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The girls and touched down on our island just over 2 days ago and J took a solid for the team and took the 4 hour ferry…yep it was 4 hours…. while we flew home and took naps. We are home and the time has flown in a whirlwind of sleepless nights, unpacking, getting back to work, and greeting everyone. Even as we took those first steps off the plane and inhaled the familiar smell of Africa we knew it. We are back in the place we are supposed to be for now. Lots of emotions as always but mostly anticipation.

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thanks Doro for picking our tired selves up and making sure we got home & for the fab welcome home sign!
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and our neighborhood welcome committee
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unpacking meds….nasty bugs we are ready!

Saying good bye. And Hello again. Packing. And unpacking. We do this too much. And it is overwhelming all the stuff one has when moving too and from a developing country. The amount of stuff 4 soon to be 5 šŸ™‚ people have accumulated is now requiring some simplifying. Lots of throwing away and giving away in our future. Unpacking while people are in and out and the chaos abounds has been a bit insane. Just keeping Evy from eating sunblock and prescription meds is tiring enough. Add in being jetlagged, remembering Kiswahili, and entertaining guests and I am tired. For sure God brings challenge for our sanctification, but still argh! I would be very a thankful girl if moving anywhere back and forth was never again in the plans. But for now we deal and we ask to have the grace to not miss the blessing in it all. And we already see it…
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besties. reunited.

There really have been some miracles. Big and small since we arrived back that I don’t want to forget. First, all our luggage made it – all 6 huge suitcases even though some of the were battled bruised and duct taped. They made it. That is a miracle. Second, there is power here even though most of the mainland is without power for at least a week. We found that out the night we touched down in a completely black Dar. Here we just have rolling blackouts for 1-2 hours a day; no biggie. We can handle that! Also, it is rainy and COOL here- I know… feel free to reread that last sentence but it is pretty darn cool for here. We are lovin’ it!

Other big miracles. The night we hit the island we heard that our former Mlinzi’s wife Mama Zawadi was terribly sick. They moved to the mainland in a village over a year ago but called our neighbors to tell what was happeneing and get some help. Version we heard and then understood from talking to her husband: She had pushed for hours to have her third baby but after a day the baby eventually died and so they got her to a hospital where she had surgery but apparently during the surgery they left a scissors inside her! When they realized how bad the infection was they took the bus to another town to get help only to be turned away because the doctor’s wife had died and he was not operating. They were now in Dar trying to be seen but had their phone stolen and were out of money. Again, how difficult people’s lives are never ceases to shock me. I was so glad we remembered this amazing Greek doctor in Dar who repairs fistulas and cleft pallets for free. That is work straight from the Lord to bless people! He is amazing and we stayed with his family once when we were in Dar and I remember storing away his info if we could ever direct people his way for help. He runs a clinic there and I called him late that first night and he was willing to see her and after several calls back and forth the family made it to the clincic. And as I type she is having surgery! Still uncertain of the outome as she was leaking urine and blood for days but at least they were able to get help instead of being turned away again. I cannot imagine. They might come here after to recover and I am thankful we made it back in time to offer what little help we could. Pray for her.

Another blessing, one of my closest friends did not have her baby yet! The night I left from Dar we talked and she said she was sad I was going to miss it and we promised to pray Imani would be healed and I would be back before the time came. I prayed everyday that the baby would wait on me and he/she did! Although my friend now blames me for her VERY pregnant and uncomfortable state because as she said “God heard my prayer”…so anyday now we will be off to the clinic. Yeah! My other neighbor had her baby; a beautiful baby girl that I held for an hourlast night. Just a few weeks old. precious. a miracle as all children are.

one more small miracle worthy of mention although not in the same category as births….We checked the post office for some wayward packages and……the one my mom-in-law sent before Christmas was there! A Christmas package full of special pressies was sooo fabulous as a welcome home!
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Anni loves her snow globe! Hey, at least it made it in time for our winter!
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Evy loves the clothes optional weather & friends everywhere
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and this little guy adopted us. maybe he can pull his weight with the mice around here.
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Evy chats while learning some laundry skill

And despite the piles of unpacked goodies, unending to-do’s, and dirty laundry we took a real Sabbath yesterday. And that was a sacrifice to Him. Because my busy-body nature wants to always be “doing” but it is in the “being” I am discovering I want to live more. And I remembered what I miss about these times with just us. During our family worship Anni swirled and laughed and told us she loves worshiping God while Evy clapped and giggled and we all knew how much we have to be grateful for and my heart was full. Even though we have some challenges..one being an epic battle to evict some mouse folks who moved in in our absence (I found one in the bread bag our first morning in my half asleep state and screamed so loud the neighbors thought I was dying) and other more worthy of attention like team issues and setting boundaries for our family we know we are in the right place.

So, it’s been a few days and little American zawadis have been given out, house cleaned (ok, mostly), we have greeted everyone near and we got our “you got fat comments” which are typical anytime we go somewhere for more than a week. I got 2 “you got fat” hearty congrats and 2 “why are you so thin?” comments said in appalling shock…..I will choose to acknowledge only the latter even though I am pretty sure the former are more realistic after my glutton fest our last week stateside. We will soon make time to visit everyone else, and we are back and ready for whatever comes and we are expectant about what He will do next. It’s good to be back.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love you “soon to be five” comment…makes my heart leap with joy in anticipation for the baby that will soon join your family!

  2. Anonymous says:

    “…The amount of stuff 4 soon to be 5 šŸ™‚ people…”What is this all about?!? Do share!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The welcome committee put a tear my eye. How much they must have worried about you, hoping Evy was okay and now how relieved and happy to have you back.