Last week I bought a new travel thermos at MEC. It is about 9in tall, has a cool pouring/no leak top, looks like brushed chrome, and reminds me of the sheer distance between Vancouver and Liwonde. I remember:
Sitting shocked on my bedroom floor, watching rain dance.
Receiving a carefully written letter saying that his daughter had passed away but that she enjoyed having warm tea in her last weeks.
Taking one last photo out on the back porch, promising to write, and passing him my thermos because he was going to visit someone in the hospital, for hiding chickens under the counter, and for making extra nsima because I liked to eat it for breakfast.
Laughing over makeshift chopsticks, french toast, clumsy antics, and “mageza abwera” being the only chichewa I could ever seem to remember.
Waking up on my first morning to unconditional kindness, fresh pawpaw, and a new friend.
And sitting in Kim’s office a year ago, with no real idea what it would mean to spend 3 months sharing my life with people and being welcomed into theirs.
It seems silly to say that a thermos has made me nostalgic and a bit heartsick. That a thermos has reknewed my excitement for this amazing trip. That a thermos has reminded me — friendship is sending a letter thousands of miles just to say ‘thank you’