the end is not the end

Random updates:
- I’m still entering African names and other information into the system for the WHIZ staff. Yikes, I totally thought I’d be done by now, but there’s lots of names. My favorite ones so far have been Fridge and Controller. It’s pretty sweet.
- I’m still blowing my nose a lot. And as Nick says, “Aren’t we all.” Yeah, 14 people in a small house, should have expected that.
- Housemates: I probably will come back with worms. Get over it. I’ll get deworming medicine before I leave.
- Mom, I have exciting news: I am a pro speed scrabble player. I challenge you to a game when I get home. It’s so fun.
- We get really excited about chocolate and cookies and popcorn here.
- I’m on page 745.
- It’s still really warm, and I’m still getting sunburned.

Alright, on a more serious note, there’s some things about Africa that have been breaking my heart and making me think. It’s fun being here, but not always easy.

AIDS: I find myself staring AIDS in the face every day here. And that’s not really a bad thing. But I’ve realized how little I know about the entire epidemic, both here in Zambia as well as everything that surrounds AIDS in America. I’ve probably encountered AIDS more times here than I even know. We’ve visited HIV+ and AIDS patients, and I’m not ever scared, but it’s just so different than anything I’ve ever run across in the states or other countries that I’ve been to before. I’m still not sure what I’m supposed to do about it. Maybe I’m not supposed to do anything. I don’t know, and right now I’m okay with not knowing.

HOPE: Despite everything that these people have been through and continue to go through, there is still so much hope. I get too caught up in things that don’t matter when I’m living with too many material things. I lose hope quickly. I get short-sighted. But I know more now. And the question that I’ve been asking myself lately is, what am I going to do about it when I leave? What am I going to do about it 5, 10 or 20 years down the road? Africa will still be with me, in one way or another. What am I going to do about it?

*And we were soldiers then – our bodies in the sand
And like that sand through our hands – go our grandest plans
And just to see your face for one moment
I’d cross the ocean again
The end is not the end
And I’ll be by your side on the other side
I’ll be by your side on the other side

And through the cloud of death – we’d find our way back home
And though I hold your hand – all must go alone
And when you see the face of our maker
You don’t have to be ashamed
He knows the promises we made
And I’ll be by your side on the other side
I’ll be by your side on the other side*

By Your Side – House of Heroes (thanks, kid)


Kathy T said...

You're on for the speed scrabble - I'll be ready for you. I'm pretty impressed that you are on p. 745 already - maybe you'll have to read it twice. Love the song. DID YOU GET YOUR BOX????? Love you. P.S. If worms is all you get, you can count yourself pretty lucky.

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

my favorite song on the album. weirdly appropriate for us right now, except for the death part. also, I ROCK AT SPEED SCRABBLE, you don't even know.

Elizabeth said...

you are strong. this is making you stronger. He is making you strong.

i got your email. i'm still trying decide if i'm supposed to write you back.