This weekend I had a special moment with my host mom that I thought deserved its own post. Like I said, I have been in country now for three weeks and have been in close contact with my family through email but have yet to speak to anyone on the phone. Three weeks without hearing any familiar voices sure is a long time! On Saturday, I was able to face time with my mom, dad, Carrie and Em. It was so great seeing their faces! Even though our connection was horrible and they only heard every twentieth syllable (numbers courtesy of dad) it meant so much to me to see them all crowded around my dad’s iphone (still a surprise and newsflash-mom also joined team iphone). Emree has gotten even cuter but was also confused about where I was and kept reaching for the phone.
Later that night, after I walked home, my host mom and I were sitting on the porch. I knew she could tell I was sad so I explained to her – in broken Setswana and through tears – that I was really missing my family and that it is hard to be so far away. I went into my room and got a photo album of pictures I have here with me and shared them with her. She looked through every picture three separate times, asking questions about my loved ones. Following a series of candid pictures of Emree and I, she said “You love her too much.” I know she didn’t mean too much but so much by the way she said it. After she was finished with the rest of the pictures, she set the photo album down, looked at me and said “My ngwana (my daughter), they miss you too.” It was such a simple statement but so comforting to me. She put her hand on my arm, got up and made me a cup of tea. And just like that, my tears were dry and I went to sleep excited for the next time I get to see my family and so thankful to have them in my life, even if they are 8,000 miles away.