This is the farewell I should have given to my community, but instead I broke down crying and couldn’t speak.
To my mommas: You are all amazing women. You took me in and cared for me like I was your sister, your child, your niece. You were there when I was sick and couldn’t fetch water. You were there when I didn’t know how to get my whites white again. You were there every few months when my living fence took over my yard and needed to be cut back. You were there when my arms got tired making peanut butter. You fed me when I didn’t have a stove, or when it was a holiday, or just because you wanted to. You were all there for anything I might need. I appreciate everything you did for me and though I tried I could never thank you enough.
To my host family: Thank you for being my home away from home. I was so lucky to have not just a host mom and dad, but a brother and sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. You were always there for me and you welcomed my mom and sister into your lives with open arms. I will never forget all the love you have shown me.
To my counterparts: Thank you for supporting all my projects. They may not have always been successful, but you have always been willing to try something new with me. I know that you have your own lives and jobs, but you always made time for me and the community. Thank you for being amazing examples for other people in the community.
To my children: Thank you for being wonderful, yet understanding that I cannot play every minute of everyday. Thank you for only calling me Libby for my first two months. Thank you for brightening my day with your laughter and smiles. For those who are still afraid of me, I’m sorry for scaring you because both your mother and I thought it was hilarious. Thank you to all the moms that let me hold their newborns because they were all incredibly adorable.