Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Homeward Bound

I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. Getting out of bed meant it was time for the dream of Belize to end. It meant having to pack, say goodbye, get on a bus and start the journey back home. I didn’t want to leave.
I love my family and friends back home. I love my home. I love my job, and I love the Minnesota summers, but the call of Belize seemed stronger than all of that. While staying was not really much of a viable option, I left having much to come back for… visiting the keys, scuba diving, doing the zipline, revisiting newly made friends, endless days of home visits, helping document the shaman’s rainforest medicines, serving in the hospitals, making a difference, and following a path that I know God continues to whisper directions for me to follow.
All together, we had set up 9 clinics, seen more than 600 patients, educated more than 1,000 children in the schools, and done dozens and dozens of home visits. The number of lives we inspired is hopefully much greater. I also leave knowing that we not only touched many lives, but feeling confident that we actually saved at least a handful of lives as well.

My newly made friendships and solidified bonds with those friends I came with will forever be lasting. I came in wonder and left in awe. I came expecting a worthwhile experience, I left feeling it was priceless. I came with sympathy for those in need, I left with a new empathy for what they live through every day. Every expectation I came with was completely shattered because everything I expected far exceeded anything I could have imagined. Beautiful, profound, insightful, reflective, stunning, breathtaking, and life changing are things that I carried home not in my suitcase, but in my memories and my heart. I feel like a more blessed person to have been given the honor of touching the lives of the Belizean people. Reaching out to them ended up leaving a far greater impact on my own life than I'm sure any of us could have left on theirs.
The flight home was interesting... my injured ankle gave me the high honor of riding in the silver throne and being a human luggage rack. The flight back was exhausting for us all too, but comforting knowing we had much to return back to.
Now back in the states and back in school, I walk through life with a different pair of lenses and appreciate the life I have more fully and more completely. Belize... I'm not done with you yet!


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