Thursday, August 18, 2011

Coming Home!

To all our good friends and family,
We have just received official notification that our work here is almost done. We will be leaving the Islands of Yap at 2:30 in the morning on September 7th *(yes.. only 3 weeks from now!). We will be flying Yap > Guam > Osaka > Seattle > Vancouver > Nanaimo. I have to say, that I am terribly disappointed that Paris isn't included in our itinerary.
If all the flights connect properly and are on time, we "should" be home at 5:50PM on September 7th. It will be a full 40 hours after our initial departure, yet because of the International dateline thing, we will arrive only 16 hours after we leave. Needless to say, I doubt we will be ready for a big party on the night we arrive.
These final weeks will be an emotional time for us. As much as we are anxious to be home, we will be leaving behind huge pieces of our hearts and souls. Because the only two flights to and from Yap each week are in the middle of the night, we never get to see our little island from the air during daylight hours. So we will be saying goodbye to a few tiny lights in the darkness as we leave them behind, probably forever.
We've felt the entire spectrum of emotion at various times here. Though we've felt unappreciated, rejected, untalented, ignored, underutilized, fearful, depressed, anxious, frustrated, confused, uncharitable, and angry at times, our assignment has been an experience we will treasure forever. Though it has been a constant battle to feel like we might have made a difference here, we, ourselves, have grown a lot! We  have helped here and there. We have done what we do best, and that is to find success in seeing minor changes in the lives of individuals. We hope and pray that we will have helped a few come closer to their potential. Our weaknesses have become evident, but at the same time the experience has allowed us to discover our strengths and to put life in proper perspective.
I am certain that we will experience some culture shock as we try to integrate back into the speed, noise, lights, and pace of western civilization.  I know we will have a new appreciation for so many of the things we used to take for granted.
Our best to you all. We look forward to seeing you soon. Get ready for a zillion slideshows of life in Yap!
Leigh & Winona.