Homesick for What?

Yeah kid, that's the continent of Africa.

Yup, I lived there for seven years.

Oh ha! Did I tell you that I was so sick on my ninth birthday? I bet you I didn't. Cause it was awful.

My first year there was pretty crummy too. I didn't know how to act or why I looked a little different.

I love the people there.

I love how they do life with me.

I miss it there, the people, my school and friends, my dog, the beaches, my mission team...

Yeah, I remember that smell too! Haven't been able to duplicate it since I've been in the States...

Using money is so easy there! No decimal points needed...

Lately, I've been a little homesick for a little bit of everything. Even the bad things too. Like "the smell" I was referring to is the smell of sewage. Everywhere. You're probably sitting in your chair absolutely stunned. Why would I miss that right? Gee, I don't know. Maybe because it reminds me of home. But then again no where is really home for me. At least not on this planet. Being a missionary kid has it pros and cons. I've been reminded of that a lot lately.

Recently, we were visiting one of our supporting churches and I was in a conversation with someone about the land I call home and the people I call family. They just looked at me for a moment before saying, "Do you know how insanely blessed you are? You've seen more in those seven years than any kid in this room could every dream of..."

"Yeah, I know. And I feel blessed that God called my parents so long ago, and I'm thankful that I can call this lifestyle my own."

I truly do feel that way about it. Blessed. But I'm human too. It's not always a breeze. You see, there's this thing called "a furlough". I'm fairly convinced that it's secretly the island of perpetual tickling in disguise. (If you've seen VeggieTales' Esther, help me out.) Furloughs, from my perspective, are just one of those thorns in the side. They aren't all 100% awful. Like this week I'm going to visit my aunt and uncle in New York -- Really excited about that! But there are parts of those here and there years in the States that can be very difficult.

Like feeling uprooted. Boy, it was harder for me this time than last time. I felt like I was a young seedling and WHOOSH! There went life as I knew it. It hurt.

Sure there are people here in America that I really love. But that's about all that's keeping me here. Honestly, culture shock was a biggie too. Something about being away from sharing meals around the common bowl, and praying African style, and talking over each other in a class meeting cause the weekend was just too long and you missed everyone -- feels wrong.

I'm really looking forward to going back "home". I get to cuddle my dog again. I get to be with my class family again. I get to smell that "smell' again. I get to sweat again. Oh there are so many things about that place that I love!

Seriously though, you should visit. You'd love it. Maybe I am biased. But that's okay with me. I'm convinced that living over there is like tasting a little bit of Heaven.