Travelling the World

Well, I'm on my way back around the world via many airports and a week long refueling stop in Portugal.  I'm excited to be home but of course there's a million mixed emotions cause leaving and closing a chapter of your life is always hard.  I know I'll be back here on this continent of Africa and back in Mozambique...it's where my heart is.....I just need this time at home too.
All this week I've been deferring the goodbyes and talking about it.  It's my personality.  I'm not good with it.  And actually, I think it's because I've had so much going on for so long these last few months leading up to it that I hadn't had time to even begin processing it.  When I did.....I was in the last 5 days of being here and then I couldn't handle all the emotion.  So, I put on my invisible armor shieldy protective suity thing that let everything just roll or bounce off me.  And you weren't allowed to talk about leaving or goodbyes.  I kept telling everyone they could cry after I left.  Even this morning, I had people talk to me in code.....like they'd give me a hug and try to say goodbye and I'd say...."so you're hugging me to celebrate how good the eggs were this morning huh?  I hear the yogurt's good too.  You should try it."  A few weren't happy with me, but I can't process it and spend the next 3 flights crying after all the emotions overwhelm me.  The person next to me would NOT be happy.  I'm currently sitting in the Johannesburg airport.  I've got 2 more flights till I arrive in Lisbon and then a short bus ride to the first town we're staying in.  This coming refueling stop is meant to be a week long distraction for me.  It'll be a good time to adjust to 3rd world versus 1st world culture shock without having to face five million people asking the same questions over and over again as well.  I'm excited and blessed for this week. 
Pray with me for all smooth travelling.  I hate airplanes and I'm going to be in a lot of them.  Also re the ash cloud and the British Airways strike that are still looming to cancel or change my flights from Lisbon to London to Boston to Charlotte.  Pray for smooth adjustment back to life in America.  For good support and friends/community to surround me.  For God to work out all the details of my future plans. Well, for now, I'm signing off (probably for the next week) and recharging......and I'm going to go find a airport café with some good coffee!
Thanks again for participating in this journey with me!  Ya'll have been, are, and will continue being a blessing to me.  Let me know if you'd like me to speak to any of your groups.....starting in July and after!
oh and side story so you can laugh at me.  Last night, in a very tiny elevator that are typical of all countries outside of the United States, 8 of us that were crammed (literally) in there got stuck for SEVEN minutes between floors.  Now, if you know me well, I do NOT do well in tiny places....especially when that tiny space is packed with people that are touching me and breathing my air and the container I'm in is NOT moving.  I'm mostly ok if it's moving.  I start panicking and hyperventilating and well....it's NOT good.  I wasn't even fearful that the elevator would drop me to my death or anything.....no I was afraid the tiny space was going to get even tinier and I'd literally suffocate to death as the space closed in on me.......so while everyone else was freaking out and screaming about the obvious danger of a failing elevator in a third world country and praying out loud.  I turned into the corner, put my head down, closed my eyes and kept repeating.  "This elevator is huge, there's lots of space, I'm in a big field.  No one is touching me.  I'm ok.  This elevator is huge."  It only partially worked.  7 minutes later I was shoving people out of the door after maintenance pried it open.  Thankfully they weren't on a 2 hour tea break cause I'd have been passed out on the floor by that time.  After that I either took the stairs or wouldn't take the elevator with more than 4 people in it....and even THAT was pushing it a bit.  So prayers for no more tiny elevators (lifts) that get stuck with me in them or other weird travel blunders. 


Courtney said...

i would have needed a full code if I had been in that elevator... oh man, Im terrified on enclosed spaces.. i feel for you... have an amazing time in portugal! im praying for you!! cant wait to see you!

erin said...

seriously...i would have too if it had been any longer or if ONE more person was on that elevator. i was being touched on all sides. good thing i was in the corner. it acutally made it a bit more tolerable.

Thanks for the prayers! See you so soon....talk even sooner!

Snow White said...

I was wondering if it's possible to spend the summer in some kind of program in the place you are working? Seems fulfilling and i'm looking for something like that right now. Thank you in advance for any information you can offer me.

erin said...

there are many places in Africa like the one I was working with. Depending on your background and skill set, many places will take you for the summer or longer. Mine in particular required a 1 year committment with only a few exceptions as the language (Portuguese) and cultural differences makes it very hard to have help coming and going so quickly. It takes time to settle in to be really effective. Feel free to email me if you have more questions.