Saying Goodbye to Farouk

Saying Goodbye to Farouk

My friends, I really cannot believe that the time has gone so quickly!   Since I’m at the end of my internet time, I’ll work tonight to get photos uploaded so at least you can have a glimpse of what life here is all about.   I promise to work on the photos and other stories as soon as I return.  I have so very many!!

I thought I would take an opportunity also to reflect a bit about my total journey here as a whole.

I came here wanting to change a life, and in doing that, mine was changed forever.  This place gets into your skin.  It digs deep into your heart.  It creates a soulful yearning for more.   I’ll never forget this experience it was one full of colorful tapestry of a multitude of experiences that are as difficult to write  about as one can ever imagine.

I’m sorry to keep you waiting about the kids, but they are so very precious to me and I want to honor them with the right words.   I want those children to change touch your heart too, so I have to pray for the words.  I can’t wait for you to meet them all.

Tonight I will take Farouk, my driver, out to dinner for our last meal together.   I can’t imagine another person I’d rather have on this journey with me.  He’s an amazing guy with a heart as big as Africa.   He took me to the Internal Displaced Persons Camps and Former War Zone, and gladly drove for 8 hours each way or more.   He maneuvered at least 400,001 potholes.    He safely and expertly talked and drove at the same time and educated and dealt with the “traffic ah jams” and he slowed down the car so I could take photos of baboons and other silly things.   I’ll miss him waiting until I got the shot then asking “Goot eett?”   He waited on me in all my appointments and he knew instinctively when I wasn’t comfortable going in alone.  He drove me to village orphanages where no car had been in ages.  He loved on the children and passed out donations.   He put my heavy tote on his shoulder when I needed to take pictures or hold children.     He was so honest with me and my possessions.   He injured his foot transporting our baggage (thankfully it was not broken) and he smilingly greeted us with his special “You are welcome!” every morning with his foot swollen up like a balloon.     The other amazing thing about him is that he’s traveled all over this country and some others as well.  He knows the back roads, side roads and all the roads between.  He didn’t think a thing about all my “moving  all around.”    He has a comfortable car and he turns on the AC!   I’m so very thankful to him for his hospitality, his graciousness to my Mzungu-ness, and him always looking out for me saying “mind your step Madame.”  I was treated like a queen.

He laughed at my goofy jokes and made a few of his own.  He rode in the boat with me on the Nile and he know more about the species of flora and fauna than did our guide.  He even went to church with me.   We had an amazing journey, my good man Farouk and I.  My goodness would this have been a desolate trip without him. I would have been completely lost.  May God have many blessings for my driver, my cultural adviser, my protector, my forever friend and the best dimpled smile in East Africa!

I had brought three watches, and I wanted to give those to the men that touched my heart.   I think I managed that.  Farouk will drive with his on tonight.  🙂

Without an excellent driver you cannot negotiate this country in the beginning.  Farouk is ready to be working for me in the future as we send teams of volunteers and also adoptive families.   I came here with this perfect idea in mind to find the right man for the job, and I really did.  Farouk you are always welcome sir!

  1. lori hetzel says:

    tears…Lori you write so eloquently. I look forward to the words that flow from your pen about the children you have been blessed to meet. I will keep Farouk in prayer, and for your safe travel home. Your heart will be heavy. As they say, once in Africa, your heart remains.

    Thank you.

  2. Lori says:

    Farouk if you get to read this, know that I still think of all our funny times in the car with the potholes. I’ll probably be the only person you ever drive that can sleep through them!!! haha

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