Editor’s note: Jessica Witer, of Anna, left May 21 to spend the summer in Namibia, Africa, on a mission trip.
The 22-year-old, self-employed massage therapist is traveling with Experience Mission, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. As she is able and has access to the Internet, she will send tales of her experiences, which the Sidney Daily News will publish weekly.
OKAHANDJA, Nambia — Everything I need for three months of my life fits into a hiking backpack. I have so much less that I did at home, so much less I can’t even guess the ratio, and my life is no worse.
The only make-up I wear is mascara. Every day, I pick out my outfit with only a pair of capris, three skirts and four shirts to choose from. I have two pairs of sandals and one pair of sneakers.
If I have WiFi, I can use my iPod, but I usually don’t, so I either journal or go for a walk with one of the girls.
I’m exhausted all the time — physically from so much traveling and activities and emotionally from spending so much time talking to so many people — but I’m so much happier than I was at home. That has nothing to do with my friends or family — I’d be even happier if they were here with me — but the simplicity of life here frees up the mind.
Our No. 1 focus is God; our second-most is the people we’re with. It’s exactly what He intended. We don’t gossip or fight or get jealous of each other’s clothes or Instagram. We worry about when we’ll get to eat again and if the water here is safe to drink. Yet it somehow feels better to worry about these things than all the poinless things we fuss over at home, even though it affects our lives in a much more dangerous way.
We never know what the plan is until an hour before it’s put into place, and no one here is ever on time for anything. We’re frequently put on the spot and are expected to give a short speech to a congregation.
There are so many things about home I miss, so many things I won’t take for granted anymore. But there are so many things about my life I’m going to change when I get back. I’m ready for the change.