Sunday, December 18, 2005


i made it home-sweet-home as planned on monday night. i've been sleeping and eating and visiting family for the last few days, and i finally started making some phone calls and trying to catch up with friends today. i've already subbed a couple of times at the YMCA and have earned a whole $42! big money.

leaving freetown was hard, but it seems like that was so long ago... in reality it has been just over a week. i think about the kids all the time and i miss the girls from my team a lot. but it feels good to be home for the most part. the reverse culture shock hasn't killed me yet, and i've become a expert tongue-biter in moments when it comes close to getting the best of me. i'd appreciate your prayers and patience in this area. i'm having trouble articulating anything more than "it was hard and good" when people ask about freetown. that's actually the best 1-sentence answer i can give, and sometimes i wonder if that's all i should say anyway. but like i said, thanks for being patient.

on thursday morning ( i think it was thursday...) i got a fun surprise in the form of a phone call from one of my friends in freetown! let's just say that i have a hard enough time with Krio, but a shakey connection and a phone delay make it even more interesting. regardless, it was one of the most loving gestures that i have ever received (the kid decided to spend his money on the phone call instead of lunch).

those kids never cease to amaze me. and so the lessons continue...

isaiah 62

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.

The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.

You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married.

As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest,

and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.

The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: "Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies, and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled;

but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the LORD, and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary."

Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations.

The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.' "

They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

farewell to freetown

only 2 days to go. i can't even believe it. i started packing last night which involved packing a lot of things that hadn't been touched since they were unpacked in august... that was funny and annoying. but it somehow made me realize that i have been here a long time. i've actually lived here. i didn't just visit. i've (kinda) learned a new language and (kinda) adapted to a new culture. i've made a lot of new friends, and have even met a few people who i would swear were family.

in one breath i am excited to go back to my original home and terrified to leave this place that i have learned to love. i say 'learned' because i can't say that it came naturally. on one hand, i look forward to things like hugging my family and sitting at the table in my mom's kitchen. but being in that time and place will of course require that i am excluded from this time and place - where i can hug fatmata or sheku and sit around the table at the aberdeen house. but that all makes me think of heaven and look forward to the day when my longings don't have to contradict each other.

sooooo... this time on friday we will begin the long process of getting to the airport and then getting in the air. this is rumored to take up to 10 hours to do. we'll see. we'll arrive in london saturday morning, hang out there for a couple of days (thanks to a ticketing glitch) and i'll be back in ohio on monday night. so i'll be seeing or talking to many of you very soon!

in case you haven't heard, i'll be spending the next 6 or 7 months in circleville. stop laughing. is anyone keeping track of how many times i've said i wouldn't live there again? the plan is to get a cheap apartment, subsitute teach and get some other job, and save money and pay some loans. and of course, hang with the family. i've missed them a lot. i feel like a lot has happened since i left and i am starving for some good time with them.

so, you won't be reading anything else from me from west africa. and as they say in krio, "da na di soriest pat" ('that is the sorriest part' - sorry erin, i totally bin tif yu layn)! i will most likely continue to process and reflect and ramble on this sight when i get home, so you can look forward to that. :)

a lek una bad, en a go gladi for si una bak.

(i love you all, and i will be happy to see you all again.)