For the past few days, ever since we returned from our trip to Lake Eyasi, I've been thinking about how to write up my experience there. I just don't think there's any way to adequately convey my experience of camping in the bush and visiting the nomadic peoples of this area. I think I will hold this as one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
Before we left on the trip I expected that it would be a difficult week, but that afterwards I would look back on it as an interesting and worthwhile adventure. I also expected that I would experience a feeling of "home-sweet-home" when I returned back to our house in Mwanza. And now that I think about it, I wonder if I was looking forward to that feeling upon returning because for the past year I've not had a home and maybe in some way I wanted to appreciate being finally settled.
Now that I've gone and come back I'm having quite a mix of emotions. I was accurate when I anticipated it being a difficult week. But it was difficult in ways I'd not expected (the dust and dirt were really hard on my eyes, for one). And yet, I enjoyed it way more than I anticipated. The beauty of the land, the great MK company along the way, the warm welcome and abundant curiosity of the people. All of these things far exceeded any difficulties we encountered. Also, I wasn't as ready to return to Mwanza as I thought I'd be. Don't get me wrong, I was glad to get a shower and be clean, it was nice to see our little doggie again, and our home is quite nice here. But all throughout this weekend I keep feeling a sense of homesickness instead of the "home-sweet-home" feeling I anticipated experiencing. It's similar to the feelings I had when I came back to the States after our first trip to Tanzania in 2006. After that trip both Chris and I felt a sense of homesickness for a place we'd only briefly known. And that's how I feel right now. I long to go back to live and work with the people in this area. Unfortunately, it's not a possibility right now because all MK Lay Missioners are being asked by the powers-that-be to live and work in and around the city of Mwanza. But as soon as that restriction is lifted, I could definitely see me and Chris uprooting again and moving out a little closer to work with this community.
I'm still in the process of uploading our pictures from the trip, but I'll post some along with stories soon.