19 July, 2009

Let Me Go Home

Someone once said you can't go home. I disagree. I believe that home is where you make it. I had this idea before that home was where your family was, or where you had memories, or your childhood address. But now I think home is where you find peace and have the ability to let go. And if that's true then you can always go there.

All that is to say that I am making a new home in Nyagatare. And while there are things that are very different than my home in CO, there are some similarities. I have started wondering more and more if one home is not more impressive, or better, if it is filled with love vs. being filled with stuff. We have huge homes in the States, 6000+ square foot mansions that two people live in. Or you have the home in Rwanda - much smaller, simpler with less decorations and conveniences - but more home-like. I think we compensate for lack of relationship with family and each other by living in big homes. I must be doing well if I can afford the penthouse suite on Mass Ave. in DC - never mind I haven't seen my family in 10 years, can't tell you anything about my daughter and prefer to be at work because home is foreign to me.

Why do we do it?

There are lots of things we can learn from Africa (it's true!) and one of the most basic might be the importance of family. Last night one of Deo's daughters did a devotional before we went to sleep. The family came together and listened and then shared one prayer request. From those requests you got a sense of what was happening in their lives. They eat every meal together - and everything stops for that meal - there are no laptops or cell phones or iPods, just the family taking time to get together. And this family loves to laugh and it's infectious. We try so hard in the States to meet a level of perfection. We don't know how to talk to our kids, so we don't try, when in reality all they want is for you to give them 10 uninterrupted minutes doing something they enjoy. We think we have to be the best - but what about just being there?

Are there so many distractions in the American home because we don't know how to relate?