|Some of the Nannies and workers|
But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. 2 Corinithians 5:9 (The Message)
If I were Dorothy, I would be snapping my red shoes together and saying, “There’s no place like home.” Arrived home late yesterday afternoon and indeed, there is no place like it. Home is where I can use tap water to brush my teeth. Where toilet paper can be flushed instead of stowed in the trash can. Where I can put ice in my drink. Where the air conditioning hums nicely, and the Internet is not spotty. Where I can go out for dinner and eat a salad without worrying about germs lurking in the lettuce. And prices are clearly marked in the stores and no bargaining is required. Where I can wash my clothes in the washer instead of rinsing them out in the hotel shower. Ah, home. But, at the same time, I miss my Guatemalan home. I miss waking up to see a volcano puffing its warning signs of smoke and steam. I miss fresh pineapple at all three meals. I miss the dear Guatemalan people who live to serve. I miss the children with their impish laughs and huge smiles. I miss the Nannies with their shy ways and tender hands that hug and hold. I miss my friends, Olivia and Alejandra. More than Interpreters, they live their lives to protect the children and workers at the Malnutrition Center. Valiant warriors in the fight against hunger and exploitation of the poor. This morning, one of the blogs I read had a post written by Bible Study teacher, Beth Moore, asking us to describe our home. This is what I wrote because I have two homes. Home is where the heart is. And mine is split into two.
“When I first read this, I was on my way back from a mission trip to San Juan, Guatemala, where the concrete block houses are squashed together running down the hillside and past a stream used for laundry, bathing and drinking. I was spending my days surrounded by malnourished children whose hearts are as needy as their stomachs. I was a jungle gym, referee, nose wiper, diaper changer, mother and sister under the pine trees and beside a bright purple Bougainvillea with the children and nannies. Now, I am home on Terra Ceia Island on the west coast of Florida at the base of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. My house is steps from a bay that reflects the sunshine. The grass is green from a week of rain while I was away. My front garden has roses, pansies and a gardenia in shades of pink, purple, white and blue, while my back garden has orange Nasturtiums and yellow sunflowers. In the side yard are three horses grazing on the grass and lying beside me three dogs of a variety of breeds. The orange trees are blooming leaving their fragrant scent in the air, but like at your home, the pines are wafting yellow pollen covering our cars and filling our lungs so I will mostly stay inside until they are done. I am grateful to have two “homes”. One here where I live and one where I left a piece of my heart with the children of Guatemala.”