Saturday, July 5, 2014

Traveling Home

This year we left on a Friday night, which seemed really strange, but I was glad to get to spend the full day in Zambia.  We spent the morning at Camp Life.  We watched them sing Camp Songs and receive their "blessings".  It never gets old seeing how they react to the smallest gifts, especially the warm blanket they get to take home.
We ran into some of our girls from Kamanga that were at Camp for the week!  So fun!
After camp, we drove down to the Tree of Life school to visit Kenley and to see her office.  The school has definitely changed from when I was there last year, and she implemented wonderful things for them.  I loved seeing her in her element! I also went in and visited Teacher Mwangla in her classroom.  She was letting the kids paint for "Fun Friday".  She told me I better be back next year or she would be sad! :)

with Kenley outside her office at school
We went to dinner one last time as a team at Mint Lounge.  It has American food, and it was really good.  I just loved all of the ladies in our group, so I was already preparing myself for a hard goodbye.
love these ladies!

Patty was the only one leaving with me, and she was flying to Houston.  The rest of our group drove us to the airport, and after postponing it for a few minutes, we finally said goodbye.  We got checked in, and just as we were about to go through the door to another area, I heard the other girls on the second floor hanging off the balcony waving.  In unison, they did the "Superstar" move.  It made my heart smile!!  Hated saying bye to them.
What  a great team!
The flight to Dubai wasn't bad.  A 7 hour flight doesn't seem that long when your other flight is 16 hours!  When we landed, I had to say goodbye to sweet Patty.  She only had a 3 hour layover before getting on a flight to Houston.  The Dallas people had a 20 hour layover that day, and since I was by myself, I didn't want to go out into the city.  It was a long 20 hours!!  I checked into the hotel, ate breakfast, napped, showered, read, journaled, slept some more, and even bought 30 minutes of internet time when I got desperate.  We left for the airport at 11:30, and the plane took off at 2:45am.  This was actually good because I was able to sleep a good portion of the flight.  The time that I was awake, I watched 13 episodes of Friends! :)

We landed at DFW around 9:30 on Sunday morning.  Erin was so sweet to drive mom and dad to the airport to pick me up.  Mom hates driving in the airport!  After a really long wait to get luggage, I finally met up with them.  We headed to Matitos for lunch, and Kristen and Bret met us there.  They happened to be in town for a Rangers game.  Mom, Dad, and Erin came over for a bit after lunch to take home my suitcases and to let me show them pictures and tell stories.  It helped keep me awake and fight jet lag, too!  I made it until 8:30 that night before crashing!

I have now been home for almost a week.  I feel like the transition period has been harder this time than last year.  I can't explain the mix of emotions I feel while adjusting back to life here.  I am constantly checking my watch to see what time it is in Zambia, wondering what the girls are doing, wondering how the kids/teachers are, and thinking about the thousands of children still on the streets .  It's hard not being there.  I truly feel like I left a piece of my heart there.  Before I left for the trip this year, I thought it might be my last time to go for awhile just because of financial reasons, wanting to buy a house next summer, etc.  When the plane landed here on Sunday, I knew that those plans will probably change.  We will see what God does, but I have a feeling I will be going back next summer! The great thing about the transition period, though, has been the increased focus on reading in His word, memorizing scripture, and praying.  I know God will bless this time and season and use it to grow me.  I am also looking forward to him using it to show me what is next and how I can help the fatherless around me, not just in Zambia.  

Please join me in praying for the second team of teachers doing Teach ONE this summer.  3 girls will be joining my friends who are already there, and they will be working at a new school.  Pray for safety in travel, good relationships with the teachers, strength and rest, and bonding within the team.  I can't wait to hear what God does during their 2 weeks at Mtendere Lifeway Christian Academy.

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