19 February 2017

Last week I spent four days on the road with the Checklist team, and while the days were long and the conditions sometimes less than ideal, we ended the time together still liking each other. That’s a huge win in my book. Even more than that, we had fun. We laughed. We helped each other out sometimes and other times left each other alone.  We made a difference in peoples’ lives and in hospitals across the country.  We really did.  Things are better now than they were a week ago – and that always brings me to my knees. What an honor that I get to be a part of something so incredible. 

I love my work right now. I’ve always loved the work, but through much of the last several years the actual amount of work, the number of projects and people and details and reports and balls in the air was exceptionally high, and I teetered on burnout quite often.  Thanks to a growing team on the ship, less and less is now resting on my shoulders; the workload I am carrying today is reasonable, and I’m so very grateful for that.   This week we had planned to run some very large training days here in the capital, but a few weeks ago it became clear that our original plan wouldn’t work, so that’s been pushed out a few weeks.  I’m so massively thankful; my to-do list is extensive, but the fact that I don’t have to be running teachings this week means it’s manageable.  Fun, even.  I was upset at the time, when we had to cancel this week’s training sessions, but now I’m just so, so grateful that God gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want!  And because I didn't have to work all day today, I was able to spend some time with my dear Beninese family, reveling in the beauty that is that family and their love for me, along with some of the most delicious Beninese food ever made.  My heart is so full. 

I turned in my very last paper of my Master in Public Health today. It was a total grind; a difficult one to get through and it took me nearly all of yesterday to power through it.  It’s not the best paper I’ve written but it will get me the grade I need to finish with merit… and all that remains is my thesis, which I’m looking forward to.  I get to research something I’m passionate about and curious about and really excited about, not something assigned by the instructor that is boring and dry and the reason it took me all day to write those silly 1500 words yesterday.  So grateful for the blessings I’ve been given in this season; the ability to study on top of demanding work and worldwide travel, the financial provision that has meant so far I haven’t had to take out student loans, and the encouragement and love sent from all over to help me get through the rough patches.  The end is in sight.

Time is flying by; I’m excited for what’s next, and sometimes can’t wait for things like Trader Joes and more freedom and getting out of this sweltering heat, but at the same time I wish I could slow down the second hand on the clock as I realize that the time of last things is coming quickly.  I desperately want to squeeze out every last drop of joy from this place; part of why I am so happy, I think, is because knowing I’m leaving soon means the difficult things - the injustices or the difficult people or the policies I wish would change or decisions that I fundamentally disagree with - they can fade to the background and all the fun, good, happy things can just take their place in the forefront of my consciousness.  It’s a relief, really, and such a joy to hear random people saying Krissy, you look happy!

Yes, yes I am.  And for that I am truly grateful.  

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