This post is rather belated…
The last week, upon my return to the United States, has been full of blessed time and conversations with people. I am not going to lie, I was not a very happy camper to get on the plane(s) from Nice to Florida last Monday. I really can only imagine how it must have felt for the other girls who had been there almost all year to leave.
Upon my arrival in Orlando, I was really fortunate to able to spend about three days just talking to people, catching up on sleep (in what felt like the most comfortable bed in the world, at least compared to the airplane :)) and talk about my experiences and where I want to go from here with staff members of the organization, as well as fellow workers who had been on similar trips all over the world. The girls were really helpful, and I loved hearing about everything they had done (there were three different continents represented in my room alone!). It was a really great time to thank God for all of the blessings He’s given us! Then these last few days my dad and I worked our way through the entertainment options that Orlando has to offer, haha! We went to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure (including Harry Potter World…awwwweeesssooomme) and snorkeling with manatees. Pictures to come later, but it has been a blast!
In terms of the end of our time spent in France however, I keep going back over certain moments in my mind. There are a few things from that last week more than anything else that happened that month that would be near impossible to forget. Once again if anyone is interested in hearing about my trip and more specific things that I was involved in, I would really love to talk to you about it! It has been a lot harder than I had originally anticipated to discuss everything over a blog, and it would make my day to take you out for coffee (I learned to like it overseas actually…haha) or have a skype or phone date. It is just too hard to put everything into writing!
Our team was also fortunate enough to have been able to take a day trip to Cannes, which you can see from my Facebook pictures was a lot of fun. Ironically it was on the 4th of July, so we celebrated America’s independence in a different country.
Perhaps even more-so the last few days in France I spent a lot of time praying. On the bus, on the train, on the plane, in the car (yes…lots of traveling haha…I hadn’t actually intended to list all of that out) but at random times during the day as well when I would be in the middle of something. I left Nice finally feeling like I had gotten my routine down in terms of actually kind of knowing my way around (it was the first time I ever gave someone directions haha!), feeling confident when having spiritual conversations with people, and a dozen other small things that you don’t realize add up so quickly. I left very much feeling like there were a lot of things that I wanted to continue to pursue now that I had become so much more comfortable, and feeling a little confused as to how to go about doing that. You realize how short a time a month really is, even though it sounds long in the beginning.
Going back to debrief, when we arrived back in Orlando, was tremendously helpful. The staff was amazing, and I spent the whole three days feeling really positive and encouraged. I was actually a little sad all over again when debrief was over because even though I felt like everything had been discussed, I just enjoyed the people so much that I wasn’t quite ready to leave! : ) But I was really excited about all of the things I had to look forward to coming up.
My apologies for this being a bit of a vague post, but just to reiterate for the 17th time, I’d love to talk to you if you are interested : ) Thank you so much to everyone who has texted/emailed me welcome home messages and words of encouragement! I love you all more than words.