Saturday, 11 August 2012
I don't think I even realized how much I needed it until one day I realized that I felt rested and my attitude was improved. My "normal" life involves a lot of home-time and limited (once or twice a week) social time. I'm not a social butterfly, I'm happy to have a very small core group of friends. The ship has stretched me, without making me feel overwhelmed. I spend lots of time visiting, spending time with friends daily with very rare alone time. It's God's grace that I don't feel overwhelmed on the ship.
And so I went to a few family things, met a couple of friends but did very little away from my parent's place the first few weeks. And it was good. Once I had my energy back, I did get a chance to do a few things...
My friend Laurie and I rented a car and drove to Minneapolis to visit my friend Anna, and even got to see Melissa briefly the next day. Anna was gracious and gave us the key to her place when she went camping our second night at her place. In totally, we spent 3 days away from home... mostly driving. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. Sooooooo very good to see ship friends in their home environment, and to get some roadtrip fun in with Laurie. It will have to be repeated some day!
Two days after arriving home from the Minneapolis trip, I went to be a nurse at a camp for visually impaired children. With a total of 16 children, it wasn't a hard job, and I got a lot of opportunities to just hang out with them and learned a lot. It was also in a beautiful location on the shores of Brereton lake in the Whiteshell. After half a week I was done, with many of them asking why I was leaving already (they had nurse lined up for the end of the week, I was the emergency fill-in since they couldn't get one and without a nurse would have cancelled camp). It was so much fun I might even go back next year, though I did warn them that it depends on which country I'm in next year. My life changes so fast sometimes, I really don't want to make commitments that I can't keep!
And then I spent a few other nights at the homes of various friends having "sleepovers" as excuses to spend more time with them. Oh, and I may have fit a bit of bargain shopping in between everything. And now... now I return to my alternate reality. The life on the ship that is like some in-between culture that is incredibly hard to describe to those who haven't lived it. I'm returning to a new role/job where the challenges are still partially unknown (to me at least). I'm returning to some amazing friends that I can't wait to see and hug again, and to a multitude of new faces from up to 40 countries. And having said goodbyes and hellos enough times, I know there are some new friends that will make it all worthwhile. There will be experiences that will grow me and change me and leave me speechless. There will be things that make me laugh, cry, and every emotion in between. And if I allow it, God will grow me through it all.
I can't wait!