Really? In so many ways, with so many hills and valleys and new understandings, it feels like 10. In other ways, we still don't seem to know anything, and it seems we just arrived.
Two years ago, we were arriving in Colombia after getting to know our soon-to-be friends and colleagues. We said goodbye and dove into a sea of uncertainty and unfamiliarity, holding onto each other as closely as possible.
One year ago, we celebrated milestones together with the same friends. We ate together, laughed at all we had learned, celebrated new knowledge and understandings, and continued swimming, sometime with the current and sometimes against, but pushing forward, still holding tight to one another.
Yesterday, we attempted a two year celebration with Elizabeth and Neil. They came for lunch, which we did not get prepared until 5 and we attempted to grill outdoors in the conjunto, but then were moved to the park, where it began to storm all over us only to result in food that tasted strange and a lot of wet bodies.
We also shared hot chocolate, yummy mora turnovers, candlelight, reflections and hopes for each of us in Colombia, one special beer, and a very funny movie. But by that time, we were all too hungry and tired to take pictures.
We have claimed this experience to be good for our family, because it allows us to "be the strangers." In our cozy, comfortable space in quiet little Menno-ville, we lack the vulnerability and perspective to understand what it is like to be the outsider. I can see clearly now that we gained what was needed, and it has made us harder on the outside and softer on the inside (Barbara Brown Taylor).
One more year. We are already making lists of what we want to do before we leave. Will we get to cross them off? The challenge in the coming months for us is to still allow ourselves to really be here, while we begin the much needed preparation for what it will take to return.