We are home!
We weren’t greeted with a snake in our house like we did the first time we arrived here after that exhausting 3 day journey. No, not a snake. But a medium sized black scorpion did and stung Wesley on the leg. Oh that pitiful scream! And unfortunately it would be poor Wesley again.
Home. That has become a complicated word lately. It’s not quite as simple as the pillow embroidered quotes and wall decor that say, “Home Is Where the Heart Is”.
For months leading up to our furlough, we anticipated and excitedly planned and talked about going home to the States. But while “home”, we referred to Zambia as being “back home”. During one conversation, Sienna gave a confused looked and asked “which home?” Grandma’s house, our Tennessee house? Texas or Zambia?
But a few things did gain clarity. I gained a whole new huge appreciation for all our family, friends, and tangible blessings that we experienced while in the States. The city streets didn’t stink. Stores offered an overabundance of options (double edged-sword there), I understood every stranger that spoke to me. The earth was such a verdant green and everything was clean. The smooth roads and our comfortable vehicle felt luxurious. Yummy food favorites were relished. The bond of our friends, cherished. Being a part of special family events and celebrations, treasured. Top quality health care for me and my children was not taken for granted.
And then we came home. Back home to Zambia. And I quickly realized that there was a whole different set of blessings right here that I had missed in the quest for fulfilling my heart’s desire with all things back home in the States.
Beautiful smiles and friendliness of the Zambians greeted us as we entered the country. There was a certain “African” smell in the air that brought back familiarity. The drive in was dry and dusty with red, sun scorched earth. But as we entered Riverside Farm where we live, all the irrigated banana orchards and other crops that we are surrounded by was so refreshing. The first night home was warm, and without air-condition, I slept like a baby with the gentle hum and breeze of the fan that blew over our bed. Various creatures and critters could be heard singing outside our window. I had missed the sound of the monkeys that ran around on our metal roof that next morning. Then the local children came to play and ran around with mine laughing and chattering like old best friends. In the evening, I smiled as I listed to the large cow-bell style ring announcing the evening church program just down the hill from our house. Then I looked outside my window and saw the big orange African sun setting just beyond the Kafue River view. It was beautiful.
There is something exotic about the simplicity here, and it’s peaceful. There are many wonderful people here I’ve grown to love. And I feel blessed to say, this is home, too.