I started my preparations for Africa by visiting my Alma Mater for a day. In May, when I packed up and left Salisbury, I was so ready to be gone. I had stopped attending the school activities I had once been heavily involved in, I rarely went to parties with friends, and even my work was a struggle by the middle of senior year. For so many emotional reasons, I was ready to be far gone from the Eastern Shore of Maryland...So I thought. Returning to Salisbury a few weeks ago reminded me that at one point, there was a reason I stayed in Salisbury for school rather than transfer. Former professors were eager to catch up, old friends were excited to spend time with me, and even the groups I had left in the dust welcomed me with open arms for the night. It was wonderful to feel the love and support as I prepared to say goodbye for a few years and to know that I will always have a home in the Seagull nest and people routing for me even after the past year.
Yesterday was my Godspeed service at church. It brought tears to my eyes to see my family sitting around me. I had 10 people laying their hands on me in prayer as my time grew closer. People who have been in my life since I was baby, and people who only recently became a pillar of support for me. But either way, it was family holding me up. And a whole church backing me and sending me off with the hand of God by my side.
Last night, I was getting ready for bed and I realized that I just hugged my best friend and my big brother for the last time for a while. I think during this journey, as excited as I am, it is hardest to leave my brothers and my best friend. Those guys have always been around for everything and every smile, tear, hug, and laugh from each of them has been pivotal in my life. Separation from them will be such a struggle. But I know they are always there, and with that, I may have a tear in my eye but certainly also a smile on my face as I board the plane tomorrow and head off on this adventure.
So the time has come for me to actually pack and actually say "see you later" and actually face the fact that within the next 48 hours my home will be in Mozambique, Africa with a bunch of strangers who share the same mission as me (and thus can't be all that bad!) who will quickly become a new family. But with all of that said, much like the Girl Scout song, I will make new friends but keep the old. And it makes all the difference in the world to know I have such a big team at home eager for my stories and excited that I am fulfilling my greatest dream.
Thank you all.
And to each of you, know I love you so much.
|My beautiful Sisters-in-Christ supporting my every step|