This semester has challenged me in ways I would have never imagined. It has made the best of me. It has gotten the best of me. I have learned so much. This experience has boosted my self-confidence in many ways.
When I think about boarding that plane, taking off, looking down, and seeing the shore of Africa part from my vision, I can't explain the feeling I have. It somehow feels like I am in a different world here. Like I am a different person here. Free of inhibitions, lacking those protective barriers I have somehow built throughout my life, and loving their absence. I can do anything, I can be anyone.
In many ways, my world has gotten much smaller.
I am really nervous about coming home. I know I'm not the same person as I was when I left and I'm nervous that people won't like it or understand.
Culture shock is one thing. Reverse culture shock is another. People have told me about this phenomenon. The impending doom of feelings of bitterness, sadness, impatience, and angst. They have given me advice. Told me red flags to look for. Shared similar experiences.
As much as I fear coming home, I fear never coming back even more.
Saying goodbye to the friends I have made at Daystar was heart wrenching. I don't know when I will see those people again. It is going to be SO hard saying goodbye to this group too. I can barely go a few days being apart from them, how am I going to handle being at different colleges? At least I know I will be visiting them this summer and see them all in the fall. I am already looking forward to our reunions.
As much as I have all these feelings running through my brain, I know that I have awesome family and friends to support me and help me. I think I underestimate just how awesome you all are and I know many of you have been praying for me and my return. Thank you. I really look forward to seeing you all. I have missed you all so much. More than I ever thought I would.
Basically I am just filled with conflicting feelings.
I have loved being in Kenya, I think I am ready to be in America again, but I am going to have quite the hard time not planning my next trip.
As I prepare to leave early tomorrow morning on our 3am flight, I know I will be crying a lot and trying to soak in every last minute here with these amazing people in this amazing place.
This blog was really hard to write and I'm not sure if it makes sense, but it was nice to vent a little about my fears and feelings. I will continue to post blog posts over this summer that I haven't had time to write yet and to update people on how I'm dealing with reverse culture shock...let's hope it goes well!
My heart is over flowing with love and hope.
|My roommate Vienna and I|
|My friend Alan|
|My friend Grace|
|The South Korean exchange students|
|The girls, I will miss you all!|