Always and Never at Home.
“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
When I moved down to Haiti, I was prepared and understood that life would look different in various ways. Hand washing my laundry, limited access to certain resources, and an entirely new language and culture to try and learn were just a couple of the things I was aware of. I have enjoyed these changes and the experience, simplicity, and value they have added to my life. The one preparation I clumsily stumbled through, and still haven’t quite figured out, is leaving one home and creating a new one.
I knew it would be difficult to leave my family and friends for two years and give up my dog forever, but I did not know the extent and all of the compounding factors this adventure would supply. I consider myself an extrovert and somebody who loves to simply hang out. So leaving my entire social structure behind was tough, and still is. Life gets busy and crazy here so connecting with everyone back home is tough. When I do finally get to go home for a short period of time it is difficult to know how to even begin “catching up” with what life has been like. I’m curious about all the exciting stuff I’ve missed out on while away. What accomplishments of my friends and family have I been absent in celebrating? What struggles have I not been able to walk alongside them with? There is almost a sense of guilt for feeling like I have abandoned people that have done so much for me.
To make this situation all the more interesting, throughout all these thoughts and changes I have also been creating a second home here in Haiti. I have had the pleasure of getting to know some really awesome people in this enticing country. People that I know, if geographically possible, would join right into my family and friends in Minnesota. People that I’ve gotten to walk alongside, learn from, hurt with, laugh with; people that have become my second home. Which makes everything a lot easier and just a little harder.
I understand that I am extremely blessed to have two homes. I often begin my prayers to God thanking him for all the people he has put in my life, both in Minnesota and in Haiti. I am humbled to have the friends and family that I do. However, the stinging reality is I will always be away from one of these homes. I will always be missing not just one or two people, but a whole tangled web of friendships and family that took a lot of investing to weave. No matter where I am, I will have a great set of people to lean on and a great set of people I miss leaning on. The comforting reality is that I am a better person because of all these friendships; old, new, and constant.
A lot of exciting things are happening here in Titanyen. Fleri Boulange (Bakery) has her first employees, has been putting out bread, and is excited to begin serving the community more than just food. Look out for more updates about how economic opportunity, education, and personal discipleship are the ingredients in the recipe to help see a community flourish.