Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Unpacking the Trip to Ethiopia

Well, all of the physical unpacking is done. The clothes have been washed, the pictures have been downloaded, and the souvenirs are resting in their new homes. It will take much longer, however, to unpack emotionally. We had many significant experiences that we have not yet fully come to terms with. I imagine the blog will be sprinkled with thoughts from the trip for awhile as we continue to emotionally unpack.

Part of the difficulty of "unpacking" is the reentry into society here. I don't fit into society here like I did before I left. For example, when my kids decide they don't want to eat the crust of their bread, I am no longer willing to accommodate. "There are starving people in Africa," I want to say. A phrase my mom use to use on me which I thought was absurd. I was more than willing for her to ship the food I did not want to Africa. But the tables have turned. I have been to Africa for a second time but for the first time with fewer scales on my eyes. Now how do I convey to my kids that it is insensitive to treat as worthless that which is so valuable to others because it is needed in order to live?

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