Wednesday, October 6, 2010

this side of the sea

"You look like the elvin king from Lord of the Rings!" shouts a frazzled woman in the alley to the man walking past who obviously took the random blurt as a compliment. His eyes lit up and his long straight hair caught a quick breeze as he turned to join the woman in wherever she was heading. Yes, I am back in Bellingham. These strange but beautiful conversations that I overhear everyday are part of the charm that this city has. People dress in multi-colored organic textured layers and head down to the Saturday market (which thankfully sells beetroot), you can walk around at 2 in the morning without fear, and the Bay just comes to life in the sun or during an autumn storm. Thank you God for bringing me back to such a beautiful place.

It's been about 2 months since coming back from South Africa, and I do apologize for the delay in writing the "returning words." To be honest, until just a few weeks ago, there weren't too many to share. Each day was hard. Normal things were overwhelming and I felt out of place. In some ways this is getting easier but in some, not. More to say later about that.

Thank you Scott for the encouragement to write. On a sad note though, a B'ham essential is gone. The QUarterback is out of business. No more 25c wing nights. So sorry.

A quick summary of the last 2 months. I returned with Cameron (praise God for the blessing that relationship has been), in August and moved back to Bellingham to look for some sort of work. My lovely friend Tanya opened up her house to take me in.It was a great place to transition. We were living in a little cottage behind someone's house, sharing a room, cooking on a hotplate, and making use of a small space. In some ways it felt like training wheels to coming back into a society who values a lot of wasted space in the name of "luxury." Thank you Tanya for sharing your home and for the people living in the house who also truly valued community enough to share their space with others. This last month I moved in with 2 other girls in a 3 bedroom apartment on High Street. They are wonderful and it is a beautiful place. We have a view of downtown and Bellingham Bay. I feel spoiled everyday but am thankful to have a place to sit and breathe and to e living alongside some good friends.

The job situation. Many people had told me that coming home would be a process but I made the mistake of thinking that this would be a process that I would have some sort of control over (isn't that often a misconception we have). Instead it has been a process happening to me. The first month, each day felt different. Some were fine. Some were very painful, others were a blur. My prayer was and is that the work that God was doing in South Africa would continue there and that in some way it would also carry over to this side of the BridGe. To pay the bills, I got a part time job as a recpetionist at Catholic Community Services and I am so grateful for this chance to be back at CCS, working with people I know as well as having time to just be. Be back in America and to re-adjust to life here, see family and friends, and to listen for what God has next. He has been so faithful! He who began a good work in you is SURE to bring it to completion! There have been some interesting conversations about what organizations are doing here in Bellingham and in Seattle around the issue of Human Trafficking, as it is such a prevalent one here too. I will post some links to the websites on here.

Am I going back? God willing. This is something that I am offering up and is in many ways out of my hands. I would love to and am open to what God has in store. For now though, I hold the work that was done there and what continues with open hands knowing that He will continue His work with or without me there...and if God wants me to return, He will lead and will provide. Cameron's also very excited to go back some day!

Thanks to everyone who so faithfully prayed this last year. I've said it before but just to encourage you to continue praying for those who are serving abroad and in your own communities, I felt the prayers! It has hit me more lately, the miricle in the fact that I was not injured, seriously threatened, or harmed in any way during this last year. Many that I know were not as fortunate.

Some things I am so grateful for in returning here:
-breathing fresh air everyday
-riding my bike around down town
-great friends
-cooking fresh, local foods
-being able to be out at night
-leaves changing color
-seeing family
-good coffee
-having lakes to swim in or run around
-quiet places
-church community, worship

What do I miss?
-fruit stands on the sidewalk
-walking across town everyday
-the unpredictability of TLF and Pretoria
-the Jacaranda trees
-jumping on a minitaxi and ending up in another country
-essential creativity
-red dirt
-seeing zebras every once in a while
-almost getting run over by cars in the street
-museum park sunsets
-being "in" after dark and having to get creative with friends
-TLF friends!
-smells of the streets
-Rajah curry powder

For now, stay well. More to come. I want to continue this blog and put up more pictures from this last year as I sort through them and print some. If you have any specific questions about the year from this perspective or about what's going on here...please let me know. I'm happy to write! Its still a little strange to have internet access all the time, but i'm getting used to it.

with love always,

Music suggestion of the day: Vusi Mathlasela, and the Afro Cuban Allstars. Enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Robin - I JUST found your blog today!! I had no idea you even had one! I love your writing, love your pictures, and can't wait for more time to read more. :-) You're one of those people I think the world of for your kindness, sincerity and ability to be yourself. It's so great to get to know you better through your writings. :-)