I wanted to write this post while I was still on African soil, because in less than 48 hours I'll be back home in America. To say this time has flown by would be an understatement. I feel like I just arrived in Cameroon and remember well my first days here. I was terrified. Before I applied for this job I couldn't even point out Cameroon on a map. I was never the adventurous type growing up. I was the one joined at my mother's hip who was destined to remain in North Carolina until my dying days. But, today, I am in Africa, and will soon leave with a camera full of memories and a heavy heart for the students that have captured my heart.

I can't describe the joy being in the classroom gives me. But, not just any classroom, this classroom. I'm often asked if I would teach in America, and my answer is always, no. Children here are hungry for knowledge and the appreciation they show for your efforts as a teacher is unmatched.

My intention is not to romanticize this experience. Make no mistake. Living in a developing country is hard. I craved cheese and ice cream everyday, rolled my eyes every time someone asked me to take their child to America with me, hated bucket baths almost as much as the freezing cold shower water, and don't get me started on the customer service here. But, on my last night in Cameroon, those annoyances have faded in the shadows of all I have gained.

I climbed the highest mountain in West Africa, increased my compassion and patience (courtesy of waiting in line for everything in Cameroon), and experienced a sense of community that is hard to find in Western society. I carry the family I have made here in my heart, and will never forget this life-changing time.

Thank you to everyone who has ever read this blog, posted it on Facebook, Twitter, left comments and showed so much love during my time here. Please continue to support this amazing organization and the work they are doing in Cameroon and abroad. Peace and blessings, all! ~ Heather