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.