Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Visiting home!

Grandpa and me, a few minutes after the surprise. We are soooo happy.

I came home for Christmas! I flew in a couple of weeks ago, all braided-and-hennaed up, and have a few days left before heading back to Niger. And what a trip this has been... my younger brother helped me buy a ticket in secret- we are so sneaky!- but I couldn't contain the secret for longer than a week, and I spilled the beans to my folks. We did, collectively, manage to keep the surprise for my grandpa, age 90, who also came out to Oregon for the holidays! Thank you, Bliss family, for coordinating all of this!

It's been wonderful to be home. Lots of walks and runs, lots of good food, lots of time with family and friends. It hasn't been strange or scary being back; it's been a warm, familiar reminder of what a strong and loving family I have backing me up. I guess next year it'll be harder, when I actually have to adjust to living here again. Before I left my village, I had a conversation with Narba about how excited we both were for me to see my other home, and how it was 100% positive because we all know that I'll be coming back to Niger for another year. We sobered up quite a bit to think about how, next December, my leaving will feel terrible. But for now- it's been a dream!

And...who could've IMAGINED...my dear and amazing cousin is coming out TOMORROW to see me! I still cannot believe it, but she says it's true so goshdarnit let's rock n' roll. To all of you secret keepers out there: you are so awesome.

Thank you again to everyone who helped me get home and who has been in touch through the last year. It means the world to me! Happy New Year- may this one bring you health and peace.

Back to the land of snow and cellphones.

On a walk with Mom, Christopher, Grandpa, and Eddy.
Not pictured: Dad (camera duty), Ben (Japan duty) and Reuben (smelly things duty)


Anonymous said...

Yay! How exciting!
Feliz año nuevo Jessica!

meggie said...

You are a beautiful, & amazing young woman. Your family must be very proud of you!

Jeff K. said...

To the Bliss' Reuben & Eddy.....I miss you all!