Well the time has come. It is hard to believe that in one week we will be headed back to the U.S. . . . home. Which is strange because somewhere along the way this actually started feeling like home. So now we are headed back to our old home but grieving the loss of this home and all we have here. Moving is always complicated and emotionally challenging but I think moving cross-culturally amplifies things. What if I am one of those people who arrives in America, heads straight to Wal-Mart and ends up in the fetal position on the floor overwhelmed with all of the choices and excess? I doubt it because I am really looking forward to shopping but you never know what can happen so I'm trying to prepare myself.
I'm trying to prepare the kids the best I can. I told Ford the other day "When we live in America we won't wash our dishes in the sink. We will have a big box that we put them in and when we take them out they will be clean" and "We won't hang our clothes out on the line either. We will put them in another box to dry them". Mostly the kids are the saddest about leaving our dog which I knew would happen we we got the dog but she has been worth it. We are all in different states of limbo - sometimes really excited about what is waiting for us and at other times really sad about what we are leaving. Which can be confusing with all of us at different states at different times!
I know we will be OK once we get there and get a little settled. But this in between time is killer. I feel like someone is pulling a band aid off really slowly for about two weeks.
Rhett's colleagues in the AIDS Relief training program hosted a going away party for him and two others in the program a couple of weeks ago. It was amazing. I can't believe the effort they put forth for us. Here is the party in pictures . . .
We drove about 40 minutes away to a hotel in Limuru for the party.
Now this looks really safe . . .
The setting of the party . . .
Our good friend and Rhett's colleague, Millicent.
The kids enjoying a lunch (mostly chipatis their favorite Kenyan food)
There are no words for this picture. I'm just thankful there are a lot of people at there praying for our safety.
Rhett giving his speech. There were speeches all around. Even I gave a speech! Their culture is still quite formal which I really enjoy. There are speeches and ceremonies and greetings.
This was during the gift presentation
This is the AMAZING photo collage they gave Rhett as one of his many parting gifts. You will find this proudly hanging in his new office I'm sure!
This cake sure looks good . . . but it's not really. We learned early on that Kenyans do not like sweet desserts so things often looks so yummy then you dig in and realize there is about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in the whole cake - not so yummy.
Trying to get a group photo . . .
So that was our wonderful send off from an amazing group of people who work really hard to care for people who are often ignored or despised in their culture. The stigma of HIV is changing every so slowly but there is still a long way to go.
Many more good byes in the days to come . . .