Places Planted in My Heart

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:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.2018-11-12 Mali AL (4)2018-11-13 Mali (19)2018-11-13 Mali AL (12)2018-11-13 Mali AL (45)2018-11-13 Mali AL (51)2018-11-13 Mali AL (100)2018-11-13 Mali AL (250)2018-11-13 Mali AL (255)2018-11-13 Mali AL (276)2018-11-13 Mali AL (288)2018-11-13 Mali AL (303)2018-11-13 Mali AL (347)2018-11-13 Mali AL (351)2018-11-13 Mali AL (371)2018-11-14 Mali (25)2018-11-13 Mali AL (398)2018-11-13 Mali AL (400)2018-11-14 Mali (17)2018-11-14 Mali AL (2)2018-11-14 Mali AL (6)2018-11-14 Mali AL (51)2018-11-14 Mali AL (57)2018-11-14 Mali AL (67)2018-11-14 Mali AL (111)2018-11-14 Mali AL (230)2018-11-14 Mali AL (239)2018-11-14 Mali AL (274)2018-11-14 Mali AL (284)2018-11-14 Mali AL (291)2018-11-14 Mali AL (301)2018-11-14 Mali AL (328)2018-11-14 Mali AL (344)2018-11-15 Mali (3)2018-11-15 Mali (21)2018-11-15 Mali (40)2018-11-15 Mali (60)2018-11-15 Mali (78)2018-11-15 Mali (95)2018-11-15 Mali AL (9)2018-11-15 Mali AL (20)2018-11-15 Mali AL (33)2018-11-15 Mali AL (39)2018-11-15 Mali AL (56)2018-11-15 Mali AL (103)2018-11-15 Mali AL (105)2018-11-15 Mali AL (173)2018-11-15 Mali AL (197)2018-11-15 Mali AL (209)2018-11-15 Mali AL (219)2018-11-15 Mali AL (254)2018-11-15 Mali AL (281)2018-11-15 Mali AL (293)2018-11-15 Mali AL (299)2018-11-16 Mali (6)2018-11-16 Mali (49)2018-11-16 Mali (56)2018-11-16 Mali (63)2018-11-16 Mali (70)2018-11-17 Mali (55)2018-11-17 Mali (71)2018-11-18 Mali (57)2018-11-19 Mali (52)2018-11-19 Mali (56)2018-11-19 Mali (42)2018-11-12 Mali AL (24)

2018-11-19 Mali AL (129)2018-11-19 Mali AL (168)2018-11-19 Mali AL (186)2018-11-19 Mali AL (198)2018-11-19 Mali AL (226)2018-11-19 Mali AL (238)

The medical expedition part of the trip:2018-11-19 Mali (32)2018-11-22 Mali (57)2018-11-19 Mali AL (10)2018-11-19 Mali AL (36)2018-11-19 Mali AL (84)2018-11-19 Mali AL (103)2018-11-19 Mali AL (106)2018-11-20 Mali (17)2018-11-20 Mali (27)2018-11-20 Mali (33)2018-11-20 Mali (35)2018-11-20 Mali AL (32)2018-11-20 Mali AL (65)2018-11-21 Mali (5)2018-11-21 Mali (6)2018-11-21 Mali (16)2018-11-22 Mali (3)2018-11-22 Mali (43)2018-11-23 Mali (11)2018-11-23 Mali (12)Our beds:2018-11-23 Mali (15)Our translators:2018-11-23 Mali (26)

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.

 

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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4 Responses to Places Planted in My Heart

  1. Marilyn DeBry says:

    You look very “at home”. What a fulfilling trip. I have always been drawn to the African people. They are full of light.

  2. bruno says:

    You have been missing for some years. I’m still in Madera, married for 42 years now, two grown kids(Karen 39 and Robert 36) oh yea, the love of my life, brennen john suderman 13. I guess you figured out who this is. ha-ha. I retired from the police dept. in 2006…thirty years was enough. It’s been a long time. Hope to hear from you.

    • Oh My GOSH, BRUNO!!! How fun to hear from you!! I just saw this comment. Sorry I didn’t see it sooner. I have wondered so many times what became of you and where you ended up! Thanks for the note. Please send me a photo of your family. I’m at annlewis@byu.net and I’d love to see your face!!

  3. Karen Wilkes says:

    Striking photographs. So lovely.

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