrace her as she in turn embraced them. “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

In many ways we are still in Africa ~ a foot in both world. Perhaps Africa gets in your blood and never leaves us. I went into Harken and Harkness the other day to have the battery in my watch replaced and Paul welcomed me home and said: “How was Africa?” and I started crying. I’ve not “lost it,” I am not delusional ~ I’ve just experienced Africa, and specifically Tanzania, the poorest country in the world. Lord have mercy.

It is clear to me that I am still pretty emotional about our experiences. Someone at Emmanuel asked me if it was WONDERFUL. The question took my breath away ~ “wonderful”, I thought? After thinking about it it occurred to me that it was filled with wonder. So I guess that makes it wonderful.