Kissing South Africa Goodbye

excerpt from my journal on July 5th, 2016 – 5:46 Johannesburg, SA time

            So funny to think that I’m still in South Africa.  
Even now my grand adventure seems like a distant dream to me, and the reality of it leaves me teary.  Yes, here I sit in the Johannesburg South African airport, yet my heart hurts as I begin to grieve Africa already.  
This is weird to me.  
I’ve known and thought I had accepted and understood the fact that I would be leaving.  I wasn’t really eager to go, but I looked forward to seeing everyone back home.  The many videos, pictures, and trips to the lake made me long for them and for summer.  I was ready to go home,
 ready throw myself into fun, summery things.  
But now I find that my heart is breaking with loss I hadn’t anticipated.  
I miss everyone desperately.  
I don’t want to give them up yet… I don’t want to give me up.  Leaving Africa, I’m realizing, means leaving part of me.  Life wasn’t all bliss and beauty here.  Days were hard and long, frustrated me, and made me want to curl up and sleep to escape the exhaustion of the struggle I was beginning to realize.
  Yet this was my life, my beautiful African life.  The life where I became a little missionary, where I became a stand-in momma to many precious children. 
 I was ready to get away from the struggle, but right now 
I’m missing home, missing Africa.  I want to be back.  
While at the airport, I noticed the African sun setting, and realized it would be the last one I’ll see for a while.  The beauty of it was stunning, as it always is, and out came the camera for a one last photo.  The phone clicked as the photo was captured, and I shoved it into my pocket.  
My smile faded then, and I sat down in the airport waiting room, realizing that my eyes were heavy and my heart was sad.  Yes, I am leaving.  I am leaving Africa, and right now, it just hurts

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