I’ve been imagining this moment for a week now. Me, sitting not so comfortably in economy on Air France, elbows hugging my body as I awkwardly type, trying my best not to disturb the large man sleeping next to me while attempting to keep decent posture in my seat. James Taylor is playing in my earphones, doing his best to drown away the sound of the plane and my uncertain thoughts of what lies ahead.
This is my third time heading to Chad with i-ACT and Gabriel. My fifth time to Chad overall. Getting ready and leaving for Chad doesn’t seem to get any easier, but I’m starting to get used to it. By “it,” I mean leaving family and friends behind, as they continue to live their daily lives without me. It’s still a strange feeling. That I’m about to be somewhere so far and so isolated, living a daily experience so incomparable. But this is what I’ve always wanted. No matter how uncertain, challenging, isolating, long, exhausting and even risky these trips to Chad may be, ultimately, dare I say, I love them.
After all, this is what I’ve always worked toward. I’ve always dreamt that one day my job would take me to the dusty roads of the world. That it would allow me the privilege of using my knowledge, skills, heart, health and all that good stuff that I’m blessed with in service to others, to people like our friends in the camps who don’t have a voice.
So here I am!! Right where I want to be, on an airplane, en route to Chad, sitting next to Gabriel, grateful, ready to take it one day at a time, and most importantly, ready to leap over the many hurdles ahead of us this month in Chad. And breathe.