It has been nearly a week since we arrived home. Long enough that I am beginning to feel settled, yet not quite completely settled. While I am getting back into the rhythm of my daily life here in the U.S., I think about my time in Tanzania almost constantly.
The pleasure of a long, hot shower or driving down a smoothly paved road reminds me of our time in Tanzania. Trying to find something in my refrigerator causes me to think of the families we met during our home visits who struggled often with a lack of food. Taking a Tylenol for a headache is a reminder of being in the clinics and the provision of medications to the many people who needed it. All of these memories cause me to smile and reflect. Our team touched so many lives, but our lives were touched deeply as well.
I am enjoying being home for sure, but am already thinking of our next trip with the Tanzania Project. I wonder in what ways I can be of more service, or what I can do differently to have a greater impact. Mostly, I miss the people I met; the children waving and smiling alongside the road. The incredibly resilient people whose only complaint was often a lack of food. The bright array of colorful fabrics worn. I miss so many things about East Africa already. People who had been before me told me it changes you. It absolutely does. I’m incredibly grateful to have gone and look forward to my next adventure with the Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania Project.