I just looked out the window and realized that in one week, everything changes.

Exactly one week from now, we board a plane that will take us to a bigger plane that will take us home to Dakar.

He held up the pinecone to the tree it fell from and said, "Am." (Wolof for 'Here, have this.')
He held up the pinecone to the tree it fell from and said, “Am.” (Wolof for ‘Here, have this.’)

From where I’m standing, nothing will be the same. Not the train whistle in the distance I hear, not the birds chirping. Not the tall trees I see, not the pinecones in the grass, not the squirrels or the red brick around this window. Not the white blinds I’m looking through nor the wood floor I’m standing on. Not the fresh OJ in my hand with crushed ice nor the pizza I’m about to burn in the toaster oven. (Papa John’s the Works, if you want to know.)

In these moments, I wonder if I can make it again. Can I make the transition from America-me to Senegal-me one more time?

When the power goes off or the water is so hard that soap won’t bubble, will I remember… or let’s be honest, will I mourn the loss of bubble baths? When ‘dinner’ means making everything from scratch in an un-airconditioned kitchen in hot season, will I grump about all the amazing take-out options I can’t call on? When I get dressed to go out in crazy hot-humid weather, will I get frustrated that I can’t wear shorts and a tank top with flip-flops? Or worse – will I regret that we’ve chosen this way of life?

But even as I sit here worrying about whether or not I can make it again, there’s this incredible pull in my heart that’s making its way to the corners of my eyes. It’s time to go home.