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final days

i said the first of many goodbye's today. i didn't want to leave Aunty's home, especially on her birthday, especially when we'd been pouring our hearts out to one another. i heard about her recent eye loss and how it's curtailed her cooking and work. i shared some recent reading that has made me ponder what God has planned for me next. as i walked down familiar stairs for the last time, as i told a boy i've seen grow from infant to little man that i wouldn't see him again until he was much bigger, as i received one last colorful card from my little friend my heart broke a bit, my eyes clouded with tears.
thankfully, it no longer feels like india has conquered me. i don't feel defeated or lost. i am still perplexed by the place i fill and the place i am expected to fill in india. i understand more and more. i enjoy the smiles more. the stress of the past few years has melted away as i've been able to enjoy india once again. and i don't even feel sad that i'm not staying. i'll miss those kids, i'll miss sitting with Aunty, but i love looking forward to next steps and family awaiting me on far shores.
and before reaching those far shores, i have a mountain or two left to climb, literally. i'm reliving my early india days -- back at the VYK for AIF orientation (this time as an alum), once again campaigning for Dems Abroad, trekking the himalayas in search of no cell reception and thin air. my faithful friend will surely lead us to a place of no reception and thin air, laughing at my lowlander gasps for oxygen. i've come full circle yet india runs in my blood now (literally, probably, given the likelihood i've contracted something whilst here). and i'll be back to ski kashmir alpine slopes and climb himalayan peaks. God has displayed His majesty in unmatched ways in the high places of india and i won't refuse His call to return.
This week I was an American girl in an Indian bus listening to Senegalese music.