Friday, July 31, 2015

I'm back from Rwanda and....what happens next?

I'm back from Rwanda and a jumble of emotions. The trip was uplifting yet gut-wrenching at the same time. The country is so full of love and connectedness, yet they've been through so much pain and have so many challenges in front of them.

Two weeks after I returned, my uncle passed away. And I hit the ground.  Crying...that ugly, snot-running crying...until I realized I wasn't just crying for him, but for the kids from the orphanage whom we had to leave.  I'm back here...but they are still there.  And I don't know how to be ok with that. We lived on this constant wave of love, and now I'm back and it is gone and they are gone from my life.

I'm not sure what is the next step forward. I always know - always have a next step, goal or milestone. But now I don't. How do I make a difference? How do I fill the hole in my heart from the piece that was left in Rwanda?

I've felt 'island syndrome' in the past (where you feel you are living alone on an island with no one around) - but this time it is different. I don't know how to explain my experience and it is almost harder to relate to other people, having not processed the experience myself.

Don't get me wrong - there was so much good from the trip and I see things differently now. In many ways I am more understanding of other people, but in some ways I'm less.  In many ways I feel gentler and more connected as a human being, but in some ways I feel more alone and less relate-able to those around me.

I had this vision that after I moved into our new home, sold our old house, ate whatever I wanted (to prep for the trip) and then traveled to this land of gentle kindness....that I would come back peaceful and whole. (Part of me even imagined this would be the type of time where I finally cross paths with the right person) But now I am unsure - what happens next?

5 Lessons Learned From 2 Weeks in Rwanda

Back from Rwanda and here is my article about the trip:

5 Lessons From 2 Weeks in Rwanda (A Letter to My Daughter)