Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Africa bug

My sister is going back to Kenya tomorrow. Is it OK that I’m not happy about it? It’s not because she’s going to Kenya or because she’s doing what she loves. I guess it’s because I’m her sister. And it’s not just Kenya, it’s the bush bush (yep, that’s TWO bushes). I’ve been there. It’s not easy. Trust me. I even made a pretty exhaustive list to make sure she was prepared. Despite all those challenges, she fell in love. No, not that kind of love. She fell in love with the children, with the land, with Africa. I knew she would actually. There’s something about Africa that’s in our blood I guess. My Grandma first came to Africa when being a missionary meant saying forever goodbyes and boarding a boat across the ocean. My mother spent 18 years growing up in Africa. America was practically a foreign culture to her when she finally moved to the states. (Heck, she still isn’t exactly your typical American.) And me, well I’ve been on this continent almost four years now, and it keeps calling me back. So I guess it was just a matter of time before my sister got the Africa bug too.

I’m not really upset, just a little sad. When your family’s phone numbers are organized by country (eg. Grace America, Grace Kenya, Grace Poland) and figuring out when to call requires complicated time-zone math and getting together for the holidays involves visas and passports and thousand dollar plane tickets, can you really blame me? And now here she is complicating the matter by moving to a place where calling requires climbing hills to get cell phone reception. The truth is I’m gonna miss her like crazy, and that’s that.

All that said, will you pray for her? If you think my life sounds challenging, hers is ten times that and more. Thankfully, while I inherited the over-protective worrier gene, she got our family’s recessive care-free gene, so it takes a lot more to freak her out or send her packing. But still, a little prayer wouldn't hurt.

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