Okay, you’re right. I was never really gone. I was still blogging, but I was blogging at a different location (andralauren.wordpress.com) while I was in London. If you have missed any of my London blogs, please feel free to check them out. But, I am officially back in the country!
Actually, I have been back for almost a week (crazy how fast time goes). I flew into El Paso late Thursday night last week. I spent Friday and Saturday at re-entry camp in El Paso as our team and the other Youth in Mission teams readjusted to America. Now I know my team was just in London, so it wasn’t like our cultures are really all that different, so I guess our team didn’t need as much re-acclimation as the teams that went to India or Madagascar. But it has still been a readjustment to being back.
After training camp was over, we all had flights at various times to leave on Sunday. My original flight was for 1:10 PM, but changed to 3:55 PM. I thought,that’s cool, no big deal. Then my flight got cancelled altogether. I got redirected to the ticketing line and got put on a 6:50 AM flight out of El Paso for the next morning. Luckily, there really wasn’t anything I was desperately needing to be home for, so I told myself,you have been done for two months, what is one more day?So I was fortunate to be allowed to stay in the church in El Paso for one more night.
I flew out of El Paso the next morning, had a four-hour layover in Chicago, and made it to Fargo. I got picked up by a lady in my church. She had a little car trouble, so the drive that normally takes 2.5 hours took about 5, but it all worked out because I eventually made it home. So I am home again! And have been for the past two days. I am not going to work before I leave again for college, so I am still trying to be productive with my time. But, let’s be real, I am telling myself I am still accomplishing things, but really all I have done is laundry, order my textbooks for the next semester, run to the nursing home to see Dixie, and bake a cheesecake. I am not really sure if that is all that productive, but oh well. I am pretending I am productive.
It has been weird being back. I love being home, and I love North Dakota. But I grew quite attached to my teammates. I mean, they were complete strangers, but then we spent every day for two months together. I feel as though we became friends. I was pretty much always around people for two straight months. Yesterday morning I was eating cereal and my brother and mom were both at work, and I felt so alone. I mean, my cats were sleeping in the dining room, so it wasn’t like I was totally alone, but at the same time, my cats don’t exactly make for the best conversationalists. I miss my team. But it is weird, because even though we can text each other, we don’t really have anything to say to each other besides references to inside jokes or small talk. It makes me sad, and so I cried while eating my cereal. Yet at the same time, I know that life has seasons and those seasons change. So the leaves of my life are changing colors, and I am having to readjust. So I am taking deep breaths and thanking God for the opportunities I was allowed this summer.
Now I am stepping forward, praying for my pastor, prepping for my last year of college, and knowing that I must put my summer behind me. I am still learning and still seeing what lessons I can pull out of my experiences this summer, but I am not in London anymore. I cherished the time I had, but it went fast and now it is gone. I continue to take deep breaths and move forward.