Most of you know that we spend four years on the field, and then have up to a year in the USA to rest, visit supporters, get further training and see family members. We have known for a long time that furlough was coming up in August, and so since January have been slowly culling items out to sell or give away, fix things around the house for our incoming renters, making arrangements with the guards (we still have guards at night, absolutely necessary), and getting the dogs squared away with shots (all administered by us!) and such. There is a lot required to pack away a life, and we’ve asked the kids to help with that so that they are part of the process. This is a photo of Toby packing up all of his books – he had to clean out his desk, take down his posters, and decide what to pack and what to keep. Ben required more help, but seemed to take it all in stride. We are thankful that we are coming back to this house, and the kids could pack up their treasures without having to cull them.
We are thankful that our renters wanted to use most of the furniture, because it wouldn’t have fit in our container! Every dish, every book, every electronic device was packed away in a plastic trunk and stacked in the big metal container outside the house. It was a good way to prepare for being away from all of our things, instead of just walking away from them and being whisked away on an airplane. However, it is an odd separation to leave your home for a whole year, putting away scrapbooks and favorite kitchen tools and books. After being away from those things for awhile, you start to forget where your things are, and wonder if you’ve left your John Grisham novel in the container, loaned it to a friend, given it away, or sold it at the garage sale!
The dogs certainly seemed to know that something was up, and would watch us soberly. Maybe they’ve had enough experience with our little trips to know that we were leaving. Unfortunately, we said goodbye permanently to my little dog, Mattuvi, who was killed by the biggest male dog a couple of weeks ago. Although I am glad I wasn’t there to see the destruction of his poor little body, the kids and I don’t have much closure since we didn’t bury him and mourn.
But I go on too long – our possessions are packed, except those things we would need this year like homeschool books and clothes, and gifts for supporters. It is a strange life, to go away from “home” for a year, back to “home”. – C