As Carolina Malo, Volunteer Coordinator of Ninos con Valor, recently told me, a life of a missioner or volunteer is divided between two places–two very important places. One will be carried in your heart and memories, while you are present in the other.

Last Thursday, after working at Pedacito de Cielo, I boarded a plane to return to the United States for a while to help and support my parents through a difficult time. My mom has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, and my dad has been in and out of the hospital. It was a tough decision to come home, but something that needed to be done. It was difficult to say goodbye to the children of Ninos con Valor, even if it is only for a month.

Although I have been home only for a few days, it is extremely hard not to see the little ones from Pedacito and the girls from Corazon. I miss the smiles and the laughter, the hugs and the kisses, and the special moments. Each day, I have shared stories and pictures of the Bolivian children with my parents–a way to share with them my life in Bolivia and a way to constantly keep the kids in my mind and in my heart.

I am glad I am able to be home and spend time with both my mom and dad, but my heart yearns to be back in South America.

I am living between two worlds, and missing the one I came from.