written half-asleep on the plane, but had to wait for an internet connection to post:
Or early, rather. We are somewhere over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and the sun is beginning to glow red over the horizon in front of me. The sky is still dark, other than the glowing band at the horizon, and stars are visible. Tiny little pinpricks in the sky.
Everyone on the plane is asleep, it seems, giving me a moment of peace amid the chaos of last week's orientation, which I fully expect to be continued into this week.
Anna just woke up, and I'm glad to share this moment with my flatmate before she turns her attention back to the glowing screen on the back of the seat in front of her.
There is so much to process. I don't think I'll be able to do it justice for some time to come. The fact that I will be arriving in Belfast in 2 hours is at once entirely frightening and so, so exciting. They've prepared us for culture shock. For the initial honeymoon phase followed by an inexplicable crash. Please be patient with me.
My placement coordinator, Lesley, has been in touch - excited to begin our year, but cautioning of wet weather and a heavy workload. On a side note: I love that my coordinators are named Lesley and Doug. Just 2 letters separate these from my parents' names. Somehow there is comfort there.
Such anticipation before we land. As my friends post pictures of their children's first days at school, I feel much like this is my new beginning. An excuse for new office supplies in a way (isn't that the best part of the first day at school?) I'm nervous. Will my new teachers like me? Will I succeed? But also excited for the failure I know I will experience, for it is there that I will find God.
I posted on facebook that this year, I will try my best to do good. When I can't do that, I will "be" good. While non-YAV's all took this as a half-hearted promise to stay out of pubs (ha!), my true meaning in this was that I will try my best and work hard in my placement. But when I can't "achieve" anything, or when times get tough, I will do my best to be. To be present for the kids I will serve. To be a good friend and flatmate. The YAV program is a ministry of presence, first and foremost, and this year I will do my best to be. Good.
Now David is awake. I'm happy to share this moment with my new friends.