My New Chapter


So, these few weeks (months) have been a whirlwind.  Packing, saying goodbye, exams, more packing, etc... I'll admit, these months have been some of the hardest ones I've had in a very, very long time.

My best friend and I spent our last week together binge watching the tv series Sherlock, and decided we should have some pictures with what we call the "Sherlock pose" (Benedict Cumberbatch really milks that show for all it's worth with his dramatic poses and pauses...)

And then of course we have our own little drama queen...

We've moved continents (again), and are now in Lisbon, Portugal.  Yes, it's freezing.  And yes, I do know it's summer. I am currently in fluffy slippers I bought yesterday (which is like the coolest thing ever cause I haven't worn slippers in years) and wrapped in a big, fuzzy blanket (which I also bought yesterday).

I could make this a really sad post about how much moving hurts, what it does to your emotional state and grieving process for years to come and how it affects your relationships for the rest of your life...but I won't.  Partly for you, and partly because I don't think I could handle that right now.  So instead, I'm going to tell you all the things that have me excited (which is kind of a long list, since we went from 3rd world to 1st world over night)

I'll start with the hotel in Dubai: I took a shower...just to take a shower.  It was 1:00 in the morning by the time we got there, but there were five lights in the bathroom (one just for the shower) and there were two different knobs just to control the water in the shower alone.  Then, not only was there shampoo, conditioner, lotion and body wash, there were little packets that had combs, sewing kits, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving kits, mini towels, and ones I can't remember.  Then, Emily and I played with the switches in the room...there were literally thousands.  I think I accidentally called two maids up to the room.

Okay, I'll move on to Lisbon.  Now, in hindsight, I think our first trip to the mall was worth videoing.  On the way, the co-worker that took us said "this isn't big enough to call a mall, but it's close and convenient and will have the stuff we need".


We got to the store and scattered, coming back with pretzels and cereal and dried fruit and raspberries and blueberries and cheese and bacon and chips and salami and so on.  And that was just the stuff that Emily and I wanted.  I bet we looked ridiculous, cause we would run off, and then wander through the aisles until we found something that looked familiar, and then we'd hold her phone over it to translate the packaging (oh my gosh, we never would have survived without google translate) and then run back and dump it in the cart.

Yesterday, we went to the "actual mall".  Ohhhmyygoodnesss it was the biggest mall I've ever been in!!  There were so many stores, with so much stuff in them.  There were five shoe stores.  Just for shoes! And there was a massive food court, that smelled so good.  And there was a microwave in the food court, where people could bring their own food.  And there was a little maze for kids to play in, and tiny little tables with the cutest bunny chairs ever for them.  We got robes and blankets and slippers and cute jammies and all that stuff we never needed in TZ.  The only thing that was disappointing was that the new Incredibles movie was only showing in Portuguese. (surprise)

Then there's other funny little things, like how I left my chocolate out for hours, and when I remembered (or, when my parents reminded me...same difference) there were no ants in it!  Or how I put one ice cube in my drink and it didn't melt for such a long time, and even trying to sleep when it's still light outside (that one still kind of throws me for a loop)

All that to say, I'd give anything to be in Tanzania.  I miss the birds, the ocean view, the people, the colours, and the people.  I've done what I know I have to in order to survive, and found the good parts of living here, but I miss my home more than words can say.  I left so much behind me, and I know it will be a very long time before I've healed enough to accept Lisbon.  Leaving my life behind makes my personal battle for identity even harder, and giving up another home has me more lost than I'm willing to admit.  However, the verse Philippians 3:20, "But our citizenship is in heaven", reminds me that, while I may be stranded between the border lines of nationalities here on earth, I have a home that awaits, one I won't ever have to give up.

Everyone around us has encouraged my family to push through, but one friend in particular has continually reminded me to think of a new chapter.  Sometimes it's just that.  I'll be venting to him about the move, and his only response will be "new chapter, remember?".  And it's fitting, you have to admit.  I've ended one of the most wonderful chapters of my life, and now I'm starting a new one, simply continuing the story.  So, if you bear with me, I'll share with you the next chapter in my story, because I can promise you there will be some interesting parts in store around the corner.


  1. Thank you for your honesty--it's refreshing and necessary. :) Your friends at Camp Selah love and miss you! And you're right, our citizenship is in Heaven! Don't get too attached, wherever you find yourself. Our theme this summer keeps reminding me to "proclaim His excellencies" in whatever circumstances I find myself, whatever feelings are tempting me to doubt His goodness. If Jesus (God Himself--crazy!) could humble Himself and submit to the Father and go to a place that wasn't His home for 33 years....we can make it here on earth in any country. ;) -Mark


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