I know I've said it before, but I just can't get over it: I have awesome friends. Like, really really awesome. My friends back in the states send me mail, encourage me, skype me into Bible studies and football-watching parties, and even endure the expenses and hassles of international travel to come visit me for a few days (I can't wait to see you, Cat!). They remind me why I am where I am and encourage me to keep going, while simultaneously plotting to get me fired so that I'll have to come back to the states.
Carolyn sent me this video that she helped Jeremy (one of my favorite people!) make the other evening. On the bookshelf by my desk here I have a Jeremy wall with a drawing of a passing lane, along with a sign he made: "Please pray for Lyndsey at Peru." He told me he would pray for me every day while I was gone. I know it's probably not theologically accurate, but I like to think that Jeremy's prayers count double. I'm taking lots of pictures of South American road construction to show Jeremy (a.k.a. The Ultimate Chick Magnet).
(I don't have to come back to get a visa, but Jeremy has known many other workers who have had to come to the states occasionally to straighten out visa issues. I really wish my visa required a stateside visit!)
Doesn't that bless your heart? I sure miss that kid, and a lot of people back in Daytona. But I have people I miss all over the place. I have best friends in Georgia and Texas, family in Arkansas and Tennessee, and countless other friends and loved ones scattered across the globe. I've always liked the quote from Thoreau, "Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes." And it's true, often down here, the earth seems very spacious. When I can't get a Jeremy hug, when I can't sing and sway after the 3rd quarter with my friends, when I can't kiss my parents, or hold a hurting friend close. Yes, then the earth seems very spacious indeed.
We had a great time working and visiting in Chile* last week, but I was looking forward to getting back to Lima. I missed it. I missed our team and my friends here. I missed "home." No, I'm not from here, I don't feel 100% comfortable here, and I have no intention of settling here for years to come. It actually hurts me a little to actually use the word "home" to describe it because it feels like I'm being unfaithful to my beloved home in the States. But I guess home isn't so much a dot on a map as it is the place where the people you miss are. Of course, if all my "homes" could just get together in one physical location it sure would make life a lot easier. ;-)
*More on Chile later, but I came back with lots of work to do and a souvenir cold/allergy attack that has me under the weather right now. Please pray for health, focus for work, and a quick arrival of Spring in Lima!