Monday, July 30, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Well I'm home now. I arrived late on Saturday night. Our flight from Cairo, with the exception of some turbulence, was uneventful. When we arrived at JFK we made our way through customs and claimed our baggage to recheck it for the flight to Toronto. I don't know why we couldn't check it straight through to Toronto. Then we transfered from Terminal 4 to Terminal 2. Were we checked in for our flight. We were concerned that two hours wouldn't be enough time to make the transfer, it turns out that due to difficulties on Friday (a power outage over a large area of the east coast of the states?) the airport was dealing with a back log of passengers some of whom had been there 48hrs only to see their flights canceled. We felt very lucky that our flight was only delayed by a couple of hours. Once on the plane we waited for another hour or so before we could take off due to a large line up for runway. We got to Toronto an hour later, flew through customs, claimed our bags and headed for the greeting area. As I came out the door, I searched for a familiar face. I couldn't see him at first, but then I looked up and saw my baby with a big smile on his face. A quick hug and a kiss and then I asked him to help my mom with her bags. Then my Dad insisted that I give Austin a big hug, so of course I did. He picked me up and swung me around, then asked if I had lost weight. :D Then we pulled out the ring box and asked if I wanted the ring back. "Of course I do!"

We looked around for my brother Jason who was suppose to drive my parents home. He had forgotten the flight number and neglected to check the flight status before coming, so he'd left about an hour and half earlier. We squeezed all our luggage, and ourselves into my neon and dropped my parents off at home. With that done, we headed for Austin's house. His parents and Cousin were there, already asleep, by the time we arrived so we quietly slipped in. I collapsed on the futon sofa before Austin had a chance to lay it flat and put a pillow and comforter on it, so I got up and brushed my teeth. When I came back the futon looked mighty inviting, so I slipped under the covers and started to drift off. When Austin came down he tried to get me to use his bed and he would take the futon, but I could not be moved by this time. Thus 26 hours after my 5am wake-up call in Cairo, I fell asleep about 1am in Thornhill.

I spent Sunday with Austin, his parents and his cousin. Then drove home to finally sleep in my own bed for the first time in 4 weeks. I fell asleep immediately, but found myself wide awake around 2am. In order to get over the jet lag I thought it would be better for me to sleep through the night so I took a sleeping aid and slept through till 9 this morning. I got up had some breakfast, and started some laundry. Then I made a list and went to the grocery store. As I walked through the isles of fresh produce and frozen prepared foods, I couldn't help but wonder what the kids at Anajali or Sheepcare would have thought if they were there beside me.

One last thought. On our last day in Nairobi before going to Masai Mara, we had a meeting of all the Nairobi Team members. We were each asked to share what we had learned about ourselves from the mission. I have always known that I can be a bit of a perfectionist, and I can hard on myself when I don't make the goals I've set for myself. I learned from this mission, that God sets goals for me that I can accomplish, and I should be working towards those goals and not my own. I wondered when I left what possible good will I do by going into schools and doing crafts with the children? Will that put food in their stomachs? Will it ensure they get to go to University? These weren't God's goals for my trip. His goals were much more personal. I was to bond with my brothers and sisters in Christ and to learn from their hopes and dreams to place greater faith in God and His grace.


Caty said...

Welcome home! Glad your trip back was relatively uneventful and that you didn't have to wait obscenely long to come home after waiting for so long as it was. I whole heartedly agree - it's wonderful to sleep in your own bed again after such a long absence. However, it sounds like all in all your trip was worth any temporary discomforts or stresses.

I should get you to come into my daycare as a guest speaker. I know it's normal for people to take things for granted but it's wonderful when people actually appreciate what they have. It's great that you've had a positive impact on the children you worked with. It seems like that worked both ways. Amazing how that happens. :)

ghanima said...

Welcome back, Em! I'm glad to hear that you made it back safe and sound. Things just weren't the same around here without you. :)

I'm sure you're going to be super-busy getting re-adjusted to life around T.O. again (and jumping into wedding plans!), but it'd be great to hear from you when you get settled back in (which, I realize, may take a considerably long time -- no pressure).

MiraFabulous said...

Welcome home! I missed you.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.
And in the grand plan of that - being closer neighbours in the not too distant future :)

Anonymous said...

For the record, I did in fact offer to take Mrs. Bradbury's luggage for her before Emma asked me to. I would have insisted myself, if somebody had told me it was packed full of lead weights. Not sure why anybody needs to go to Kenya/Egypt to buy lead weights.

Emma said...