It’s so different and completely strange to be back after living in Mali for 6 months. We started having a routine and getting the hang of things. We knew how to buy things in the market and communicate “small small”. Many thought it was funny and would just laugh at us because we were trying. Instead of feeling stupid or being embarassed I would just laugh with them. Things became the norm. We got used to cooking and doing the dishes, spanking children for being naughty, sitting all afternoon in discussion drinking tea, asking Uncle Joseph how to translate this new word, and much much more. In 6 months, you can’t learn the culture or the language, but you get a small feel for it. You dont understand why they do things this way but you see them doing it that way. People misjudge us, children laugh at us for telling them to go home and leave us alone, and we just want something to be familiar to us. It’s life, I call it. Many times I was tired and frustrated and wanted to throw in the towel, but those were momentary emotions. I completely fell in love with the children and the families we came to know.
After such a bad trip back home, reality slapped me. I’m home now. Back to business. Find a job, pay for the bills. Go to school and study some more for a good grade that gets me a piece of paper that says I have a degree…or somethin’. Try to live back in my old life and old ways again, yet its all crashing down. There’s something saying I can’t live back in my old live and old ways because I am a new person. I am different. How could I ever go back? God has brought me this far now. I want to keep going WITH Him.
I remember walking into my room Thursday evening with no luggage that was lost for a couple days. I thought, “What am I gonna wear if my clothes dont get here soon?” But then I realized how stupid of a thought that was. I opened up my closet and was literally blown away. I didn’t ever remember having this many clothes hanging up with much more stuffed in drawers. I was living out of one drawer for six months and satisfied with that. In fact, although I bought alot of their Malian fabric and made skirts, most of the days I didn’t even care what I looked like. I wanted people to know me for me, not the outside appearance of me covering up the inside.
I try and sleep but only think. I try and remember memories of Le Vieux and I. So many times I put him to sleep on my back or just by holding him against my chest. I loved feeling like a mother. Most of all I wanted to show everyone around me how precious and important children are. I have tough times writing new blogs because thinking about it too deeply is painful. I feel like everything I will talk about or think about now will reference back to Mali somehow….