team swazi::: serena michal hansen

Last Day in Africa

Well, this is it. The last day. It’s all so exciting and all so depressing at the same time. On one hand, yes, I’m so ready to see my mom, dad, my siblings, and my dog (who I can imagine is not very happy with me right now.) However, on the other hand, there is so much I can’t imagine just not having. Like I want to be awaken by the African sunrise at four in the morning every, and I want to spend most all day playing with kids. Going home means I won’t wake up and have KJ under me; it means I won’t be able to do Sunrise Yoga with Mackenzi, Abby, Makayla, Jabin, Delilah, and Abigail; I won’t be up late at night messing around with Leah and Emma in our room; Sydney and I won’t cook together every third night; I won’t get to laugh at Logan roasting James or Bella cracking jokes; I won’t get Maria’s Words it Wisdom for me; I don’t get to have any more long talks with Tina where she actually make me think and she listens to everything I have to say; and I’m really gonna miss those interesting moments with Kelvin, Nigel, Bockquisha, Karen, Sharon, Jephe, and all the versions of Kyle. But ya know, I’m really not gonna miss those chickens. We should’ve just takes James suggestion and killed them all at the beginning then replace them. Even though it’s only been a month, I’ve gotten so use and so in love with our way of life.
For this trip, my dad wrote 27 notes for me, so I can read one each day. Some are funny, some are cute, and some are motivational. Today’s note said this “It was when I was in Russia [for a mission trip when I was 17] that my eyes were opened to a new reality. I’ve said some of my heart was left in Russia. I’ve heard many say the same of Africa – it will be interesting to see if Africa haunts you in all the best of ways.”
“How is Africa going to affect me?” has been the question on my mind since day one. That question is yet to be answered, but I am already being haunted by Africa. I think it’s fair to say all 16 of us are a little haunted. I would say that’s the overall mood right now, but, really, I think it’s the daunting fact that we are all saying good-bye in two days.
My goal for this trip was to be vulnerable to my team. I would say I’ve done that; I think my team knows every part of me and my story. I’d say that has allowed me to grow closer to my team. I love everyone so much and every second with them has been a cherished moment. Maybe this is cheesy because we are in Africa, but I would call this team my pride. I’m not gonna give Jabin the pleasure of being compared to Simba because he’d start jumping up and down and fangirling. But anyway, it’s just I was thinking about our team as a whole and I couldn’t stop imagining a pack of lions. I think it’s the strength and the unity of a pride that reminds me of this team (plus the girls way outnumber the guys lol.)
My brain hasn’t fully computed that in just a few days that in just a few days, I won’t just be with these amazing people. It truly blows my mind that we’ve only known each other for a month because it feels like I’ve known them my whole life; honestly, it feels like I’ve been living here in Eswatini with them for months. I think the reason for this is because when we met/got here, we just jumped right in together. Immediately, we were all so prepared to be there for each other and to be open. I think this immediate honesty and vulnerability has allowed us to click and grow so close so fast. We have been able to fit so much love, so much time, so much fun, so much bonding in just a single month. It has truly been such an amazing time and I feel so grateful and blessed to have such an experience. And I love everyone on this ran so much!
Abby, though you started off quiet, you have such a loud and amazing and beautiful voice, literally and figuratively. It’s been so awesome to just watch you bloom on this trip!
Abigail, I feel like you’re always looking out for the team. In every decision we make, you look at both sides and voice your opinion. And your always just so honest!
Bella! You are such a goofball, and I absolutely adore that. You so don’t care what other people think and you’ll crack a “Bella Joke” at the most randomest of times.
Delilah, the official mom friend. You, very literally, had everything anyone could ever need at any moment they needed it. I’m truly impressed. You’re such an amazing person and I love you so much.
Emma, if humor had to be personified, it would look like you! You’re absolutely hilarious! I still don’t believe that you don’t just wake up laughing at your house, cause you make all of us wake up laughing here.
Jabin, I have really appreciated all the weird and meaningful conversation and moments we’ve had. Whether we are talking about the Enneagram or Harry Potter or you make eye contact with me right before you rip a huge fart. It’s been quite something.
James, though we don’t have many, I’ve really enjoyed our one-on-one times and, even though we tease you for it, I really do like listening to you talk about your future plans. Also, thanks for teaching me so much about agriculture!
KJ! Bunk Buddy! I have loved every moment I have spent with you. You are both so funny and so inspirational. Your such a confident person and I feel truly blessed to have you as my leader. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!
Leah, you are so smiley and happy and outgoing and so eager for life and so open to learn, and I just absolutely adore you.
Logan, I know I’ve said this before, but you are literally all ages at once. Like on one hand you can be 12 and jamming out to Justen Bieber but on the other hand your this wisdomness caring old person. You’re just such so awesome always.
Mackenzi, you are just such a beautiful soul and I love that. Also, so grateful for morning yoga!!
Makayla, you are so independent and strong! And I think it’s amazing how you have these different life paths all planned out , but you have been very open to the idea that if God calls you a different way, you will quickly go.
Maria, I have really appreciated your words of wisdom and the constant reminder of that smoke cloud. You’re just so funny and I’m so gonna visit you are Chick-Fil-A and say “thank you” as much as I can! Haha!
Sydney, you are a ray of sunshine. You radiate life, love, and happiness! And you’re laugh is just so contagious!
Tina, I’m so grateful for your presence. You are such a calming person. I have never met someone who is both so extroverted and so down to earth at the same time. Also, thank you for taking such an interest in all of us from the beginning.

I love every single one of y’all and I have cherished every moment with y’all.
Till next time I see y’all! Aloha!

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