I don’t know where to start. For some reason ‘5’ seems way more significant than all of the other years. Ironically, 4 years ago I was sat at this same laptop, writing on the same blog, crying just as many tears as I am now, saying goodbye to a place I never wanted to say goodbye to… Bucharest. If you have followed my story all of these years, you’ll know it only took a few weeks for me (God, of course) to work my way back into Romania to serve and live. But everyday for six years I have whole heartedly loved this country and the people here. It makes living away from everything recognizable, slightly easier. Thankfully today I am crying happy tears, thankful tears. Happy for this journey I have been on, and continue to be blessed with, and thankful for every single person wherever you are in the world who has supported me financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc etc etc etc over the past 5 years and believed in what I wanted to do here. I can’t believe at 22 people didn’t laugh in my face when I approached them with my future plans. To the few of you who have been on this adventure with me since day 1, (My mummy, my sister, Don, Nikki H, Janell, Elayne, Louise) I will never be able to truly thank you for your support. When people DID doubt me, you didn’t, and Ill never forget that.
I think one of the (many) mistakes I have made and continue to make is posting and writing about how great and amazing life is here. Maybe its because I don’t want to complain after I see how so many live here, or maybe it’s just pride. Either way, this journey hasn’t always been ‘a great adventure’ or a ‘hilarious cultural difference story.’ There are days where I am lonely. There are days where I am mad, or upset, or angry, or intolerant or impatient. Of course, the great days far outweigh these tougher ones, but I still think its important to realize that there has been times I have truly doubted if I am strong, independent or even good enough to continue being here. When family and friend support starts to diminish, when holidays come around and I am alone, and when messages from lifelong friends become more sparse, I (rarely, but it does cross my mind occasionally) wonder if this is all worth it.
At the end of the day, it is. IT SO IS. It always will be. Not only do I love my “work” more than anything else, but I love the community I have worked so hard to create for myself. From my first year here, contacting people over the internet on where to find Mexican food, a vet, a tennis partner and a group of friends who like games. To my second year, meeting people out and about, other young missionaries and teachers who are from America, and having taco nights, and weekends away. To year three, to meeting my BuchaBestie (carelessssssss!) , and of course, my cat/partner in crime, Weasley, who’s unconditional love for me is insanely comforting living abroad. And year four, where my ’embassy’ life started, where my closest friendships were born, our trips away were frequent and our laughs and tears were regular. To year five, to the British expats who welcomed me into the darts team with open arms, to the Romanian Arsenal boys who don’t punch me in the face when I sing Chelsea songs during their match every weekend, and everyone else in between. Seriously, everyone else in between.
I have worked so hard to have loving, good hearted, sincere friends here. I know that I have put a lot of effort in to have them in my life but I know that this was all part of God’s plan. Maybe I am talking too much about others in this post instead of about myself, but I wouldn’t be here without all of the people mentioned. I wish I could tell each and every one of them how important their role was in me sticking out the hard times. It is the kind and loving Romanians that love me no matter what, that make this country the best in the world.
Five years. I definitely didn’t think I would be single, crying, living in Bucharest with strep throat at age 27. But I definitely could have never dreamed of all the amazing experiences I have had, great people I have met, and places I have traveled. I know, and appreciate, and am thankful for being blessed with THE greatest life. I don’t ever take it for granted. I know so many more deserving people who should be in my spot, but I am thankful for a Savior with grace, understanding and love that I can only continue to try to emulate.
So to end this post, that certainly sounds more like a diary entry than anything else, thank you. I say it all the time, but I tried my best today to explain how important each and every one of you are. YOU are part of this journey, just as much as I am. Never forget that.
For anyone that wants to donate towards this big occasion, please click this link and donate for the kids camp kits http://www.gofundme.com/campkits
BLESSINGS FROM BUCHAREST,
my home sweet home,
Here’s to 5 more.