Some days this is intimidating and other days I am excited about the pending adventure. I must be honest, I think that is normal, if not an above normal response.
We are moving to Africa for three years, kids and all. Even the dog. In fact we packed up our household good and shipped them off to a land far way- yesterday.
There is so much to say I could write for days but I better keep this a little concise today… we will see how I do. My mind is swirling as we begin the main components of our move.
How did we get here?
This is a popular question, especially for those who have followed my husbands career. For those it would be a little confusing. Short answer, he changed his job which allowed us a grand new adventure. Again, some days I think it is grand, some days I think it is a real pooper of a deal… it’s been a stressful year.
Let’s clear up all of the Africa questions: where, why, safety…
Yes Africa is a large continent, so where are we going you ask? Gabon. Yeah, that didn’t clear it up did it? Haha, I have had to describe where this tiny rainforest country the size of Colorado and population of Idaho is several times over. That about sums it up. Well that and our house is 50 miles from the equator. Yup, I am going to die leaving my house. Why can’t my husband ever station this northern bird… north? Everyone pray with me, “ Lord keep the Bruce’s air conditioning running. Amen.”
Yes it is safe. No there isn’t ebola; yes there are killer mosquitos. Did I miss anything?
There is more going on in Gabon than the average person realizes… who knew? I didn’t. So yes, there is a reason to be there. Yes, they have a Navy department there too.
So this then leads into the question, “What about the kids?”
Well, they are going to try a private school there. If not, I have been well trained in the art of spending every.waking.minute with them and will pull them out to continue homeschooling if or when necessary. Curriculum is already purchased, just in case. It has become my understanding that no one homeschool’s there so I didn’t want to leave them out of the adventures everyone else is having. The school seem strong in some areas and weak in others so we’ll just have to do a little work in the evenings to keep them up to standards. The opportunities at the school currently outweigh the negatives. I am actually pretty excited to see how this plays out. Just don’t ask my oldest about the uniform mandate… you’ll get an ear full.
What will I do?
I hope to announce all about that very soon. I am sure that has peaked some interest and it will be a blog story all on its own how that came to be. So for now, bear with the news that I have a gig in Africa myself.
Of course, there is always school. Many of you have heard me joke about my life long pursuit that is like the song that never ends. One day I will graduate. Sooner, if my husband would ever sit in one place. Anyone who knows my husband knows that is the most unlikely thing to happen. He has gained the nickname “mountain goat” for a reason. He has a wandering soul and all I want to do it paint a wall and plant a garden!
Lastly, we hear a lot of, “You just got back here (America).”
Yes, it is true. We have only been in the states for six months after a three years over seas tour and are already going back overseas for another three years. This has been an awful year. I mean, let’s put down the PC stuff for a moment and call it what it is. Worst year. I am one to make lemonade out of lemons and we have had a ton of fun with travel, friends, family, and touring. However behind the scenes, daily life, has been excruciatingly tough many-most days.
There have been many days where PJ’s and Netflix were the only answer. So as uncomfortable the idea of Africa is I welcome it with open arms. I look forward to stability, normal, and routine in my life once again. Really, as I think about it, it will be the direct opposite of life here. Outside the walls were normal because it was America, my culture. Inside the home, daily life was anything but normal. In Africa, outside will be anything but normal however my home will be my refuge. I find great comfort in this idea. Yes, this makes me a home body.
Journeys do not start once you have arrived but create a story to be enjoyed, beginning to end. Joy and trials are all along the way. Because of this, I wanted to start talking about our journey in Africa before we actually landed. Red tape along with emotional, spiritual, and physical struggles are part of the picture that needs to be captured too. There is a loss of a life once known. Things of comfort are gone: friends, church, favorite places, routine nature walks, coffee, the dentist. Hey, when you won’t have dental care where you are going, the dentist becomes a favored hot spot. This is not easily reestablished in a foreign land, if at all. We are being taken from our culture and plopped into one we don’t understand anything about- quite literally since they speak several other languages. There will be interesting day, confusing days, joyful days, and crushing days ahead.
We want to invite you on this ride with us. All of it. Life is full of peaks and valleys but not many get to make memories of it all in Africa. God is working and I look forward to unfolding all that He is doing in our lives.
And so the transition begins… join us won’t you?
We appreciate your prayers as we walk through this open door to a new journey ahead.
Deuteronomy 31:6, ” Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”