In 2 1/2 weeks I’ll be arriving in Zimbabwe, after staying the night in Dubai. The thought of this blows my mind on a daily basis.
I’ve started to get things ready – freezing meals for my mom, Sam, and Bella, buying adaptors, looking up all things Zimbabwe. I have my passport and am waiting on my visa. World Vision secured our plane tickets last week. We have a team “meeting” to get to know each other more. Yesterday I got my immunizations for the trip.
Each email I receive from our coordinator is like – mini Christmas in my inbox. I read and reread, wondering what God has planned for me on this unexpected trip.
When I lived in India 11 years ago (it doesn’t seem that long ago) I was 20. Newly married. Traveled over with a girlfriend (Sam was in the Marines overseas). Although initially it didn’t change much for me when I came home, except the resentment for a while of how much excess we all have and take for granted here, long term it changed everything. I still have dreams about going back, and little parts of their culture are part of our life. Each time I’ve sponsored a child, they’ve been from India.
Seeing the poverty and yet incredible faith (of any kind) in that country that I couldn’t fully grasp at the time made me long to go back, to do it over again. Culture shock hit me hard at that age – I remember looking out the window of our hotel in Chennai and saying, “This looks like a movie, I can’t believe it’s real.”
I’ve tried to prepare a bit more this time. I’ve read several books on the culture, looked up videos to see what Zimbabwe terrain is like, studied a few words in their native language (most speak English). Nothing is going to fully prepare me for the adjustment – even going back to Colorado to visit family takes me a couple of days to get used to. What I’m praying for is a mind that clears quickly – one that can be fully engaged and present in order to give my best to our team and the people opening their lives to us.
I can’t wait to tell you all more about it as we know more details. Thank you for sharing in these happy moments with me just as fully as the harder ones.