Was it really only just over four months ago that we left Africa? In some respects, it seems like it was another life time ago, somehow though, it continues to live strong in our hearts.
We are on the final countdown now as we prepare for a short trip back. We wonder what it will be like this time. We know where we are going. We know where we will be living. We know the basic routine of life there. We have friends waiting for us, but it will be different. It is a shorter time. We will not both be working full time. Our girls will be attending some classes and doing the rest online. Some of our friends have moved on and won’t be waiting there for us. We have now experienced some of Canada’s cool weather and have even acclimatized slightly, how will we do with the heat?
So as we countdown here is a snapshot of what this week looks like. A few emails of requests for things to bring. A shopping list with items crossed out. A last minute order on amazon to fulfill some requests. More emails, more added to the list. I must admit, it is rather fun. I’ve been on the other side of this. I know what it is like to receive these treasures that you have had to live without. Those things that you thought weren’t that big of a deal until you couldn’t get them anymore. Anything that reminds you of your home country. Simple things like coffee, cough candies, chocolate bars, crackers, good pens, socks…..the list could go on, and it does! Now to try and fit it all into suitcases and action packers.
As I read the 2014 Human Development Index Report (HDI) this week, I am reminded once again that Niger is the least favourable place in the world to live, placing 187 out of 187, while Canada is the eighth out of 187 most favourable place to live. This grips my heart. The poverty is hard to fathom. Yes, I am asked even lower than Haiti? Yes, even lower than Haiti, quite a bit lower than Haiti in fact. Here’s a link if you are interested in checking out these stats yourself. http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/10/25/the-10-least-livable-countries/
(don’t know if this will work, but it gives you an idea of where to look)
So as we prepare and pack, I am once again realizing how blessed we are. I am. I live in a place that has seasons, colour and constant beauty. I live in a place where I don’t need to bleach my vegetables and when I go to the store, there are no flies, mice or shrews, but there is plethora of variety…. of everything. Sometimes I might have to go to another store, but usually I can get whatever I want. If not, I can just go online and order it and have it shipped to me. As I reflect on this though, I realize how it is so easy to want more because we have more. In the past four months I know we have fallen into this trap on different occasions. It seems so twisted. We have more so we should be thankful for more.
So as we prepare to go and hopefully be a blessing to others in Africa, we find ourselves being abundantly blessed and counting our many blessings.