Coming Home

February 4, 2015 2:00 pm Published by
When travel abroad turns into living abroad, as so often happens, there comes a day when your “destination” has become home, and your (former) “home” becomes a destination. 

After spending the past couple of months traveling in the United States, I was reminded, rather emphatically, how much JBFC truly is home (though I do miss my family, friends, and especially my parents tremendously!). 

Having been back on campus now for a week, I have compiled a list of the top ten things I missed about Campus while spending two months away from JBFC:
1) The girls’ voices at prayer. Whether crammed into their dining hall with them during nightly prayer time or hearing their voices from the rock house as they float over the hill, I can truly say that hearing the girls singing their songs again has brought to my attention the level of comfort that this brings to my life on a daily basis. While in the states, I would often find myself singing these songs (I do have a wonderful singing voice!), and just as often receive strange looks from passers-by. Nothing like the “Mambo Sawa Sawa” accompanied by thunderous clapping.

2) Walking past Dorm A’s window. As many employees and guests know, as soon as you hit the gate a back-and-forth of “Hi so-and-so, Hi girls!- Hi so-and-so, Hi girls!” begins until safely out of sight. This is a guaranteed pick-me-up that makes up for Tanzania’s lack of Dunkin’ Donuts and Turkey

3) Salome, Bhoke, Getu, and Shida hug competitions. Now, even on the worst of days, and there aren’t many at JBFC, nothing can turn a mood around faster than walking down the stairs and hearing Salome shout out “Whoever hugs Massawe first wins!” and getting trampled by four girls.

4) Rice and Beans/Chris’s cooking: For the majority of people who have worked for, lived at, or visited JBFC, they probably know one thing about me: I love rice and beans. I more than love rice and beans- it is a major part of my being. I missed eating rice and beans daily so much that I even cooked a Tanzanian bean recipe in America a couple of times. That said, Chris is an amazing cook. Fajitas, BBQ, curries, soup, salads and more. I missed Chris’s cooking a lot- just not quite as much as the girls’ rice and beans.

5) End of the day with Chris, Melinda, and Travis. At most jobs, socializing can be a struggle. You get out of work, feel tired, go home, and go to bed. It is such a pleasure to be able to spend some free time day-in and day-out with the greatest people in the world (other than JBFC’s 45 girls!).

6) Girls Government meetings: Hands down, Girls Government meetings have been a highlight of my year. Saturday afternoons spent discussing pressing issues on campus, eating pizza, and solving the world’s problems. In America, there was no way to re-create this (I would have gotten some really strange looks!), and I am very much looking forward to my first meeting since being back. 

7) Mama Maggie (and the rest of the Mamas!): It is hard to not feel at home when in their presence. I have never met anyone more excited by each individual or as attuned to their needs and preferences as Mama Maggie and her staff. Mama Maggie is quick with a joke, a hug, or some advice, whatever
is needed.

8) Living with Melinda: I had a TON of great roommates during my trip to America. Chris, Ashli, Chris’s family in Delaware, Chris’s family in Tulsa, my sister and her family in California, and, best of all, my parents. Melinda, it is nice to be back!

9) Getu’s smile, Eliza’s sarcasm, and Liku’s laugh, etc.: For those who know the JBFC girls, these don’t need explanations. Each girl has left an impression on me that I carried with me on this trip.

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This post was written by Mainsprings