I wonder if our vehicle is large enough to haul Lora and all her stuff. She took an awful lot with her when she left 5 months ago and I know she's accumulated more stuff while she was away. I saw a couple of pictures of her posted on Facebook while she and her fellow students did their outreach in the UK at the end of July and early August. She was loaded down.
I know she didn't take everything she took to South Africa along when she went to the UK. Just how much baggage is she going to have? Should I have brought a truck?
How long is she going to be home before she leaves on another adventure? Two months ago she talked about extending her stay in South Africa until Christmas. She's also told me she envisions herself being abroad more than she is at home in the coming years.
Of course, whenever she raises that possibility she begins the conversation with, "Now don't freak out dad. I'm thinking of..." I'm not sure how to convince her that I'm not going to "freak out". I'm happy that she has opportunities to travel and do things like this experience at Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in South Africa. If that's what she wants to do and she has the resources, the opportunity, and the calling - GREAT! I was overseas in my late teens and now I wish I had done more of that when I had the chance. If this is what Lora wants to do; I'm completely in support of that.
According to the "Arrivals" board Lora's plane has been on the ground for almost 30 minutes by the time it indicates that her plane has arrived at the gate. How much longer will this take? I seem to be even more excited about seeing my first-born again than I thought I would be.
Finally, there she is! Nuts! The digital camera won't start up fast enough to capture this moment. Doesn't matter - Lora's here! Safe. Healthy. With a big smile. A huge, long, teary hug. My daughter is back; pink stripes in her hair, a couple of new tattoos, and less luggage than I had anticipated.
After the hello's and a few other words I can't remember, I hear, "Dad, don't freak out now, but I've been invited to go back in January and join the staff team (at YWAM Worcester, South Africa). For two years."
She's back ... and now I know for how long!
" Blessed is the man
who hears many gentle voices
call him father."
~ Lydia M. Child