I wIll be home a week from today, Monday 3/18. I plan to thoroughly enjoy my last week in Turkey and Greece, but am also looking forward to being home. I an effort to share some broad brushstrokes, and my excitement about being home, here are some countdown lists (expect one a day til return!)
10 things I have been most excited about/ grateful for:
10-Trust, being able to trust God…. And the process!
9-freedom: to be on the journey, to travel freely, to choose what I believe, who I marry, what I wear…
8-iPad–for emailing, blogging, skyping, kindle, games, etc…
7-Jesus’ enduring presence and love, how I’m never alone, and how it connects me to people worldwide
6-amazing sites: Great Wall, beaches, Milford Sound, Taj Mahal
5-swimming with dolphins, time with elephants, penguins, and other cool animals
4-HEALTH :). So, India did a bit of damage to my back, it’s been a little sore, but otherwise… So grateful for health of back, bowels, body overall!
3-perfect timing (flights being moved, just in time for something. A person to share a car)
2-new people! One time conversations and lifetime friends, they’ve all been amazing
#1-my friends and family’s love as I travel (and staying connected). That they, relationships, are HOME….
9 moments to remember fondly…
1- tickling kids at Asha house until we all giggle ourselves to the floor
2-any number of meals shared with ‘strangers’
3-sleeping on the top bunk of a railway car
4-being stared at, always…
5-praying for the ladies in the Bhatt community
6–Alli’s face when she realized how I could contribute to Hard Places
7-each time a kindness was extended (meals paid for, doors opened, someone to interpret language couchsurfing..)
8-swimming with the dolphins
9-SCUBA diving in Koi Phi Phi
8 words or phrases I could carry forward…
8-ish, used in Swazi as ‘geez, really, wow, ….’
7-Mia didi, in Hindi, my sister (deedee is pronunciation)
6-auntie/uncle, in India, to address older woman or man
5-good on ya, NZ
4-atcha, Hindi for ‘okay, got it, uh-huh’
3-xiexie, thank you in Chinese
2-Akhun, thank you in Khmer
1-cheers! s.Africa, NZ
Constantly changing languages has been one of the more challenging aspects of the trip. In my first few countries I made a great effort to learn phrases, and quickly learned that Hello and thank you are the mos important. Interestingly, some languages don’t even have a ‘please’. In Chinese, one just makes a command phrase. And saying ‘God Bless You’, although like a knee reflex for me, is not normal in many countries either… I will share more on language in a later blog, but these are a few of the things that stand out :).
What’s a countdown you’d like to see??