I have so many feelings in my head, so many thoughts and emotions. Tonight I fly out of Nairobi Kenya and back to Tennessee. I’ve already said good bye to my fellow nurses and clinical family, Francis and her kids, and finally the Maranatha team I’ve spent the past 2 weeks with. So many goodbyes that it feels like my heart and head is numb.
I’m thankful to God for the opportunity to come here to Kenya and volunteer. I’m definitely not the same girl that came six months ago. Travel changes people and living in Africa for six months has definitely changed me. Missions is always worth it, I still believe, but being a single girl as a missionary is extremely difficult. I would love to do more ministry or mission work in the future but I don’t want to go out again alone.
For now, I’m excited about returning to Chattanooga but there are many memories I will treasure and miss. I will miss the kind children here in Kenya who chase me on my motorcycle. I will miss the grandmothers with colorful necklaces and skirts who hand over their babies for me to cuddle with. I will miss the smell of ugali and kales wafting through our little house by the clinic. I will definitely miss delivering babies but I will definitely not miss scrubbing blood out of dirty rags and the strong smells in the delivery room...
Before going back I had the chance to stop in Nairobi and do a few tourist things. I was super excited to be able to visit the Giraffe Center and Elephant Orphanage and I even secretly kissed the giraffe featured below.
I believe volunteering here has made me stronger mentally, shown me how much is possible with God and what it really means to be brave or independent. I believe being here has helped me to be a better nurse- to want to love others more through helping them. I believe volunteering here has helped me to see Jesus in a different way, helped me to realize just how much I need Him. That being said—volunteering here for six months—has been super rough for me in some ways and caused me to struggle with depression. Being a missionary truly is not cliché and just fun and adventures, but it’s a real struggle sometimes. I look forward to continuing on my journey with God wherever that may be- that for now being back in Chattanooga.