Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Counting ↓ & ↑

As of today the official countdown of "Days 'till 'home'" equals the number of "Days in Cameroon." (that's the hard way of saying we're half way!)

One specific October day, after none of the kids had showed up for my class, I remember walking 'home' from school with tears in my eyes, when I got to our room I crawled into bed and set a countdown on my ipod of "Days 'till 'home.'"

Here's what I wrote and how I was feeling that day:
 (a direct quote from my diary October 11, 2011.)
On my walk home from Clark’s quarters I started to sing the “somebody’s praying” song and when I got to the 'many miles from home' part I just basically started crying.  After skyping with mom for a few minutes and then crawling into bed I was in a real dark mood and I didn’t want to do ANYTHING I thought about how it would be a good time to update this [my diary]… but I didn’t want to move! I started to dink around with my ipod and checked my “days until CAMEROON” countdown which has now turned into a days since CAMEROON count up… we’re on day 21… so, this is how bad it was, I downloaded another app, and set the countdown for home… 203. I don’t know what my problem was but I didn’t want to look at anything, do anything, or see anyone… I devoured one bag of bread, practically two small loafs and when I head Bill’s car drive up I flattened out in bed knowing that the door was locked and I could pretend to not be home if anyone knocked… I pulled the covers up over my face for protection from an obnoxious fly and to shut out some daylight…
I am happy to inform you that praise the Lord that was the darkest day in my Cameroonian experience and even so, it ended with making koki with Lea and a very much enjoyed evening;  really not a very bad day at all for being the one that stands out in my mind as the worst.  Ever since I set the countdown that day I have checked them both periodically and then notify all of you of little mile stones like 50, and 100 days in Cameroon.  I've noticed something though;  the first day when the count was 21/203 I felt almost sick, but each time I check and the numbers continue to shift, my mindset does as well.  Now that the count is 112/112 I find it rather bittersweet.  So I stopped to think about it, what has changed?  I missed my family and friends horribly in October, but that has definitely not changed, I miss them as much and more than ever, so what's the difference?  I figured it out... it's our friends.
One night when we had just gotten here Mary and I made a list of our Cameroonian friends.  We listed anyone we could think of, the only criteria needed to make our friends list was if we could remember their name.  We wrote their name, where we met them and a couple things about them including at least one physical characteristic so that we could remember who they were.  However, very soon we were making real friends and when we did, our list was forgotten and unneeded.  We rediscovered it a couple nights ago and just had to laugh at our early descriptions and first impressions of the people who are now truly our friends.

Here's another quote from my dairy from December 12 to illustrate my point and show how my mindset has shifted:
[Tonight] we played dutch blitz and had a great time! I just sat there and was so sad watching Lea and Christaine, I was just overcome with how much I’m going to miss them!! and it’s still months until we leave! I go so back and forth though, I am “homesick” and I can’t wait to see my family, but I will miss this place and PEOPLE like CRAZY!
In conclusion: On October 11 I saw a depressing number of 203 days until I could go home and be reunited with the ones I love and care about.  Today, I realize that in 112 days I will have to say goodbye, likely forever, to a group of people here that love and care about.  Yet another reason to live each day to the fullest, thank God for every moment, and claim the precious promise that this world is not our home!  We have the blessed hope to be reunited with our friends and loved ones from EVERYWHERE on that glorious day when Christ returns!

"Twin A" ;)
Te'Claire, Sarah, me, and Christian

Can you see why I'm dreading goodbyes??


Anonymous said...

I can't imagine how hard it will be for you to leave those happy little faces. They always seem to have a smile on their face especially when they are hoovered around you. I still smile when I think of the little guy on the video when he was SO proud of himself telling about you with his drawing. I have been praying for a rewarding Journey for you, I know that God is providing you with that and more. Love Ya. Dorothy

Anonymous said...

Love you Tabby, I left a comment earlier today but it must not have worked. I had no idea you had a few dark discouraging days but praise the Lord you're haveing a wonderful experience now. I'm sure there are days that home and friends back here tug at your heart but what an amazing privelage it is to be a small part of God's plan 1/2 way around the world. Take care, keep doing God's will and it'll be time to say goodbye to Africa before you know it. I can't imagine how hard those goodbyes will be. Who knows, maybe some day you'll be able to go back and visit, and if not we'll meet someday on the sea of glass!! Love you tons, mom

Anonymous said...

Happy Sabbath Tabby, Can't believe it's count down time already! Leaving will be hard because you have done as God commands "loving your neighbor (even if it is half way around the world) as yourself". He has given you many blessings especially in friends. Continue to treasure every moment. Your dear loving family and friends are all anxiously waiting to see you again too. Have a wonderful day and hug those precious children for us and here is a big "ooh aah hug" from us. Lovingly Lyle and Becky