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goodbye to friends

Lexington, United States

this week was full of goodbyes. i suppose it began by visiting my home church in campbellsville. then moorehead, ky to spend some precious last moments with sara, a dear friend of mine. my last 3 nights at UK hospital were very eventful. i was showered with generosity, kind words, good food. i even got a cookie cake that said "jokes" on it and a necklace reminding me to "be the change i want to see in the world" and gifts of tylenol and toothbrushes that will hopefully help some cameroonian soon to have headache relief and a brighter smile. saturday morning i was taken out for breakfast by some of the girls at work. it seems so surreal that i have to say goodbye to these women who've been such a joy to work with and know. the ladies of 5th floor at UK have taught me so much about caring for patients, serving people, and providing great medical care. i don't know what i'll do without having them by my side as excellent resources and friends! saturday night it really hit me that i was leaving. i think my heart broke a little bit, watching old friends go and sensing the finality of my moments. i've been so blessed to have such amazing friends this last year. i'm lucky to not have to say goodbye to everyone all at once. maybe that would be easier, but i think i enjoy having the extra time to process it all. sunday night my church prayed for me. it was really special hearing their words. i've learned so much about love and faith from these people. i've never known such a simple and kind community. they've really challenged me to be good to people, good to the planet, and to live faithfully and patiently.

my drive away from lexington tonight was a little lonely. i felt like a person who was choosing an experience instead of relationships. i could see the ways people might feel abandoned. it's not like that though. the people that have been in my life thus far have shaped me and inspired me in so many ways. i suppose this is my thank you note to them. all of them. and this is my attempt to keep you all involved...

as for this next chapter of my life, i can hardly contain my excitement. i get to share all the things that have been shared with me. i get to give back a little. i feel like i'm about to fly a little bit. and while i'm sure my heart will break even more when i have to say goodbye to my family, i can only look forward with long awaited anticipation.

also! i found out we'll be traveling to rural villages to provide healthcare, not just remaining in the city. (this really excites me) i have all kinds of ideas of what this trip will be like, but there's really no telling, so i'm going with an open mind ready to learn. i just hope i'm a help and not a hindrance!

permalink written by  theresa on October 11, 2009 from Lexington, United States
from the travel blog: to africa
tagged Goodbye and Anticipation

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24 hours...and counting!

Campbellsville, United States

it's honestly closer to 23 hours. but i've been printing out my itinerary... i'm still not fully packed, and wondering if it's all going to fit. i have one suitcase filled with medical supplies thanks to the generosity of many friends. THANK YOU

plans are to leave at 4am in the morning.
i'm so excited. i just hope i do well, adjust quickly, and learn fast. i'm real excited about the plane trip too. i love traveling!
it's important to me that i'm not traveling just to travel, just for the experience. i have a purpose. whether or not the world understands it is fine with me. honestly, i don't think i do a very good job of explaining it when people don't understand or don't agree. i suppose if i try to live it out maybe one day they'll realize the point. it really doesn't take going to africa to make the difference i want to make in the world. i'm not sure what entirely it takes honestly, but i think it takes being open...taking people in just as they are and accepting them. opening our home and our heart to those in need of rest and love. opening our checkbook to those in need. it doesn't have to start with a trip to africa or having complete strangers or all the homeless people in your city over for a meal...it doesn't even have to end that way. it sometimes starts with saying hi to the person next to you, being generous at a stop light, actually chatting with that grungy kid on the corner just to find out they're actually a person who's life circumstances have screwed them to poverty. making a difference in the world might be just spending ourselves for one moment in order to give another person a little break and realize their humanity. not as hard as it seems really...but then at times very challenging. ...it's just so easy to forget that
"the world that is satisfying to us is the same world that is utterly devastating to them." -r.m. brown
i never want to live away from that...
i see my sisters and my brothers and wonder how i would act if i heard they were born into circumstances i've heard of.... i would act rapidly and aggressively. i would sell everything i owned to extract them from the situation immediately. it could have been you or i, you know? i guess we've just been blessed...or cursed. sometimes i'm not sure. i suppose it depends on what we do with our blessings.

permalink written by  theresa on October 14, 2009 from Campbellsville, United States
from the travel blog: to africa
tagged Thoughts, Anticipation and Hope

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