Saturday, April 10, 2010

Getting Ready to Leave

I still have many things to update this blog with- children's ministry, our trip to the branch church in Sehitwa, our trip to Vic Falls...but at the moment the only thing that I can think about is the fact that I am leaving Botswana in two days.  I have been an emotional rollercoaster the last few days.  At one moment I am ready to head home and see Roger and my family again, and the next I am weeping because I don't want to leave.  These past 7 months have been some of the best of my life.  I have learned so much, grown so much, and loved so much.  I am head over heels crazy about the people in Maun.  Not just the kids (which, if you have read my prior blog posts, you would know has definitely been the case); I have met some amazing people while working at the school, ministering at the church, and helping with the women's shelter.  I have made some very dear friends that I will have trouble keeping in touch with, as most of them don't have access to computers at all.

I am nervous about returning to the states.  In all honesty, I'm not looking forward to it at all.  I like the slowed-down pace of Africa; I love the ministry opportunities; I love spending my evenings at the baby house (rescue center).  I love getting kissed on the nose every week after children's church by Shawn, one of our 5-year olds.  I love looking at the clock at 10am on the weekdays and heading down to the offices to hang with the teachers over tea time.  I like getting frustrated at the donkeys, cows and goats that wont move out of your way on the road.  I like driving stick shift on the left-hand side of the road.  Eish, watch out, drivers.  I'll be second-guessing myself for weeks, I'm sure.  I love saying "Dumela, mma!" to every lady I pass on the road.  I love how I have to touch my right forearm with my left hand when shaking hands or transferring items.  I love seeing our plot dogs, Big Man and Livingstone, happily wagging their tails as they roam the property.  I love my Thursday night LOST parties with the Claytons after church.  I love doing prayer line ministry in the church if I am not working in the children's church that Sunday.  I love sneaking off the plot with Dietra for lunches at Wine and Dine or Nando's.  I love stopping by the playground at school and having 30 kids run at me screaming "IT'S MISS ASHLEY!!!!" to each other and then getting tackled. I love my greeting with Pastor Sunny: "Hi, Pastor Sunny!" "Hello, my dear!  How are you?" followed by a big hug...and we do this every single time we see each other, even if it's 12 times in a day.  I love playing games with Dietra and Brenda.  I love knowing that I am living on the tip of both the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta.  I love that I could go for a walk any day and see a giraffe if I wanted to.  I love that I go out for dessert so much that staff from 2 different restaurants have become friends of mine.  I love our dinner parties at the Lackey house.  I love playing "The Game" with Mason, Dietra and Godfrey in the pool.  I love the babies we are caring for.  I love that I am blessed enough to have spent 7 months with our little Olisego.  I love that you never know when a snake is going to pop up.  I love that when I see bugs, I can say "Oh, that's only a wall spider; those are good" or "That's a blister beetle.  No biggie, just don't let it touch you." I love making fun of Dietra for talking like a Motswana.  I love leading the Heart Ablaze Bible Study.  I love doing something meaningful every single day.

It's going to be an interesting adjustment, coming back to America.  For those of you who know me, please give me a grace period to readjust.  Don't be offended if I don't seem to want to be there; Africa has completely stolen my heart.


  1. I loved this post.....because everything you're going to miss are things that I am looking forward to getting back to! Africa changes you! And by the way.....I am so used to putting my hand on my arm when I shake hands or receive something that I automatically do it here....all the time! Some people notice, others don't! And it always takes me awhile to not say. "Dumela!" :)

  2. Girl!! I totally, 100% understand and relate to all the feelings you are experiencing right now. We must schedule regular phone dates to relive our time in Botswana together. I won't lie to you. It is hard transitioning back and I still have random moments during the day where I almost tear up thinking about how much I miss the people there, but with time you will begin to see the new season God is leading you into and it will be exciting for you. But until then, I'd love to walk with you through the transition. Love you!

  3. I love you and am excited you are coming back The girls keeping asking- "how many days 'til Ashley gets back now?"- you've been missed.

    I know you're sad to leave and it will be hard re-adjusting. CCC even has a term for it, but I can't remember it right now, but you'll probably be blue for a while, but have no fear! The Lord is good and used this time in your life for amazing things yet to come.

    See you soon, sista!


    ps- Dixie Carter died. It's like when one of the Golden Girls dies. So sad.