I was re-reading my blog from last week, and I realized that I didn’t do justice to our recent visitors. It is a very special thing - to have dear friends and family come halfway across the world to see us and to see why we are doing what we are in doing.
It is also quite ironic that we experienced 4+ straight weeks of scorching heat - only to have a storm and the relief that rain brings after everyone left. Sorry, Jason, Aaron & Heather! Currently, I’m composing this blog outside, and I’m a little chilly without a sweatshirt. John and I are sharing his sweatshirt and taking turns. That’s what happens when it’s only 79 degrees out. I wouldn’t trade this cool feeling for the heat.
Under the piercing sun, we had some amazing times. I had never travelled with Aaron and Heather before, and I was surprised at how easygoing they both were. Not that they aren’t easygoing people, but traveling in a different culture can be stressful on anybody. I think they handled the heat better than myself at times!
It was so good to introduce them to our community a bit, and it was so great to hear their genuine exclamations of how much they liked the Hands of Hope products - of which they purchased a great many! Because they were lucky enough to spend so much time with us, we had so many relaxed conversations - and many games of Carcassonne. We have really great friends.
John’s brother, Jason, had a unique experience. He came here with the intention of spending most of his time with us at our volunteer home. He quietly observed and joined in our everyday life. He even became quite competent at quilling at Hands of Hope!
One of my highlights of his visit was Jason and John’s idea to share music with the patients. On one of our overnight shifts, Jason played guitar while John and I took turns singing a song. The patients knew my song and joined in. It was extra special because there are hardly any events that are singularly for the patients - or don’t involve staff clicking away photo after photo. It felt more intimate than usual. And it was definitely out of Jason’s comfort zone - officially welcoming him to our new life!
I have been told that it is harder to adjust to life back home after a volunteer year than it is to transition to the new country originally. It’s really such a gift to be able to share this experience with people back home. Thanks, gal and guys!