The home stretch...

In this post...
- shifting time, space and matter
- preparing for the airport
- goodbyes
- final thoughts

April 6, 2009
To the glow of an energy efficient bulb

Bending of time and space my travels in Gambia are quickly coming to close. In addition the news of my cancelled flight to Madrid has yet accelerated my departure.

Finding balance of life is a fine art particularly in a social culture. Here time spent is everything however, time spent drinking Ataiya doesn’t help feed, clothe, shelter or pay the electricity bill. However, finishing projects that nobody will take interest in or take is an exhausting and expensive way to feel good about accomplishing nothing of use.

Additionally each day the mind increasingly begins to wander back home and wondering how the transition will be back to “normal life” (which due to my current employment, social and housing situation will be far from “normal”)

Preparing to hand over the reigns of the garden has required much thought into structure, roles. At times I wonder how it will work and other moments I see so much potential and God’s hand in the work I wonder what could possibly stop the project. Our workers meeting last week brought me to tears of joy. I am really proud of the team here and really believe in each one. Perhaps the most encouraging success is the establishment of a ECG run garden sales network which is already exceeding our growing capacity which was one of my biggest fears. Only by the grace of God could things come together like this.

Apart from garden business each day is full of joy and surprises. However, I am looking forward to Easter weekend which will be a trip up country for the E.C.G. annual retreat. It will be a chance to step back reflect and spend some “non-structured” time with many of the people from HoW. After all this there will be two short days to dot i’s, cross t’s, say goodbyes and maybe think about packing my thing or two.

April 14, 2009
From the departure Lounge in Youdon-International Airport.

It was not easy to say goodbye. Really from many perspectives. Perhaps the most unusual challenge was the African tendency of total social avoidance when a close friends are leaving. That said I was able to eventually find everyone and share a few last laughs, tears and Fulani greetings.

You can’t expect to start such a venture and not develop such strong bond between the people you spend each day with. Even though for some of my friends we have exchange little more than 20 English words but word or actions, love and friendship could write epic novels.

After install the final security measures for the internet cafĂ© network (and finally getting the internet service renewed from Gamtel) around 10pm. Anne spent the last night helping me pack, meanwhile Alieu provided me with some entertainment and company well into the wi hours of the morning. In addition to make sure I wasn’t lonely Alieu even spent the night sleeping in my room. Although, with my mosquito net packed away I had plenty of company. At least between the two of us we got enough sleep for one.

It was a quiet ride to the airport particularly for a full vehicle. I made a final few phone calls and ran out my credit before handing off my sim card to Musa. It took a few minutes of silence before anyone had the heart to in the goodbyes So far my only regret was forgetting to hand over the keys to my room but hopefully I managed to arrange things via the local system that they will be picked up.

From here I will arrive in Spain and be staying at the YWAM headquarters in Madrid for a week before flying home on the 20th. (Originally I was scheduled to leave country on the 17th but Spanair has cancelled my flight and rebooked it to today leaving me with a longer stay over) I trust this will give me some time to reflect and begin to map out what the next few years of my life may look like.

I’m looking forward to see everyone back home and sharing more details about the trip and all that God is doing here in the Gambia and in my life.

Well here is my boarding call until next trip. Thanks so much for your prayers and support.