Saturday, July 27

A year and Henderson

So,I was writing in my 5 year journal the other day, the one I mentioned when I first started this blog, after leaving Ukraine, and it donned on me that a year came and went, and it didn't even really register. It's been over a year since I left Ukraine, and longer than that since I made the decision to go in the first place- the day that I decided that how I was living was no longer satisfactory. I've always been an independent person, a characteristic which has drawbacks and advantages- but a year ago I decided that being independent was no longer satisfactory- at least the way I was doing it. Yes, I was on my own, yes, I was going to college, yes, I had friends and loved my classes- but wasn't everyone else at that University doing the same thing? Don't get me wrong, I didn't go to Ukraine just so that I could be different from the rest of the students at my school, nor did I go because I wanted to prove to myself that I could be more independent than I was then- although those were two selfish reasons that did cross my mind. I went to Ukraine because I had a heart to go. Ukraine wasn't my original choice, at first it was Nepal, then I got moved to a South America trip, then finally landed in the Ukraine team. I'll never know why it happened that way- why I ended up in Ukraine instead of any other number of places, but I did, and here I am, over a year later, still with questions.

 And I guess that's the point of me writing everything I have today, is because nobody knows why things happen like they do, not one person has all the answers- we're human, if we had all the answers, we wouldn't be human anymore- it's kind of a key characteristic. However, we have the answers we need, we always will. I know that I went to Ukraine for a reason. That's all I need to know. I know that I came home for a reason. That's all I need to know. I know that a year has passed, and it's taken me time to heal, for a reason. That's all I need to know. I don't need to know specifics, because they don't matter. What matters is that there is a reason, it's not all for nothing, because even if I was able to change one life, leave an imprint on one person- whether that be a staff member, a kid, or even an immigration agent that asked me why I even wanted to be in Ukraine, or heck, even someone here in the States that was blessed by hearing about what I've done- it was all worth it.

That being said, this being mainly a travel blog (hah, if you can even call it a blog, as little as I post), I want to share a bit about my weekend trip to Henderson at the beginning of the summer. It wasn't anything fancy- just four girls hanging out at a lake for a few days, but boy was it beautiful, and so much fun! Henderson is about a 4 hour drive from the metroplex, and a 6 hour drive from Abilene- a bit longer if you stopped for Chipotle like we did. Hey, can you blame a girl? Abilene only has Sharkys, and though the Abilene folk think it's the bees knees, I definitely start to crave Chipotle every few months. Anyways, we went to Henderson and stayed with our friend's Grandpa- who has a lake on his ranch property- we stayed indoors for a couple nights, enjoying the air conditioning and lack of bugs, but then trekked outside to camp for a couple nights- because who doesn't love the outdoors (for short ammounts of time, that is)?


Anyways, the whole weekend was fantastic, and it was good to see our friend Regan before she went off on her summer adventures- and have roommate bonding time.

Next Post: Italy! I'll be going on a road trip with my family in a couple of weeks, checking out some major landmarks (like Mt. Rushmore!), and getting to see my brother in his new home in South Dakota. We'll be in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa (just driving along the border), and South Dakota.