I really do work. Technically from 8-5 (although let’s be fair it’s more like 9-4) and a lot of my job is outside office hours too. I liaise between offices all over the world (Toronto, Atlanta, UK, Australia and HK) and sometimes I even do that in the evening at home. I pay bills and do accounting, I book flights and do logistics and I even wear my glasses because I stare at the screen so long. I also run around doing errands, which in a city with terrible traffic flow and in a taxi can be tedious at best. Part of my job also means I listen to people. Sometimes there’s quite a bit of crying. I am basically on call 24/7 and I am subjected to a lot of dad jokes (sorry PJ). All this to say, I work. Even though according to my blog I just do exciting stuff. Do you really want to read a blog about the emails I write or spreadsheets I create? Didn’t think so.
BUT if you know me even an inkling, you know I’m the “fun girl.” (Once at camp I was telling a girl how no one ever called me classy and this person said, “It’s okay Ang! It’s cause you’re the fun girl.” What the heck is that supposed to mean?!) I am not self disciplined, I’m impulsive and spontaneous and I can be… dare I say it, irresponsible. I’m always looking for how to have the best time, joke around and kick things up a notch. My Kamba (a Kenyan tribe) name even means joy or happy because when am I ever not? Every now and then I meet someone with whom there is such a natural chemistry and rapport that this fun loving side gets to run a little wild and free.
Enter Jason and Christopher, the unicorns from 2 posts ago. These guys are no rookies at having fun despite their opposite but complementary personalities. They actually reminded me and Hannah so much of me and Hannah that I declared them the male version of us (we even showed up at this event as twins by coincidence). It is impossible not to laugh with them and you know I love to laugh and laugh easily. Now Hannah’s gone but the three of us still make a loud and slightly obnoxious set (really it’s Christopher and I who are loud and Jason deals with it).
So when they saw pictures of the trip to Mombasa in March and decided it would be awesome if we got to go, I proposed this to the world’s GREATEST boss, PJ Holmertz. I didn’t think he would say yes since I’d just had some time off and he was going to be in Europe but since he is AMAZINGLY KIND and so GENEROUS, he did say yes. That’s how I found myself back on that glorious beach under the make-me-dark-please sun for 3 days (although it did rain for a couple hours) for Mombasa 2014 2.0. Side note: I even answered work emails in Mombasa and spent a few hours doing a requisite debrief with these guys. So see, I work!
Now we’re about to get sentimental but I’ll try to lock it up. I’ve had about as much fun in the last 2 months than I’ve ever had with anyone I’ve only known 2 months. From the first fist pump at Java to the last hug and all the broken dishes and noodles and milkshakes consumed in between, I believe that these are friendships that will last beyond “that time we were in Kenya.” But more importantly, their passion for the people they meet and their dedication to spending their time in ministry beyond the 8 hour day has been an incredible thing to witness, especially for guys their age (they’re 6 and 8 years younger than me).
This means something since I, despite being a short term missionary myself, have struggled with what short term missions/volunteer trips can really do. The sceptical side of me just thinks, “You’re here a few weeks or months then you leave and may never come back again… what’s the point?” However, these guys, among others, have shown me what the point is. Their willingness to go anywhere, do anything and meet anyone is what it’s all about. Seeing not only the effect they have with everyone they interact with (and with some of the students I know from NTC) but the reciprocal impact that people and their stories have had on them make me go home from my work day in front of a computer screen a little more fulfilled knowing I help bring like minded volunteers here. I might not be doing the tip of the spear stuff anymore, but a spearhead without the shaft is useless.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honourable we bestow the greater honour… But God has so composed the body… that there may be no division but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together.
1 Corinthians 12: 21-26
Normally I’m adverse to publicizing inside jokes because honestly, no one gets them so no one cares but I’m going to make an exception this time.
To Jason, my forever 21 co-anchor: I am gonna get emotional. You’re like the best dressed (except when you’re in your dinner shirt or Kohl’s jeans) little brother I never had and I hope when you get home you give Sugar the biggest hug from me. Thanks for all the Chinese proverbs and for guarding my heart lol. I
hope know we’ll meet again and we’ll share some chocolate cake dipped in espresso at Global Pursuit Coffee Co.
To Christopher (I said that in my exasperated voice), my blue eyed twin: I’ll see you in 5 months and we’ll freeze while we sail and snowboard, we’ll dance our tails off and we’ll use Morse code on your motorcycle. In the meantime, open the borders so you have enough construction workers and build more garages. Thank you for being so open and honest with me and allowing me to do the same. Your excitement for everything you do and intelligent pursuit of missions makes me so excited to see how God will continue to use you. You’re going to change the world (or at least Madagascar and DRC).
And just like that, they’re gone and another goodbye said.
*Bursting into tears. Hiccup.*