There are two places foreign to my feet, but home to my soul. These two lands are far from where I grew up, or from where I live now, but in both, I feel so at home, I can hardly believe they are not my home.
I love Germany and the land of my ancestral fathers and mothers. I love the language, the food, the people, and the farmlands where my grandparents and everyone before them labored. I feel I’ve come home when I visit there.
Here are the vineyards that have been in my family for centuries:
My other home away from home is on the other side of the world. It’s in Africa. I have just returned from 2 weeks in Mali, West Africa with my people there. For some reason, God plucked me out of my comfortable world in 1981 and sent me to Africa. I lived in South Africa for 18 months, then Nigeria for almost 3 years. I couldn’t get enough of that land and those people. They became my own. I’ve not been able to keep away for long since then–there is always a corner of Africa in my heart and my soul always longs to be there.
Something pulls and draws me to that home away from home. I return every opportunity I get. It’s interesting to me to feel so at home there when I don’t speak the local languages and I can’t eat all the local foods and it’s so hot and dry and dirty and hard, in many ways, to live there. The water isn’t clean. The living conditions aren’t always comfortable. The sweat and heat sap my energy and my feet are always dirty, but I LOVE being there. I love the smell of the bush, the sun on my face and I love inhaling the hot dry air. I love the weathered skin of the elderly and the hopeful eyes of the young. I love the contrasting colors–the bright batik prints against beautiful dark skin tones. I love just about everything about being in Africa.
Let me share this love with you. Here are a few photos taken on this last trip.
The medical expedition part of the trip:Our beds:Our translators:
I hope it won’t be long before we return again. I am already missing these friends and this land, where my heart seems to be planted.