By Hannah Lythe
For all the green that surfaces in Africa, when I think back to my nine months the only color that permeates through is amber, a dark orange that rainbows through to brown. I miss Africa’s dirt.
I don’t know if this world is ever going to change. I will prayerfully try until I die. Even if it doesn’t, all I want is to sit with my children and love them. Everyday at Mohau, I would watch the clock slowly approach four o’clock because I knew I could leave my children and go home to rest. I am riddled with guilt. I wish I could hold them for longer. I wish I hadn’t taken every moment for granted. I wish I had loved faster.
Everyday I became dirtier and dirtier. I was never clean. I never wanted to be. I would wash the grease, the oils but the dirt remained. The dust settles and never leaves you. I really do not intend the dirt to be metaphorical. I literally want to sit in the dirt. I want to be blanketed by the familiarity of the dust. I long for the moments of sitting along side my children attempting to learn a foreign childhood game, crouching beneath the trees as they read to me.
I miss the moments of mischief. I have never been a very good discipliner perhaps because I love to watch children misbehave. I remember vividly singing with Ernie as I watched several of the children, instigated by Praisewell, filling pales with sand and peeing into them to make the sand moist. I remember watching as they turned the faucet on that they were strictly not allowed anywhere near. Or drinking from the juice that was allotted specifically or the Mamas.
I loved to watch as they would climb too high. I loved when too high became just right. I took every moment and every child for granted. How do you say goodbye to children that become your own? I want to sit in the dirt of Mohau’s playground once again.
Hannah Lythe recently returned from a nine-month-long trip to Pretoria, South Africa as a First Year Missionary. She worked in an a Children’s Home for HIV/AIDS infected and affected children. She currently attends Boston College as an English and Theology double major. Through this, she hopes to pursue a life of advocacy working towards the spread of God’s love amongst the suffering.