Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to Hundred Islands. It was amazing....super fun, and super exhausting. I went with the Chairman of our school, and the Korean group he has visiting here. It was amazing to see the aqua blue water. To hear the waves splashing along the shore, and to just be away from everything. While I was sitting on the beach I thought about the different boats and islands I have visited in all the places I have lived. I thought about the very first time that I road in a boat in another country. Cairo....riding down the Nile. How long ago that feels. No motor, just oars...pushing against the bottom of the river. I'm amazed at just how different life seems now. My first job, my first foreign country. If you had asked me then if I would be feeling the way I am now, I would have definitely thought that you were crazy. I never thought that I would be in the place I am right now. I never thought that I would be ready to settle in Missouri. I never thought I would be at a place where I was ready to just be part of the American dream.
My next boat ride....Thailand. I rode many different types of boats in Thailand. Boats up and down the river, boats down small riverways....boats among many different people groups. It was a very joyous time in my life. A time when I was defined by my job and by those around me. A time when I thought that I was living the dream. Doing what I could to share my faith of God. I will never forget seeing blue, sky blue water for the first time. It was amazing! I was in awe of the beauty. All I had seen before was California grey. Although very beautiful, it doesn't seem to compare. So much beauty...
Other boat rides have included Vietnam...and more recently the Philippines.
Yesterday as we came back from the island I had this overwhelming sense that this might be my very last boat road overseas. It wasn't a sad realization....it was more of a knowledge that was peaceful. It was a feeling that I needed to acknowledge. For the first time in my life, I was completely okay with not going on another boat trip. I was and am completely okay if I don't make it to Bali, or Italy. I have been able to see places and meet people that I would not otherwise have seen or met. I have been able to experience culture right in the midst of it. I have been able to ride boats in 5 different countries, and be allow the gentle movement of the waves to show me who I am now, and what I have to look forward to.