When I arrived in Kumakwane, a huge smile came across my face. As I strolled (read: strutted) down the path towards my old house, "strangers" were stopping me to ask where I have been lately (they noticed I was gone! who would have thought?!) and I greeted friends from the village that I have been missing. When I got to my old compound, the dogs came barreling over to me, jumping up and down and giving me kisses. Together with the dogs, I made my way around the village to look for the Kums Kids. It didn't take long before I was trampled and overwhelmed with hugs. I felt like I was coming home after a long time away, being greeted by loved ones. Most notably: my little Bokena. When Bokena saw me, she literally leapt over her fence and came running at me. We were soon joined by some of the other kids, her brother Bofelo included. For about four hours, we played frisbee, jumped rope, and did craft projects. The kids covered their faces (and my cell phone) with heart stickers that I brought and showed me the progress they have been making in school (either by spelling words in the dirt or telling me all the words they now know in english, etc.). It was a perfect day with them. Actually, even hours later, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much.
To me, today was the coming together of my two lives in Botswana. The things that have made me completely happy here exist in both Gabane and Kumakwane. These are the things that have made this first year (and the rest of my service) so wonderful. Today they became one and the same - coexisting in the happiness I am experiencing these days. Life in Gabane is everything I could have hoped for and definitely where I am meant to be and Kumakwane (and those kids and dogs) will always have my heart.