Yesterday, Leron & I had the pleasure to chat with the entire staff of CURE Niger. They were a captive audience (required weekly meeting). Well, when asked to reflect on the last three years, my eyes welled up with tears. I recalled some of my first days here, when it was just Leron and the kids me. EVERYTHING was new and a bit overwhelming. Our driver, Amadou, would get us from here to there. We could not even drive ourselves!! I am sure that he did not have a clue how overwhelming it was… everything was new; different foods, language, customs, rules, and laws to name a few.
I was so filled with joy, and yet my heart was heavy. We went from being almost alone here, to little by little amassing what seemed to be a small army to accomplish the task before us. This group of people who were sitting listening to what I had to share have become such a part of my life. We laugh together, blow bubbles together, pray together, eat together, learn together, work together, play together, cry and mourn together, and celebrate so, so much together — babies, weddings, holidays, milestones, health, and healing. This group of people that I have had the honor and privilege to know are much more than “staff” at a hospital, they are family. We have shared so much TOGETHER!
I have enjoyed being “who” I am and being accepted, no matter how different I may be! It has been an amazing time of learning & asking so many questions (no matter how silly). My Nigerien family has been so patient and gracious, as I have made mistakes and probably caught them by surprise on so many occasions. I will miss being with them and hearing all of the news — babies, family health, who visited and what they did, did I hear this or that? It is truly one of my favorite places in the entire world… always greeted with a smile and sincere concern for my life. It is just a wonderful thing… togetherness.