The longest day

Date: 14th October 2013

I wake at 5:12 without any prompting. I am wide awake. I lie under my mosquito net and stare hazily around me. Today will be my last day.

By 5.30 the first of many has arrived to bid farewell, and by 9am it feels like it should already be noon. But this is right, it should be so today. It should take its time and let me soak it all in, do as I like, and take the time I need, all for the last time.

A lingering headache reminds me that my unexpected, and most unwanted, fever, chills, body aches and nausea from last night need to be investigated – before I leave. I head to the hospital to get my finger pricked, and instead they draw a vial of blood. I am 85% sure I have malaria – this is exactly how I felt the last time I got sick. I don’t wait for the results, continuing the plans for drinking sweet tea and eating local gateaux one last time with my famous five – the faithful few who have been working my by side each day in the rush of the last 4 weeks to successfully complete everything I wanted to before leaving. We made it – 5pm Friday afternoon. I feel the finality of the last screw securing screening as the labours of the last 2 years draw to a close.

I’m called back in to the hospital – my results are up. After a much-amusing consultation of temperature checks, weighing, pulse counts, and blood pressure taking, the Head Consult decided to test me for Malaria and Typhoid – a repeat of the last time I was here a month ago. My GE is negative. No Malaria. My Typhoid though, this time, is most definitely not. My last souvenir of Tchad. I hope. A few days of Ceftriaxone shots leading up to my flight on Thursday and a full course of Cipro is on the cards, and given the travels and tasks of the next 3 days, I’m grateful that it’s not Quinine.

The last goodbyes are said, the last conversations had. It still feels so surreal. It still feels like I will be coming back. This is not forever. I know that all the best intentions in the world may still leave this statement untrue, but I cannot help but feel that this will be different. I cannot help but pray.

I cannot help but wonder what the future will hold. I keep myself from getting hung-up on knowing it all now by reminding myself that it has been God, in His timing, who has brought me to this moment, and that He holds my future in His hands. He has given me a dream to dream and a passion to pursue. Day by day He is showing Himself true to His promises by opening doors and directing my steps as I commit each decision to Him, watching, smiling, as all my ducks waddle into a row.

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