Lately my mind has been flooded with thoughts, images, smells, sounds and memories from Malawi.

My process of getting back into life here in the States has been a bit of a roller coaster. I’ve had spells of coasting low and forgetting that it was only a few months ago that my internet took days to process a page and I was washing all my dishes by hand… and then there are days like today that I am reminded at every turn of a person, a walk, a taste.

I love this time of year. The anticipation of the weather getting chilly, little by little (pong’ono pong’ono). I get real giddy when I leave work and the day is beginning to shut its windows to the sun and the breeze takes its place. The perfect time of year to just roll down the windows, slow the car down about 15 mph, as to not create a hurricane within my vehicle, and crank up some music. My music of choice as of late has been none other than some amazing Chichewa tunes. If there is anything that can bring me back to my time in Malawi, it would be just that… driving with the windows down blaring Chichewa music.

This afternoon was also pretty amazing. The day was great. Even better, it ended with me in a park with some friends and a invigorating game of bao and a little Chichewa lesson for a friend. Now, not only does Sara know how to challenge me at this game, but Aaron is not so bad himself. [If anyone else wants to learn how to play… just act remotely interested in it, and I will probably yelp and be your best friend!]

All this to say that, yeah… there is still an enormous part of my soul that is stretching itself over a few thousand miles of water. I’m not over it yet. I don’t ever want to be there.

When I close my eyes and think about eating some fried chambo and nsima (my favorite fish)… my mouth waters and my soul aches.

When I close my eyes and land myself in my old backyard playing barefoot soccer with my kiddos and eating guava as one of my little friends climbs the tree to pick me a few, I feel the seeds in my teeth and my soul aches.

When I close my eyes and picture myself driving down my favorite road in the country… the one that winds its way down the mountains in which my town was nestled to the forever open plains the wait below, I feel the truck gears grinding in 1st and 2nd and my soul aches.

When I close my eyes and walk through my front door, I am reminded that it doesn’t close easily, but it didn’t matter because it always stayed open anyway… I think about the people that walked freely in and out of that opening and my soul aches.

The list could go on and on and on. Day in day out, things like this just dart through my head. As my Chichewa becomes rustier and rustier and starts getting intertwined with hints of Spanish here and there, I am reminded that I am now in a different place. A place with its own challenges. A place with things that mean just as much to me. However, it doesn’t change the fact that the longing in my heart is to snatch a plane ticket heading east and step off that plane at Chileka Airport and breathe in some Malawian air.


5 thoughts on “Longing…

  1. Hey man, enjoyed the post. I think each day our hearts grow a little closer to Malawi even though we have never been. We are excited for what God has in store for us. Check out http://www.equitas.cc when you get a chance and see what we are doing in Malawi.

  2. amen.
    btw, the door to your house totally busted, and it may or may not be because someone got locked out and i thought if i hurled all 98 pounds of my being against it, i could bust that door open for jenna. so now it doesnt latch at all. oops.
    oh, and i had a dream i could take rapid transit to malawi. it was amazing. not to stir the embers of longing or anything…

  3. Ryan, believe it or not, but you do have another person who checked in on your blog regularly, and missed your thoughts. I talked to your mom today & she told me you’d posted, so I ran (well, not literally) to the computer! Good thoughts, good to read them once again. Thanks! You made me miss Malawi for you too! See you at your first wedding shower!

  4. Ryan,

    My husband and I recently transferred our missions assignment from Namibia, Africa to Malawi. In the months before coming, we Googled “Malawi” and came across your blog and have read randomly ever since. We actually have some things in common since we are from Texas as well and have great friends in college station. We even read your fiancee’s blog. So with all of that said, if you need some reminders of Malawi, feel free to check out our blogs:
    http:\\frednabrown.blogspot.com or http:\\gaylordbrown.blogspot.com
    We also both have Facebooks. I am writing this from the top of Zomba mountain and am about to go have some good Malawian food. I will think of you! Congratulations on the new job and God bless.

    Fredna Brown

  5. ryan-
    I am sorry that you miss malawi. But i bet that you are still happy to be back in texas! I sure miss the texas food!
    your cousin-

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