After 10 life-altering, wonderful months in Tanzania, I finally made a trip back to the United States for a little vacation and a chance to visit friends and family.
Besides having the opportunity to indulge in some old time guilty pleasures ( I'm talking about you What-A-Burger and Chick-Fil-a), I had the unique chance to witness the complete shock on my mom's face as I walked through the door for the first time in many months. I have a love for good surprises and couldn't pass on the opportunity to make her heart rate jump. I have to give a special shout out to Chris, Ashli and Carene for helping me in my devious trickery.
Coming back to America has reminded me of the previous luxuries I use to enjoy, such as the junk food locations listed above, air conditioning, fast internet, Sportscenter and, of course, Baseball. But shortly after my return I had a feeling of loss.
I miss Tanzania!
I miss the beautiful sunrises that cover the morning skies in mesmerizing oranges, reds and pinks. I miss the sound and sight of Lake Victoria waking me up every morning with breathtaking scenery.
I miss the smell of freshly dug dirt from our garden.
I miss my friends who I have become so accustomed to seeing, talking and laughing with on a daily basis.
But most of all I miss the beautiful smiling faces of the strongest, most amazing people I've ever had the gift of meeting.
Until you have witnessed first hand, you cannot understand the true joy that fills your heart when you see the JBFC girls laughing, experiencing the privilege of sitting together as a family taking part in the most beautiful serenade that is prayer time, the sweet hugs good night and I love you's spoken every night...Nothing on this planet has ever given me such joy and peaceful certainty as my new family.
To everyone who has ever been a part of JBFC, from Chris Gates to all of our Directors, the volunteers and ambassadors, the hard working Tanzanian staff who continuously keep our campus running smoothly, I am forever grateful! My life has been changed because of you.
I miss you all, and can't wait to go back home!
Travis Purser is training to become JBFC's Campus Director. He now lives in Tanzania full-time.