My trip to Africa filled me with fear … for a number of reasons … all wrapped up in the very broad .. fear of the unknown. Unknown culture, unknown people, food, experiences. And yet, for all of my fears, my time in Ethiopia felt other-worldly, but not scary. I was consumed with being a mom …. Keeping them safe and bringing Kenenisa into our family. I would wake up each day and just do the next thing until finally the next thing was getting on the plane to fly home
It was not till I got home and started processing the trip …. Looking at pictures, reading blogs from others who were there with me … that I finally realized … while I was physically present, I did not feel like I had connected with the experience, with the people with the culture, with the need. It felt like I wasn’t really there. As I talked with my friend, Jennifer, she said that she kept waiting for the emotion to catch up with me, but that it was as if I was in a bubble and all of the need and poverty just bounced off of me. And then once we got home, my life again has been consumed with being a mom. And parenting Kenen is taking all of my focus at this point.
In contrast, Jennifer, who traveled with us, was there and present in all of the most important ways. She saw the need, she saw the children, she let her heart open to the people and the country of Ethiopia in a way that I still can’t say that I have. She promised herself that she would not forget ... that she would make sure that it changed her. And she has kept that promise.
Jennifer and her family have taken the seeds that were planted in her heart and put them into action. They arrived in Ethiopia today and will spend the next 2 weeks serving in my son’s country. I can’t wait to hear about every moment of their trip.
Because I haven’t really been there
… but I know I will some day.