Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I have discovered that there are lots of African's in Hong Kong,
There is also a GIANT Buddha!!
I miss Zimbabwe. Way more than I thought I would, already.
In 22 Hours I am flying to Australia to see Lori. I can't think of any place I would rather be, or anyone else I would rather spend this Christmas with. She is.... well she is more than I can express right now, I love this girl.
Tomorrow morning I am going to Hong Kong Disney, why you ask?? Hmmmmmm, If you know me than you know nothing will stop me from seeing Cinderella's castle in ANY COUNTRY!! Even though everyone is that Ocean World is better and that Disney here is small and pretty disappointing. Disney and disappoint do not go together in my vocabulary.
Did I mention that in less than 24 hours I will be getting on an airplane to visit Lori??!?!?
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I keep telling myself that. I am on my way to visit LORI FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!
I haven't relaxed yet. I am busy filling my time with the tourist attractions. I have ridden buses, subways, trams, ferries and I have walked endless markets and seen so many things already.
Tomorrow I am taking a break.
I am leaving behind all of the fellow travelers that I have met in the hostels and I am taking myself to church.
I am going to spend the day with God.
I don't care that I am in Hong Kong, it is time for me to have a conversation with my Father, it is time to start to let go of the difficulties of this past year. After church I am going to learn about the transformation of the walled city in Kowloon, Hong Kong and how one woman who refused to give up on some unlovable people has changed a city and a nation.
Then I am going to head out of the concrete jungle of Hong Kong and into the quiet empty space of one of the other islands to be by myself and let it all sink in.
I keep reminding myself that I am in Hong Kong, on the way to Australia and that I am so loved. God has given me an amazing gift this Christmas. I don't deserve it, but I am traveling around the world to see my best friend to spend 3 weeks of uninterrupted girl time with a girl who loves me so much.
I am so blessed!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I AM ON HOLIDAY!!!
Today I fly to Hong Kong... why you ask? Who knows... I am there for almost a week on the way to see Lori in Australia!!
I'M ON HOLIDAY!!!
PS I am already missing Zim. There is a shop here with a lot of Ndebele things and seeing it made my heart hurt!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
But can we ever rationalize injustice. We over looked a harsh dictatorship, we over looked a hyper inflationary economy, we over looked violence, exorbitant prices and escalating HIV raters, but today the people of Harare do not have a clean water source. Today if they drink their water, they die. Today there are no teachers, today there are no hospitals. The nation is collapsing. There is no provision for basic human rights: water, health, education, food, shelter. Things that most of us don’t have to think about are the things that consume the thoughts of the people of Zimbabwe. We spend our entire days planning where we will get food or water.
I know it is hard to comprehend, but it is real. There is a nation of people:11 million of them who don’t know what to do, or how to move forward. I love them all. I want to give them a solution, but there isn’t one. The best I can do is to grab one individual at a time by the hand and share a meal with them, or provide them with safe water, for that moment. What do we do in the long term? It is hard not to lose hope. They ask me how I stay positive, how I can really believe that things will turn out alright in the end, and inside I laugh because I see myself in the moments where I am not positive, where I feel the situation is hopeless and I hurt and I cry and I lash out. But I also how others see me and so I tell them, there is no hope without God. If you know the one true God, then you can have faith that no matter how hard this life is, it all turns out fabulously at the end.
My country is at its darkest point and I am leaving. I am so excited to see my friend Lori. I am spending her first Christmas in Australia with her and I can’t imagine a better gift for me than 3 weeks with my best friend, by sister. Before I get there I am spending a week in Hong Kong. IT will give me time on my own to spend with God, to process through what my brain has seen this year. What my heart protected itself from. I still cry some days in Zimbabwe, but it is like the overflow that my heart can’t contain. Or it’s on the rare occasions when one of my best girls: Christie, Jesika or Lori either step off a plane to see me or get through on the phone to talk to me… I am not sure which is more difficult: travel or calling!! But in reality, I don’t process through the reality of what is happening, I move from day to day on God’s strength and then He gives me opportunities like this to let it all out. I am going to try to do that before I get to Lori, so that I am ready to just enjoy a holiday.
