For more than six months we have been putting together the details of their trip to Botswana. Going through possible itineraries and fantasizing about all the things we will get to do together. And for the last few hours I have been putting the finishing touches on my house in preparation for their arrival. Yes, that means doing laundry (my least favorite chore these days - hand-washing is rough - but I have water to do it so I won't complain!) and making beds and sweeping and dusting furniture (why I continue trying to dust is beyond me because by the time I finish cleaning one side of a piece of furniture, the other side is already covered with dust again). In doing this, I have had a few moments where the excitement (read: exhilaration) was peppered with anxiety.
This anxiety caught me off-guard and caused me to stop for a while to decipher the emotion. And what I have come to is this: I have changed. I am a different person now than I was when I came to Botswana over a year ago. I have a life that is very different in so many respects. And while my family has "been on the journey with me" in that they have read my blog and my countless emails and have supported me so much along the way, they haven't been here to actually be witness to this life and to the changes that have occurred in me. What if they don't like what they see when they get here? What if we don't understand each other the same way anymore? And what if they can't appreciate this life that I have grown to love so much? To me, it is beautiful. Yes, it is rough around the edges, but I have come to like that things take (so much) time and nothing goes as planned and I can laugh at the idiosyncrasies of life here, knowing that things work out and a new special moment is likely right around the corner. I am a new me in a new life and I want so badly for them to be as happy about it all as I am.
I believe these are probably natural worries for someone that has been separated from their family for sixteen months, especially someone who has experienced all the things that come along with being a Peace Corps Volunteer. I share this in hopes of quelling these thoughts in my fellow PCVs (or at least reassuring them). You cannot escape the fact that, as PCVs, we change and we live in wildly different environments than those at home and we run the gamut of emotions throughout our services and that includes when preparing to host visitors. But, at least for me, the reason I am anxious is because I am so excited to share with them everything that comes along with my life here.
The key word is EXCITED. I am excited to have my family with me, to hug them and to bring to life all of the stories that I have told them. I am excited that they will know the people and the places that are dear to me, as they are. I am just so excited about my life here being joined together with my life from home. To bring these worlds together is such a magnificent thing. I really can't imagine being anything other than thrilled about this reality. And my family is excited too. Because being able to experience this together is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and because it will be a shade of wonderful that even words can't describe.
Only one more day until they leave their cozy homes in America and three days until I share my home with the best family in the world: mine! Amazing!
Now it's time to go back to obsessing about something productive... like taking my clothes off the make-shift line outside and dusting just a little bit more... Because MY FAMILY IS COMING!!!