*Sorry for the lack of pictures. Blogger wasn't cooperating : (
One year ago today we were on our way to South Africa. You can read this post to see how I was doing a few hours before take-off. We got on that plane and started on a journey that would exceed all of our expectations. Our time in South Africa was so much more than what we could have dreamed possible.
We were able to experience some amazing things as a family, like petting elephants, bungee jumping (if you want to relive my "near death" experience, read this) , traveling to Cape Town with my parents, living in a beautiful home that was surrounded by an abundance of God's creation.
Our ten weeks in South Africa gave us so many opportunities to grow closer together as a family. Tyson and Jori LOVED having their daddy around so much. We all loved going on walks, heading to Derrick's to ride on the quads or eat dessert, go across the road to play with our friends at TYB. We didn't have a TV, internet connection or telephone to distract us from each other.
We were able to get reacquainted with many old friends, like the Hardings, Derrick and Pixie, members of Temba Baptist Church and Fenna and Francois, and meet new friends as well, including Amos, Mama Rebecca, and Mama Cathrine. These are people that we still think of and pray for and wish we could see often.
Being here and not really knowing what is going on back there is hard. Sometimes I feel myself growing distant and trying to not feel so attached to the people and places that we grew to love. While we were in South Africa, it was easy to think of all the things we could do to help Mama Cathrine, but now that we are here, these things are not so easy to carry out. There are financial costs involved and while we would be happy to send stuff to her, we don't have any guarantees that it would have arrived. Communication is sporadic, at best. Sending money is a whole big process.
Will we ever again have the chance to spend an extended amount of time in South Africa? God only knows. I love being close to family and friends, having reliable internet access, getting to know our neighbors and discovering new things about where we live. Yet I really miss being in South Africa. It is more than just the place itself. It's the people, and the whole way of life. It is a struggle to live life differently here in Hudsonville when you are surrounded by the latest and greatest everything. It is hard to live simply, when thanks to the wonder of couponing, a person can buy so many wonderful things that they don't even really need for so little money.
We don't know what the future holds for us, but we do know that we continue to be blessed by the journey that started a year ago today.