Today I have been a tropical storm of emotions. I was awake much of the night, plagued with anxiety and overwhelming sadness of that which I cannot fix. It's hard to imagine being sad and anxious in such amazing surrounding, but I have so much of my heart wrapped up in this place that it's hard not to know how to feel sometimes. I love this country so much, it has beauty beyond belief, and intense poverty in equal amounts.
Our friends joined us two days ago from my long time stomping ground of San Cristobal, a terribly impoverished city in the south of the DR. The two girls, Sindy and Yari, now ages 21 and 16, were daughters to me and my friend Jane for many years, but over time it became complicated, and we had to let those relationships go in order to forage ahead with our own lives. Cristian, Jane's old boyfriend and longtime admirer and much like a brother to me, is also here with his adorable (but emaciated) 8 year old daughter. It is both wonderful and terrible to see them. I love to have them here, but I wish they would go away so I don't have to think about how much they don't have, and how nothing I could ever do for them could ever be enough.
It is an emotional roller coaster, to say the least, enhanced by the fact that I DO NOT want to leave here in two days. I am not sure if I will ever be ready to come back. I woke up this morning weepy and wracked with anxiety and guilt that is almost impossible to fully explain. Guilt for having left these beautiful girls 12 years ago and not returning, and guilt for the fact that I have to leave them again, and I cannot really ever be their mother.
I am somewhat better now, if not extremely exhausted from the emotion of the day. Our San Cristobal friends go home tomorrow, and then we will have one more day to decompress in the sun before boarding our flight home (sob!) and hopefully seeking solace in our familiar cozy beds.