After that letter and his response and after keeping in touch for a few months I began to wonder what the point of it all was. I liked him more than ever, so our regular phone conversations felt like a tease. We’d never talked again about our relationship or where it was or wasn’t heading. That remained more or less the same for the rest of my time in college. We were friends who kept in touch.
I studied abroad in Guatemala and Mexico my final semester of college. I’m not going to lie. I thought this would be the best time to “get over” Kyle. I’d be busy. Phone communication would be impossible. I could put distance between us and get to a place where remaining just friends would be fine.
All relationship stuff aside, that was the best, most life-altering semester of my entire college career. I occasionally updated a blog while I was there, and Kyle found the blog and read it. He emailed me while I was in Guatemala, asking about my trip and telling me about his upcoming plans to move to Tanzania for a year. By that time, I’d completely fallen in love with Guatemala and was making plans of my own to move back there after graduation.
After that initial email, we kept in closer contact for the rest of that semester. We discovered that I’d be back in the States for about two weeks before he was set to leave for Tanzania. So, we made plans to meet for lunch one of those days. I finished up my semester, and we met for lunch. We talked about our plans, mine to go back to Latin America and his to head to Tanzania. And then we said goodbye. We both thought we’d never see the other again.
In the weeks between graduating and starting my summer job I studied for my nursing boards and applied to mission agencies in several different Latin American countries. I was accepted to all of them. The only catch was that none of them could offer me a nursing position. It was imperative that I work as a nurse my first year after passing boards, so I had to turn all of those down. In a moment of desperation after months of what felt like doors being slammed shut on a dream, I emailed Kyle. I asked him if they needed a nurse where he was in Tanzania. He responded quickly saying that yes, they absolutely needed a nurse.
So, I spoke with his aunt and uncle who had started the orphanage/school where Kyle was living. And then I bought a plane ticket. I’d known for years that I was supposed to do foreign missions, so I was over the moon about this opportunity! I was supposed to be at the City of Hope for 10 days. When I arrived and first stood on the front porch of the guest house there I realized that I’d seen it before. I’d never been there in person, but I’d once had a dream that I was working as a nurse. In the dream, I was kneeling in the dirt listening to a child’s lungs with my stethoscope. I didn’t know where the place was, but I did know that it was a developing country. That dream led me to nursing school and to pursuing missions.
When I arrived at the City of Hope and stood on that front porch, I realized that it was the very place I’d dreamed about all of those years before. Immediately I extended my trip and ended up staying 3 months.
Those 3 months are when our love story really started.
April 22, 2019