Many months ago I posted a blog entitled Returning during a dark and challenging time personally. Today is my last official day as a GHSP nurse educator in Mzuzu Malawi.
The year has flown by. Many personal and professional successes AND challenges have graced my experience here and I am grateful for every one. I have transformed from the inside out in what I believe to be a miraculous and freeing transition. To use the metaphor of a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis, though corny, would be accurate and not too overstated.
The freedom from old patterns, rigid beliefs, and confining ways of just being in the world is a lightening and brightening of my spirit that has been a lifetime in emerging.
During the last month or two of my service, I became acutely aware of how connected to and happy I am in this culture. Something about the people, the journey, the lightening of my spirit, the feeling of unfinished projects and plans begged me to reconsider my choice to complete my service without extending. I found myself frequently in tears wondering how I could detach and leave feeling so incomplete, having accomplished so much.
To that end, I requested, at the 11th hour, to extend and continue. Alas, it was not possible as the housing on campus is unavailable and had already been allocated to my replacement. During COS conference in Tanzania, the heavy hitters from Boston and DC were in attendance so I extended my plea for them to assist in solving the housing problem and allow me to stay.
So this blog, Returning 2, addresses my intention to return to Malawi and extend my service for another year. I have the full backing of PC and SEED and am waiting for DC to reinstate me after the new volunteers have been settled in their respective sites in country. At that time, they will find a house for me somewhere in Mzuzu.
Of course, my heart is still in complete angst about my lovely Zoey and the thought of leaving her behind for yet another year. Yet my heart is so intent upon returning that I cannot let go of that mission, knowing she is fully loved and cared for in VT and am still slightly considering bringing her with me to Malawi.
Secondly, I will be foregoing time at home to spend with my girls and mom. However, I will be flying home for 2+ months at end July to spend time with everyone and rest and rejuvenate, hoping to return to Malawi around October 1, if all the PC hoops can be negotiated.
Thank you all for your support and kind words of love and encouragement. It helped during the rough AND the good times. I do hope some of you will come and visit and partake of this lovely and warm heart of Africa.