at the setting of the sun
I sat in the dining room yesterday evening watching the sun slide into the waters of the Port du Peche. It's strange to be able to number the times I will be able to do this on one hand.
I fly out of Benin on Wednesday, stopping for 24 hours in Paris before arriving in frozen and wintry Rochester on Friday evening.
Goodbyes are gloomy affairs, especially when I consider the indisputable fact that I will never see some of these people again, at least not in this life. And "let's keep in touch" is at times simply a well-intentioned euphemism for "I hope you have a nice life."
I was reminded by Maggie that the goodbyes are worth it. I'll take the small pain of saying goodbye to someone lovely over the rather large loss of never having known that person.
Even as I prepare to say goodbye to some very dear friends, I am also thrilled beyond words to be going home both to friends close enough to be family and also my "real" family. Knowing that there will be a group of people waiting with open arms at the Rochester airport makes it so much easier to leave behind people I care about here.
Of course, it also helps to know that I will be back on the Africa Mercy in late January, sailing from Tenerife to Togo for the outreach and then sailing down to South Africa. Which, incidentally, requires sailing across the equator and around the Cape of Good Hope--how amazing is that?!
Want to meet me at the airport? I get into Rochester at about 6.30 pm this Friday, November 6th. I imagine my first order of business will be to head home to sleep (in my own bed!), but I would love to see you regardless.
I wonder, when I open my bags at home to unpack, will they smell of Africa?