The last day that turned out not to be our last day… I woke up excited and ready to give all my energy into our last day in the Congo, but I went to bed disappointed to hear that we were going to be staying longer.
Each day I counted down until we go to go home. By Monday I was mostly packed and ready to leave on Tuesday. I woke up excited to see everyone one last time. We spent the majority of our day at Pastor Celestin’s house just playing with the kids and taking it easy. Everyone was excited for our last day, and you could tell that we were ready to go home. In the evening we even had the opportunity to buy souvenirs from local vendors who came specifically to Pastor Celestin’s house. I was happy to buy a few key chains, hand crafted with a picture of Africa, along with some nice bracelets. Our day was wrapping up great, and all in all it was a fantastic time. Then we got the news…
Pastor Celestin started telling us a story of when he would travel a lot. I had no idea where he was going with it and thought maybe this was his way of saying goodbye. Then I turned to Carly and she said, “Our flight is cancelled isn’t it.” I think I stopped hearing at that point because after that all I saw was a few of the team members crying. I was so confused, and I thought Pastor Celestin was joking. Then he started to say that the airport is closed for construction on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and maybe we could catch a flight on Friday. Emotions were a rollercoaster from there. Half the team was excited while the other half was balling their eyes out. I myself couldn’t decide how to feel.
At first I was shocked, then I was sad, then I just accepted it. I couldn’t believe the news. How does the airport just close down like that. Then seeing people’s faces made me feel sort of sad. I was so mentally prepared to go home. I was so excited and beyond ready to reconnect with plumbing and technology. Then finally I just accepted it. I’m a huge believer in everything happens for a reason. I knew that God had a plan for us, and a reason for us to stay. He wouldn’t keep us here if there weren’t something valuable worth spending more time in the Congo.
So often I say the prayer ‘Lord give me the peace to accept the things I can’t control,’ and this time around I didn’t know how I felt. I’m genuinely ok with staying here, but I feel guilty for not missing home the way everyone else does. If there’s anyone on this team with a valid reason to miss home, it’s me. All summer I’ve spent about two days at home. That’s it. I’m not complaining, because after all it was my decision to leave and go to Hawaii anyways. But shouldn’t I miss home more? Any opportunity I get to be away from home I take it. I left to go to school in San Diego, I left to study abroad in Barcelona, I left to do an internship in Hawaii, and now I’m here on a mission’s trip in Africa. I love travelling, but it scares me how little time I spend at home with my family. I’ve made so many new homes and created new families that it doesn’t break me anymore to leave. It’s scary though because it shows me how much I’ve grown up. How I’m literally flying away from the nest.
Right now I Just want to be home though. I want my mom to do my laundry, and my dad to cook for me. I want to bicker with my sister and have her bug me. I want to be reunited with childhood friends and hangout at my favorite places. Right now I don’t want to be an independent adult anymore. I want to be back at home