Tomorrow’s the big day. The end of our short time in Kenya. We will fly out, not knowing exactly when we may return, yet praying we will. And until we do, here’s a short list of a few of the many things we will miss about this glorious life we have been humbled to get to lead these past two years.
1.Community Living. Meals almost nightly with friends. People just showing up at my door to chat, or come in for chai or to see if a kid can come play. Walking home at night beneath a billion stars after being at an event at the school or coming home from an evening with friends. We spend so much time with the people we live near….and we will miss this little community so very much.
2. Freedom for our kids. They ride their bikes all over lower station together. Walk themselves to our neighbors house to play. Walk to school in a groups. Play after school for hours on end. And get to do all kinds of dangerous things we’d never let them do in the States, like hanging onto the side of the car instead of riding inside or riding a piki home from a friends house. 3. RVA (our kids’ school). Natalie, especially, remembers and loves her school from America, but she will sure miss the hour long lunch periods where kids rush to eat at the playground or at the court so they can spend the rest of the time playing together. I love that on PJ day all the kids show up in their too short, two year-old jammies and no one cares. I love that they have reading time outside daily. I love that the high schoolers choose to be big brothers/big sisters and that they do movie nights and coke dates together. I love that there’s no homework until 5th grade! 4. Meals and time to be in our home. I wish I’d calculated the additional hours we’ve added to our marriage and to time together as a family since moving to Kijabe. We eat nearly ALL our meals together and we get to see Nate more than ever. He’s home for breakfast and dinner every single day and lunch on most days. His commute is a 3 minute walk to the hospital. What a blessing this time together has been for our family. 5. Our home. Our huge, colorful yard (aka football, baseball, soccer field). The trees perfect for climbing. Our sweet puppy dog. Our pizza oven that was the best excuse ever to have people at our home every Friday night. The coziness of the space that was smaller than what we were used to, but every bit as wonderful…maybe more so. 6. Big city trips to Nairobi, the tea farm, etc. with guests or girlfriends. It’s usually a 6-8 hour day to go into Nairobi for supplies (and lunch out, of course) and since it’s not a great idea to go alone, I (Becky) always take a friend, or two or three. Eight hours of laughter, deep discussions, and fun with my friends. I’m just not so sure that’s gonna happen 2-3 times a month in America….and I’ll miss it. 7. SOOOO many guests. Luckily, we will be living by the ocean in the States, so we can hopefully still convince some people to come and visit us. It has been one of my greatest joys having guests in our home. 8. Cheap, enormous avocados, ripe mangoes, and all manner of good produce. Pick-n-peel 100% fruit juice.…SO delicious. Chocolate Kinder surprise eggs for our kids after a trip into Nairobi. Coke in glass bottles by the case. 9. This BEAUTIFUL country and its people. The landscapes and mountains. Volcanoes and rivers. Rainy and dry seasons. This incredible climate. The lions, buffaloes, hippos, giraffes…the birds. 10. The friends who are our now our forever family. We’ve made friends in Kijabe, some who work at the Coast, those who live in the North, leaders we respect who have loved us so well and even friends who live and work in other countries in Africa…from Burundi to Madagascar. It hurts to think about not getting to continue in this amazing place, surrounded by these gracious people, doing life side-by-side…but we are oh-so-grateful we go to do it. I just keep thinking about the ingenious Dr. Suess and one of my favorite quotes of all time…”Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”