Dear South Africa

Dear South Africa,

it will be two years in July since i last was on your soil.

just crazy.
its unreal.
sometimes i think i am still going through culture shock and other times i think i never really left Canada.

for starters, i still can't shop in a mall. its so overwhelming i get anxiety and look for the nearest exit. the way people consume and spend when so many don't have any - its something i haven't been able to deal with yet. i re read my journals and look at videos and pictures and i sometimes trick myself into thinking that i can drive over and see hold my kids. oh how i wish i could hear them laugh one more time.
then, i think about how i went right back into university and got engaged. life has been happening so fast that often it feels like you were just a dream.
overall, i just miss you. i miss your gorgeous mountains and the warm Indian ocean that tossed me around so many times. i miss the hot weather and being able to wear whatever i wanted.

more importantly though, i miss the people i lived with, worked with and went to church with. i've learnt the only things that last our peoples souls and God's word. i got to meet the most amazing people on your land that i will forever love and call family. i miss them a lot.
i miss the freedom i felt in your country even though there wasn't a lot of it. but you made me feel free. i knew i was living in the centre of God's will and that is the greatest freedom of all. i so wish you would get better at the whole freedom thing though. i wish you would have allowed me to walk by myself and not be so scared of getting attacked. i wish you would stop rapping young women and that your government wouldn't be so corrupt. i wish you believed more in education and paid teachers a fair wage to teach your next generation. we definitely had our ups and downs but when looking back i only remember the good. funny how that works. and South Africa, you were too good to me.

as a nineteen year old living in a foreign country you allowed me to learn who i was and my purpose in life. you allowed me to be challenged by seeing poverty up close and let me cry long and hard as i tried to figure out what i could do about it. you allowed me to ask deep hard questions in your country, knowing that the answers would never be there.

it was in your country when i fully accepted God's unending love.

it was in your country when i realized i would marry my husband.

it was in your country when i got to be a mom to the most stunning children i will ever met. my heart aches for their hugs each day but i am so grateful to have met them. you allowed me to love on them and i am so thankful for the opportunity.
thank you for having such an amazing impact on my life. the Lord knew what He was doing when He told me to do service work in your country for the year.

look after my kids for me and the people i love so much.

till we meet again,


ps. i wrote a letter to South Africa after living there for 8 months with a few to go. Click the link to check it out: http://foreverhisbymadeline.blogspot.ca/2012/04/letter-to-south-africa.html

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