all right, more than a week has passed since we returned from Malawi, and i’m ready to give this whole reflection thing a whirl.

you know, it’s really funny. actually hilarious. normally when i come home from mission trips or any other life completing trip for that manner (read: anything from a band trip to cruise) i am FLIPPING OUT. like can’t stop talking about it, breathing it, living it, missing it like CRAZY. but man oh man, this africa trip has proven me totally wrong.

because honestly, i came home on friday sooo excited to see my friends. just so excited to show them pictures, to tell them stories; though more than anything, just really excited to get back to life. and i wasn’t really thinking much about africa. more about wrapping myself back up in senior year. and i did that quite successfully.

out with my friends the next night handing out my little tokens for them- a rubber ball, a broom, ostirch jerky, wooden feet- showing them the rainbow bus, etc. but now a week later, i’ve stopped handing out gifts. they’re all still piled up in my room and i don’t feel much like handing them out anymore. why?

came back to school on monday (rockin’ the mo skirt and my “i love africa” shirt of course!) and i was just beyond excited to be back. but it’s just so bizarre- i just don’t find myself talking about it with the same kind of passion and nostalgia i normally would. i mean don’t get me wrong; this trip completely changed me, inspired me and everything and i would go back to that week in apx .2 seconds but i just. i don’t know. i’m living in two worlds.

i think my problem is i’m too passionate. like, maybe i love life too much. there’s just so much of me here, in new jersey. at my high school. with my friends. in this GLORIOUS spring weather. freaking out about prom, band trips, everything that =’s the end of senior year.

then i’m still there in malawi. i’m still there sticking my tongue out at the little kids while dennis is praying. i’m definitely still singing this little light of mine after being completely BLOWN away by some little AIDS orphans screaming whatever it was. i’m positive i’m still giving out high fives, dancing with little girls, serving the meals, taking pictures, smiling, smiling, smiling at everyone.

and then i still have absolutely no idea what i lived.

i’m thinking that about 5 months from now, i’m going to wake up, it’s going to slap me in the face. and the next day i’ll get on a plane on go back. but for now, oh for now. for now it’ll just pop back into my head. random flashbacks of little kids eating their only meal with coffins while i have my huge fuddruckers burger after school. me looking at prom dresses that cost $200 while that money could easily support an AIDS orphan. where are my priorities? where are our priorities? what now? what do i do? i’m so lost in two worlds that i’m just at a lost of what to do.

what do we do? what can i do?

last night there was a beautiful sunset. i was driving, made a turn and it just caught me. i was in the car with my two friends and i completely went insane. DO YOU SEE THAT SUNSET?!?!?! yes martha, it’s pretty cool. THAT REMINDS ME OF AFRICA!!!!!!!! and well, needless to say, they didn’t know how to react. the sunsets in america will never replace that one we all witnessed on the bus ride back to lillongwe on our journey home. for me, that sunset captured it all. all of it’s glory sprawled across the sky. the beauty of the trip. and last night’s when it hit me. that’s when i was positive africa would never escape me. because there’s just always something that brings me back. that jolts me for a second as i’m stuck in my two worlds. it grounds me. and i’ve never thanked God so much in my life before.

throughout the whole trip, (starting from the airplane ride over and ending on our flight back) i always looked for o’ryan’s belt in the sky at night. i look for it here almost every night. the stars are the same here in america as they are in malawi. as they are in dakar. in south africa. in everywhere. we are all the same in this one big world. we are all connected.

so, what do we do? what do I do?