I started packing my suitcase sometime in March, first there was just a few little things, like the travel journal I picked out and an extra contact case. The pile has gotten steadily larger almost daily, shifted and reorganized weekly, and most certainly weighs more than 50 lbs. Today I finally (I hope...) got everything officially situated, zipped it up, and have sworn that I will not mess with it again.
My second suitcase is a different story. It's filled with 2 tons of art supplies including 75 one-subject notebooks, at least 50 boxes of crayons, children's story collections, and enough pipe cleaners and craft sticks to build a (very colorful) bomb shelter. Where did all this stuff come from? The collection started with my wonderful mother and then spread to her office, and my community church (Bethany United Methodist). After I shared my goal of collecting a notebook for every child at New Hope to journal in and personalize, the community pulled together and made everything a reality. IT TRULY IS AMAZING! Of course I will definitely be paying a fee for that suitcase weighing more than 50lbs...
Although I am getting very excited, I mean jumping up and down, singing, reminding every near me the exact number of minutes remaining until I board the plane, there are odd moments when I get a little sad and nervous. I'm used to being on my own and spending time away from my family, but the distance from Chapel Hill to West Jefferson versus Uganda is a little intimidating. Of course there is also the ominous thought of (**sap alert**) of being away from Eli, whom I've never been away from for more than a week in the past three years, for 9 whole weeks. GASP! I have begun speaking of it in terms of the rock quarry sometimes. No matter how many times we have been, first looking over the ledge, down 40 feet into the water is scary. You get excited, you scoot up to the edge, back away, scoot back up, count to 3 several times, and then finally take the leap. Once you jump everything is fine and you actually feel quite exhilarated, but you still have to take the leap.
HERE I GO! 1...2...3.... well at least I'll be officially taking the leap on Tuesday at 2:40 pm. Think about me when I do!