Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fitting It All In

It’s hard to believe that our furlough is nearly over and it’s now time to flip the Africa/Canada switch in our brains back to “Africa” mode, pack up and head back! Although we’re really not looking forward to saying goodbye to our family ☹ we are looking forward to getting back “home”. It’s kind of funny because when you think about it, we’re leaving one home to head for another. That’s one of the benefits of having grown up and lived in several places on the globe…some or other home is never too far away!

One of the big tasks that remains is packing our suitcases. For someone who’s had to pack and move many, many times over the past 40 years, you’d think packing would be 2nd nature to me by now. But it’s not. I really dislike packing. It always feels like I’m trying to fit the whole world into a suitcase and we all know that doesn’t work!

For example, besides the normal stuff we need to pack (clothes and shoes, books, cameras, laptops, medicine—being a nurse, I’m big on that one, favorite spice mixes, my math course, and so on), we have some other items we’d REALLY like to take back as well.

Such as…

A suitcase full of lovely baby clothes that someone donated. These would make quite a few Mozambican moms smile and clap loudly with delight.

And medical supplies...

Oh my, how I love medical supplies! Wherever I go I have a personal first aid kit that is sort of a mini-hospital-on-the-go. The above supplies will be like gold in Moz so are vying for prime space in our suitcases.

School supplies plus these ID cards for the over 200 children in the mission’s grade school. They love these cards because for most, it’s the only photo they have of themselves.

12 volt water sanitation device that converts salt water into a chlorine solution which is then used to disinfect contaminated water. We’ll make sure this goes in the suitcases for sure…can’t see this set up making it through the passenger security check point!

And last but not least,

Walkers and canes, enough for 3 people. And we have 3 crippled women right now in the orphan/widow program who could really use these. Obviously these won’t fit in our suitcases. I half-seriously suggested that we could “use” them on the return flights. You know, push them. Through the airports. Loaded down with our carry on luggage. I had to smile at the thought. Now THAT would be worth a photo.

Yes, the next few days could be very interesting with us trying to fit this all in our suitcases. A bit like trying to fit in all the visits we'd hoped we could while here. We managed to do a lot, but some we'll have to do on our next trip home.

And so wraps up my last blog post from Canada for now. The next post will be from South Africa. Wow. Where did the time go??

A few other photos:

Dwight with his great niece. It was too cute a photo to pass up (taken by Kristen).

Our kids, whom we are loathe to leave behind. Sadly, I think our suitcases are too full to fit them in. ☹

As I write this, the PCAAT (Prairie) nursing team is in Beira and will soon be boarding their flight home. We pray for safe travels for them. Their final update has been sent out, so click here if you’d like to read it.



Penny said...

I have a friend who has been able to travel to Guatemala and serve the poorest of the poor there, twice a year for seven years now, and the first thing she greets people is take their picture. It's just as you said with the students in the may be the only picture they have of themselves. Sometimes I think I forget how the little things can mean so much.

I can't wait to read more from South Africa and Mozambique!

The Nelson's Dog Patch said...

:( sniff, sniff, the time just went SO fast!! What good looking kids you have!!! Seriously!! Great picture of Dwight too with that adorable baby. Love you, I'll miss you & will see you next year :)

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