Things I don't miss about Ethiopia:
- Toilets that can't handle toilet paper
- Peanut Butter Crackers being my main source of nutrition
- Inability to wear flip flops (without getting cold, wet and muddy toes)
- No water pressure in the shower
- Sharing one bathroom with 15 other women
- Daily headache as a result of the smog
- The indescribable smell
- Being scared of swallowing the water, by accident or otherwise
- Squatty potties (for those of you who've never experienced this....that would be equal to a hole in the ground)
- Carrying my HEAVY backpack
- Flies on faces
- Children in ratty, torn, ill-fitting and dirty clothes, with bare feet and bare bottoms
And, so, with a list such as this WHY, I ask myself, am I already wondering when I can go back? I mean, seriously, I just got home.
It's weird being torn between the blessings of home. My home, my family, my life. And the people of Ethiopia who I've just met.
So many things in this world seem different now. I look at everything and try to process the discrepancies. The water runs while I brush my teeth and I'm ashamed at how much I just waste without even giving it a second thought. (For that matter, I brush my teeth. With a toothbrush and toothpaste; not a stick.) I go to fix a bowl of cereal and that last part...you know, the part that's all tiny little crumbs that just turns to mush in your bowl? I would normally just toss that in the trash but now, after Ethiopia, I can't. I fill my watering cans to water my geraniums and I consider just letting them die. I break a sweat outdoors and think I'm miserable. How dare me. I fill the car with gas and imagine what that amount of money could do for a family or a street child in Ethiopia.
The faces of the children are etched into my memory. I hope that they will remain that way. People ask, "how was your trip?" and I find the answer stuck there. Somewhere between "wonderful, amazing, life-changing, fabulous" and "sad, depressing, awful and did I mention sad?".
It is so hard to put into words but God reminds me of my own words to Jordan (as he returned home, broken at what he'd seen in Mexico)......"God knew what He was doing when He blessed us one way and them another. He didn't make a mistake when He made us Americans and them Ethiopians (or Mexicans)". And, again, I go back to some words that I wrote in my Bible many, many years ago (probably 20 years ago), "He blesses us so that we may bless others".
And my focus must be on HOW He wants me to use my blessings to bless them.
And that should keep me busy.....until I get to go back. : )