I have always looked forward to the day I would talk about my Last Days in Botswana. I have always dreamed of it. And my heart races with excitement as I write about it now.
My last days there brought out some feelings that I never knew existed. For instance I never knew I would feel bad leaving Botswana for any reason. But when the time came, I realized I had made some good friends that it hurts to have to leave them. Yet again, that is the beauty of life: Nothing lasts forever and change is the only constant thing. The people we meet today could be gone tomorrow (be it through death or just a separation) and we may never have gotten round to be the best we could have been to them.
FRIENDS?! Who are friends? Are they the people you chat with from time to time? or the people you barely see and hardly share with? or are they the people you share with, be it sadness, pain or success? I love the following description of the different types of friends:
THERE ARE FRIENDS FOR A SEASON
THERE ARE FRIENDS FOR A REASON
THERE ARE FRIENDS FOR A LIFETIME
Definitely, having lived in a new country for about 2 years, I came across people who could be classed in the various categories of friends above. The ones I thought were classed in the last category, ended up somewhere else. Time I believe is the only factor that determines the friends that stay with us for a lifetime.
As a child I grew up knowing that my mum had a friend in Glasgow whom she met about 30 years before I was born when my parents lived in Glasgow. And on my mum's return to Nigeria they kept in touch exchanging Christmas cards. That old woman never failed to send a card to my mum every year. As the years went by one could see from the handwriting that the card was from a very old person.
At over 90 years she still keeps sending and my mum always smiles anytime she talks about her. That is what lifetime friends is all about. You share your journeys when the going is tough and when you are frail and weak you still smile whenever you are called upon to talk about your friend.
That leaves me to wonder where I would be with the good people I met in Botswana in 10 years time or 30 years time. Now that we are leaving in a world that is so globalized and communication is so easy (be it very impersonal sometimes), there should not be any excuse for not keeping in touch. All the same, I met some really wonderful people there and not so wonderful personalities. There were those whom I shared with, those I laughed with, those who always tried to ask 'how are you' and there were those who could not care less.
My last days in Botswana were filled with packing, preparations and dinners. I loved the dinners so much because the food was something else.
We had dinner with Pastor Jerry and Jana Lackey at their beautiful home in Okavango International School. It was wonderful and I enjoyed every moment of it. The dinner with Henry, Remi and Mrs Eigbe at Maun Lodge was very touching. My husband worked with late Dr John Eigbe before he died around July last year. After his death my husband took over the running of the clinic. Over the period of 3 years he worked closely and tirelessly with Henry (above) andMrs Eigbe. That is one thing I admire my husband for a lot. It is a rare gift to be able to manage someone else's thing as though it was yours. And he surely has that gift.
There is nothing like being good at what you do and giving your best no matter the situation you find yourself in. Even if the humans you are doing it for do not appreciate it; you can rest assured that God will reward you immensely for your efforts. And remember that you never know where you would meet again tomorrow.
When the time came to say goodbye, we all had tears in our eyes. I never knew saying goodbye in Botswana would be difficult. I always thought that when the time came, that I would bolt up and leave without even looking back. But I was wrong.
To the Lackeys, Mulombas, Obohs, Ernihes, Mrs Eigbe of Covenant Medical Centre Maun and the wonderful people who made our lives and stay in Maun Botswana a memorable one, I say THANK YOU.
We pray the good Lord will continue to be with you and give you the grace to excel in all you do. We will definitely meet again.
All the best