Reflecting on the year as I enter the last month…

Yesterday was the ‘month to go’ mark. In exactly a month’s time (it’s 7am in Kathmandu as I write this), I’ll be on the second plane home, about 5 hours from landing (assuming everything is on time!). As much as I’m looking forwards to seeing my family, I don’t want to go so I think this is a good time to start reflecting on this year, and particularly the people I’ve spent it with.

I’ve had such an amazing time this year, and learnt so much. I’ve made wonderful friends, some of whom are coming to the UK this summer! However, I’m starting to realise that I’m unlikely to see some of these people, who’ve been a massive blessing, ever again. That’s quite a hard thing to process (to the point that I’m starting to cry as I write this). They’ve been exactly who’ve I needed as I’ve gone through my fair share of ups and downs. I’m not sure how I’m going to say goodbye.

As we approach the end of a year, people are preparing to leave. Some already have. As a consequence, lots of conversations are about making that transition to another country. There are several people – several families – who are facing the prospect of leaving after many years (6, 10 years and everything in between). They’re facing the prospect of leaving their home. They aren’t going home, they’re leaving one behind.

I’m lucky that I am going home, but this has been a big year, and it’ll take a while to full process everything.

It the first time I’ve lived away from home and, unlike university, I can’t just go home after 10 weeks, and going home isn’t the simple matter of a 2-hour train ride. This journey is going to be the shortest of the four I’ll make this year and, if all goes as scheduled, it’ll be fifteen hours from take off in Kathmandu to landing in London – twelve and a half on planes.

I can’t just call my family either. I have check the UK time, check they’re in and then hope the internet holds up, which it has most of the time. That’s one of the ways that my friends here have been amazing; they’ve been here when I’ve had to pick up the phone and call someone.

I’m also so thankful for the families – in particular, the Drews – who’ve let me be part, be another child. And I have needed that. With them, I don’t have to be an adult and I have ‘siblings’. They can’t replace Hemi, but it’s nice to have people I can go to the movies with, chat to about various TV shows and wild theories about the story lines, and play board games with.

The picture above is of the fence between KISC and the Somang Academy – the school whose land we’re using. The idea behind weaving fabric through the fence was to break down the barrier between the two schools and making friends. That’s what this year has been for me – breaking down barriers and making friends.

Well, that’s about as much reflection as I can handle right now – and I’ve had to get more tissues. This has the hardest post to write, and has taken an hour and a half to process and write.

So I’ll finish with this:

This year has been a blessing from God, and it’s not always gone as I’d expected. I’m currently listening to the soundtrack of the Greatest Showman, and the song ‘Never enough’ is sticking with me. It might not feel like this year hasn’t been enough, but it has been. God wouldn’t have given me this year – extended my 5 months to 10 – if it wasn’t enough, if it wasn’t more than enough. I might want to stay long – and maybe I’ll come back in the future or work abroad – but this whole time, God has consistently blessed me with exactly who and what I need when I need it. I’ve been blessed with this opportunity to help, I’ve been blessed with the people I needed to support me when things got difficult as well as the people to share the high points with, and blessed with the finances to come here.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:8

I’ve learnt a lot about myself and I’m always going to look back on this year with gratitude and a smile. This past month has flown past, and I hope the next one doesn’t go so pastbecause it’s all the time I have left and I want to savour every moment.

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