When transition is coming, sometimes it's hard to focus on the here and now. Or at least that's how it is for me.
Our departure date for our one-year home assignment is looming on the horizon. It's just 45 days away to be exact. So right now, I often find myself living in the future.
My mind is constantly running to things I need to do before we leave and stuff we'll get to do when we get back to the United States. I have been making packing lists of what to take from here and purchase lists of what to buy when we get there. I've been communicating with friends, family, and partners about visits and road trips and speaking engagements. I've been dreaming about what it will be like to step off the final plane of our journey and get to hug family and friends that I haven't seen in three years and nieces and nephews who were just babies (or not even born!) when we left.
There isn't anything wrong with making plans and getting excited about what's to come, but it can also be a little dangerous to live in the future. Because sometimes focusing on the future can make you impatient - or even dissatisfied - with the present. And, at least for me, the present has a lot going for it.
I sat down to think about what I love about the present, living and working in Tanzania. A few random things came to mind.
The fruit I buy on the cheap here, is not always so cheap in America. And come on...I have a mango tree, lemon tree, avocado tree, nearly 100 banana plants, and passion fruit growing in my yard!
Friends from Around the World
Not only has my life been enriched by the wonderful people and cultures of Tanzania during the past three years, but I have also had the opportunity to get to know people working here from all over the world: England, Northern Ireland, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and more. I've learned a lot about different cultures and truly feel more like an international citizen these days than just an American. And I love that that goes for my kids too.
Warm Weather and Sunshine
I am NOT a winter weather girl, so living in a climate where I can wear flip flops year round and go swimming on Christmas Day makes me very happy. Also, here in Dodoma, most of the year it's bright and sunny, which makes me even more happy. Dreary days get me down.
I'm the daughter of a master gardener, so there's just something inside me that loves trees. And Tanzania has some nice trees that you don't see growing in America...acacia, baobabs, and flame trees are some of my favorites.
I LIVE Here!
Sure, I'm not "from" this wonderful country, this amazing continent (my daughter, however, claims that she is), but we have been residents here for three years now and it's become our home. If the Lord wills, after our year back in the States, we hope to return to our friends and the work that we love. I'm thankful for that. Even though I'm excited about a year back in America with friends and family and a culture that I understand instinctively, I know I will miss lots of things about Africa while I'm away.
Thank you, Lord, for this blessed here and now!