Moments of incredible beauty take my breath away. Like last night’s light show. As the sun went down, the completely silent dry sky lightning flashed in and through and behind the one billowing cloud that hung at the outskirts of the village, fireflies marking the rhythm. Or the deep purple of the river blossoms undulating with dancing streams of river weed we passed over rickety bridges on back roads leading to boli lands. When I wonder if I’m the only one whose jaw drops at these sights, I think of my mom’s solitary response to the beauty of her adopted home. Maybe we can only see beauty in new lands. Maybe that’s why I love this land so much. On the other hand, as I type this, I hear my small nursery school friends calling me to the door, still singing our parting song, “Aunty, I’m tired, I want to see my mother, Aunty please lef we go home.” I think of the friends I’ve made over the years that keep me coming back and am making plans for return visits to those I haven’t seen on this trip. This trip marks a turning point in many ways. It’s my first visit without deep heart-ache or funerals to attend. No personal illness, tragedy, or deaths of friends. Many new developments in the community and the security of knowing that our own family is finally whole and together. Transitions on many levels. The needs and issues are as deep and strong as ever, but here, the community visitors and big white jeeps on the road are no longer addressing social concerns such as education of the girl-child or reproductive health but rather monitoring, evaluating, accounting, and dealing with the business of agriculture. Lots of talk of next year’s election and Ministry of Finance needs. Perhaps a greater focus on the future than the past. Over the coming year the world will continue to roll towards the uncertainty of impending resource, climate and financial crises and I expect that this particular euphoria might be fleeting but I intend to grasp hold of it for as long as I’m able. Until I return I hope to be involved with a number of developments started or conceived of here (nursery school, work of the youth group, scholarships, “birthing boarding house”, etc.) and will post again on my return. Till then, I hope that you also enjoy the moments of fleeting beauty that pass your path while we wait to “occupy the future”. Final photos of the year are posted here.