[If you only know me by reading my blog, it might appear that I've been stuck in Africa for almost a month... but in reality, I've been stuck in dirty laundry, homeschooling, sickness, grocery shopping, playdates, warmer weather, colder weather, cooking, getting rid of training wheels, learning to talk (x2), horseback riding lessons and becoming mobile enough to touch EVERYTHING. I've also attended a women's retreat (for which I attended planning meetings and wrote some of the curriculum), heard Chance preach five times, and saw extended family on multiple occasions. We've hosted around 72 dinner guests (thankfully some of them came at the same time) and I've let the dog out around 90,000 times. I'm not stuck in Africa, friends. I'm stuck in the craziness that is our lives! I'm going to try my best to wrap up our trip to Africa in this post though. Sadly, I stopped journaling around this point - we were packing and getting geared up to leave, and I had started reading a really good book. Journalling just stopped...
But here's my best effort at documenting the rest of our trip. In case you missed it (or had forgotten since it has been so long), I wrote other journal entries about our trip on these pages: one, two, three, four, five, six]
Sunday, April 6
It's church day!
(Typical pastor's kid... feet propped up and playing his iPad.)
(Louis' buddy, Esther, sneaking in kisses during church - another typical pastor's kid...)
Church started with a teaching time again, but this time, Pastor Justus preached. Whenever we've come before, Chance has always been asked to preach, so it was neat to see a "typical" church service from beginning to end.
After the teaching time was worship. And the absolute funniest video ever was recorded –
Chance originally was trying to capture Louis singing and clapping. But, as typical babies do, he stopped performing when the camera came out. Chance then turned to taping Nasko... but the baby wouldn't allow that!
Funniest video ever, right? I expect it to become a YouTube sensation.
You may have noticed that my family was all wearing matching clothes on that Sunday. Our friend Moses had those made for us! Considering he had never met our boys, he and his tailor did an excellent job guessing on all the sizes! The clothing is beautiful. Thank you, Moses.
Also at church, I asked a few members to let me take pictures of them poh-poh-ing their babies. I'm in a few online babywearing groups, and I knew those ladies would be interested in the methods that the Sierra Leonian ladies were using.
Following church, we had lunch and naps before heading to the orphanage for one final visit (sad face).
We spent much of our time during this visit doing the required stuff for what Chance needed for his job as the Director of Partnerships for Lifegate Ministries. Communication between U.S. and Africa is difficult (delays in phone calls, sloooow internet, time difference to name a few), so Chance came to Sierra Leone with a list of things he needed to accomplish.
On this Sunday afternoon, we interviewed the kids and asked them ways that their sponsors could be praying. We also took new, updated head shots of the kids. A couple of them were at a school function, but we got pictures of most! (If you are interested in the head shots we took two years ago, click here and here. The kids have really grown up!)
Monday, April 7
It was time to pack up and head for home. I thought packing to come was crazy, but packing to go home wasn't too easy either - especially when my husband insisted in bringing home a giant lion head...
I hate goodbyes. There, I said it. We really enjoyed staying with Rick, Paula, Grace and Faith while we were visiting Sierra Leone. Paula is always such a blessing to me, as she truly speaks what is on her heart and mind, and holds very little back. She is a loving friend - no matter if she lives half a world away!
Grace and Faith really enjoyed having Louis there to play with and spoil. He misses those girls! Whenever he sees their picture on my computer, he starts babbling a million miles an hour. We cannot wait to see this lovely family again the next time they come to the US to visit!
The girls were great to tolerate Nasko and his crazy shenanigans too. I doubt they'll be requesting a little brother anytime soon though.
After our sad goodbyes, we had to drop by the new orphan homes one more time. Moses (who was a plumber by trade) installed the toilet for the homes that morning.
After inspecting the toilet, we were off! We began the three hour (plus) drive to the airport.
Yes, we were actually driving down the road when this photo was taken.
(Spoiler alert - Louis HATED his carseat when we first came home. Can you imagine why?)
Rick and Moses dropped us off at the airport. I felt like this time of waiting for our flight was MUCH more calm and relaxed. You may remember my previous endeavor, two-and-a-half years ago!
We were ready to get home. Nasko kept listing all the things that he missed and all the toys he was going to play with. Most of all though, he was excited about the idea of eating a Casey's doughnut again.
Our flights were long and relatively uneventful, but the boys were great travelers again.
Melatonin is my new best friend. Amen, hallelujah.
But despite layovers, time changes, and connecting flights we made it home without any complications! The boys were excellent and overall, the trip could not have gone any better.
We're thankful for all the prayers of friends and supporters while we were gone. And, as you can see from the first paragraph of this post, we've settled back into our home routine rather nicely!