Friday, August 12, 2011

Ending How I Started

I started out this trip with tears in my eyes when I said goodbye to my husband at JFK. I have ended this volunteer experience the same way only with a river pouring out of me!

I thought goodbyes in Ghana were bad...they were nothing compared to what I just experienced saying goodbye to my new family of 70+. All week I have been a weepy mess, each evening when I say goodbye I get a little teary eyed but tonight was a constant stream of tears.

The orphanage had an amazing celebration dinner for me. It started with me doing a ribbon cutting into the dining area followed by wonderful songs that all of the children and staff sang. We ate dinner and then they presented me with gifts, a speech by Mama Warra, a prayer for more safe travels and more singing.

When it was time to actually leave the orphanage the oldest children walked me out with tears in their eyes and many, many hugs. This has been the best experience of my life and it is with a heavy heart that I leave. I know now that this will not be my only trip to Africa, I will return, I have too. They are my family now and I love them so much. It is a good thing that Chris and I got married in December because I don't know if I would have returned to the US for a while.

I have to share this quote which is how I feel right now: "There is not so much comfort in having children as there is sorrow in parting with them." ~Proverbs~ Even though these are not "my" children they will always be in my heart and I will think of them every day!

To end on a happy note, tomorrow I meet up with my best friend Nikki, I am so excited about I could burst! Monday morning we will start our safari and then relax a bit on the island of Zanzibar. This might be the last post for a while but I will add more photos and such as soon as I can so make sure to check back!

Thank you all so much for your love and support throughout this journey!


  1. Well I haven't sobbed this hard in a long time! What a journey you've had, and the lives you've touched, you are such a special person! You never seize to amaze me. I really hope you enjoy the rest of your trip, you deserve it so much! Safe travels! xo Jill

  2. Major sobbing event after reading this. I do know what its like to have to say goodbye to children. The emotion involved is like no other....but just know that you will have changed their lives forever and you'll never be forgotten. What you did is an amazing, selfless act of kindness; and not a lot of people would have done what you did. You have inspired us all. We love you, come home safe.....dani

  3. We thought you were an amazing person before you went and now there are few words to describe how proud we are of you. I don't think you realize what an impression this is making on your "kids" (RPMs) here at home. Nikki says she wants to do that someday, too. Enjoy the rest of your trip and safe travels home! Love ya-The Ryans

  4. ~tears~

    Beautifully written, Beth. What an amazing experience you've had. I've enjoyed reading all about it but I can't wait to hear you tell it! Can't wait to see you soon. Safe travels. Love you! Lisa