My brain tells me that this trip around the world: I am going to South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia, then back to the states for 6 weeks before I head to the UK and then back to Zim, is so exciting that I am so blessed and I am going to have a great time. My heart tells me that I am a traitor for leaving NOW. My selfishness is afraid that a miracle will happen in Zimbabwe before I return and I will miss it. I am on an airplane right now flying to Johannesburg where I will spend a couple of nights, and I am starting to feel the emotion well up inside of me. My feet have touched Zimbabwe for the last time for a while and I wish I could explain the connection that I feel to this place. It is like a piece of me comes alive when I am there and it dies when I leave. I have never felt that way about a place before. I am glad that I don’t have to leave Africa until Thursday. I can see some of my Zimbo friends that live in Jozi, Arnold especially… I can eat Sadza and call it pap, I can listen to African drum beats and hang on for just a little longer.
My eyes pour over with tears. The man sitting next to me asks if I am ok… I tell him I am, that leaving is so hard. He looks at me like I am strange. He is South African, he is going home. He tells me he can’t imagine living in Zimbabwe, that life is too hard, that you can’t even buy food. I smile and say that even with all of the problems, there is no place else I would want to live and my heart laughs at the irony and I know that it is true. He asks if I have a boyfriend in Zimbabwe and I tell him no, that I have a different kind of love for the place. And he nods and goes back to his magazine.
Tonight I will start to feel the pain of MY hurts for my country, but I will also get to relive the memories of the miracles. This has been a good year in so many ways. I am not listening to the voice in my heart that condemns me for leaving. I am being called away for a little bit, the work that I do when I am on the road is important as well, I know that. MY country and my friends and family are going through difficult times in America as well. My best friend needs to see me, I need to see my dad and my brother, miracles in my own family. I know that this time away will leave me refreshed and that I will be strengthened. I will come back to Zim even more prepared for the battle that exists in each of our lives.
Today I left Zimbabwe, but I carry her in my
Monday, December 1, 2008
1 december 2008
Over the past couple of weeks I have been spending time with ROCK of Africa’s most recent team of volunteers. You can check out thier experiences on www.rockofafrica.org The November trip is always called an ACT of Thanksgiving. People travel to Zimbabwe over the Thanksgiving holiday to serve and distribute much needed relief supplies.
This year, the situation in Zimbabwe is worse than ever and the supplies and food that ROCK was distributed was greatly needed. In the days that lead up to the teams arrival, the weight of the circumstances in which we live here started to take their tole on me. I have been repeatedly sick over the past couple of months, nothing serisous, just enough to keep me tired discouraged.
Things in Zimbabwe are at an uncomfortable place. Prices are exhorbitant. Cash is unavailable, everyone is using US dollars and the prices for things are rediculous: think $2-3 for a can of coke, some places even $6! Fuel is so costly. People are struggling, businesses are struggling. Now we have an outbreak of Cholera at the same time that hospitals are closing their doors for lack of supplies and staff.
There is not clean water in this country. It is making people sick. Some people go days without water for bathing, cooking or drinking. It is HOT here right now. I am drinking about 3-5 liters of water a day. Thankfully you all are buying me bottled water right now. I don’t know how people are surviving.
While the team was here I stayed in a chalet at the rest camp with the girls on the team and it was so nice to laugh and cry and just feel normal. I felt safe from the outside world, the Zimbabwe that was outside the gate. The hungry kids, the blind people begging on the street, the babies dying in the hospital, and the people I love in Harare who are consumed with trying to stop this cholera outbreak!
I was able to stop and just breathe for the first time in a while… and at that moment, the gardeners at the campground were mowing the lawn and I realized firstly, that it had been a long time since I smelled fresh cut grass… and secondly that this smell is the same everywhere. It was refreshing for me to remember that some things are the same everywhere. Cutting the grass is a small example, God’s love is a big one.
On one of the mornings I was staying with the team, I woke up and some of my boys from the street were sitting outside of the fence that is right by our chalet. They were just waiting and wathcing for us to come out. I love those kids. The truth is that my world is no longer on that side of the fence,the side that even if they want to, doesn’t understand Zimbabwe, my world is on that side of the fence… the ugly, hard side. And no matter how great it feels to have a break from it, when the team left I was ready to get back to my life.
I am leaving Zimbabwe next week so this week is hectic. I am packing up my house and getting ready to spend some time in Bulawayo, Gweru and Harare.
Thank you for continuing to pray for Zimbabwe, and for me!