Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thank You: Gratitude for a Family's Visit

I have been trying to articulate and encapsulate my family's visit but have fallen short in adequately expressing how amazing it was. In fact, most of what I came up with was a series of adjectives strung together like Christmas lights - great, exciting, adventurous, wonderful, enchanting, joyous, breathtaking, heartwarming, and so on. When I moved on to the next attempt at conveying the magnitude of their visit I was left with anecdotes about seeing lions and leopards, showering in "hippo water" (as my sister referred to it), shivering and sweating within days of each other, and running full bore away from spiders. These stories left me smiling and laughing and in awe all over again. But, still, it didn't seem like enough to really share what this time together meant to me. So I have decided on this: to write an open letter to my family...

To My Amazing Family,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming to visit me in Botswana. Thank you for caring enough about me to want to see my world and to experience it first hand. Thank you for accepting the crazy things about my life - bucket baths, power outages, and haphazard weather included - and for loving those people close to me here. Thank you for being open to adventure and trying new things and pushing yourself to your own personal limits. Thank you for laughing when things weren't perfect. Thank you for making sacrifices as you scrimped and saved the money to come and thank you for including me along the way. Thank you for the hugs and the kisses and the encouragement. Thank you so much.

I want you all to know how truly special this trip was for me. To have you know where I am and to have actually experienced a bit of my life here makes it feel more real to me. Sometimes, as a Peace Corps Volunteer, you can feel detached from the people you love back home. It can be a long time without hearing from your best friend or a loved one and you can feel like you are in a whole different world that could be a product of your own imagination. The fact that you were here, walking the same paths as I do and being a part of this life, brings validity and authenticity to it. It is even more real to me now. You know, you understand, and you can appreciate this world. For that, thank you.

When I sit in my now empty house and look through pictures and think back to everything that we experienced together, my heart feels so full. 

I could never thank you enough.

All my love,

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