I leave South Africa on Sunday. And while I’m grappling with trying to understand how it’s the end of August already, I’m having an even harder time feeling ready to go home. My heart does not feel prepared to start packing, to sit on an plane for hours on end, or to have my feet back on US soil. She’s too tied here, too happy here, too captivated by all that God is doing here.
Yes, I could enter the state of blissful denial, but I’ve learned that this approach never turns out as well as I hope. As I start telling my heart she is leaving soon, I have no idea how to begin processing everything. How do I take all that I have seen, all that I have experienced, all that I have learned and wrap it up in a pretty box with a colorful bow? How do I condense these past two months into a short ‘elevator speech’ without losing the gentle beauty of Africa?
The other day, my wonderful roommate Jace encouraged me to pick out one or two ‘Kodak Moments’ from my time here to share with people. That way I have a few stories prepared so I am not at a loss for words when asked what I did this summer. She said this would help in my processing as well.
I’ve started to think of a few ‘Kodak Moments’ that I could share with everyone back home. I want to paint the picture exactly as I remember it: all the sounds, sights, feelings, smells. I want to be able to bring you all into each of the pictures I paint for you. I want the magical power Mary Poppins has when she transports Jane and Michael from the rainy streets of London into the fantasy chalk drawings*- making those pictures reality. Unfortunately, all I have are memories and word-pictures.
I’ve started scanning my memory to choose two perfect ‘Kodak Moments’ but it’s so hard! How do I choose a LaunchPad memory over a memory of Lilian? Or a time I loved teaching over a time I loved getting to know the staff? How do I choose to tell about African church instead of telling about Hope House? How do I choose between the Leadership Summit Impact Day over the LaunchPad Assemblies? They all hold such a dear place in my heart. I know I could give an overview of everything but that seems so…shallow.
So, I sit here going through my mental photo album of these past two months wondering which stories will get shared and which will remain just for me.
*No sound in the video…not sure why but you get the idea 🙂 .