Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review of past months - Anniversary cruise.

Hello all!

I wanted to give you a review of what I was doing during the months there was no blogging here.  I'll try to keep it short.

After my class in January, I spent the later part of January and early February with my family.  We (my parents, brother, niece and I) went on a cruise to celebrate my parents' 50th anniversary.  None of us had ever been on a cruise, but we all enjoyed it immensely.  We went to St. Thomas, Antigua, Tortola, and Nassau.  We left from Ft. Lauderdale, FL and you know you are in Florida when you see Spanish Moss.  Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy.

We went before all the recent cruise problems!
My brother had a banner made for the hall outside my parents' room.  It looked great and I put up a white board on their door so that people could wish them happy Anniversary.  We also had golden confetti 50's that we sprinkled on our dinner table. 
Mostly we shopped on St. Thomas.  There were a lot of things that the shops were giving away for free at several of the ports.  St. Thomas had the most of those.  Of course they want to buy things, but the stuff they gave was pretty nice.  Mark and Indera where the king and queen of finding all the free stuff. We had fun visiting shops and we did actually buy a few things.
Dad on St. Thomas

We still shopped on Antigua, but we found a local taxi driver to take us on a tour too.  We were able to visit a place where you can swim with the sting-rays.  We didn't do that, but Mark was able to get some sting-ray Beanie Babies to take home for his antique Sting-ray cars.  Then we went to a beach where we were able to snorkel.  That was fun and the beaches were beautiful!  We also visited a place called Devil's Bridge.  It is a place where there is a hole in the coral and the waves can shoot up through it.  I tried to catch that just right, but didn't manage it very well.

On Tortola the rest of my family went on a tour of the Island.  Mom and Dad went on a ship excursion and Mark and Indy found a local driver to give them a tour.  They all got some really nice pictures and enjoyed the day.  I took an excursion to the Virgin Gorda Baths.  I wanted to do some more snorkeling.  The place was beautiful and I did see some fish, but the view is what really made this trip for me.

The baths are made up of huge boulders spaced around a small bay.  You can go to another part of the baths through a narrow path in and under some of those boulders.  So, I did that.  There were parts where I was bent over very low, some walking in water and some narrow spaces to get through, but it was really worth it.

We only had a short time on Nassau.  So we did a little shopping for free stuff and I found a Hard Rock Cafe!  So, I got a pin for my collection from there.  Dad and Mark got some Tortugua (sp?) Rum to take home as gifts and for themselves.  Indera got her hair braided and so did her Dad.  They both looked great.  Mom stayed on the ship as her knee was giving her some problems, but we did managed to find a Pepsi for her and she was happy with that :).  I didn't get pictures of these things, so you will have to imagine it.

I did forget to say that we arrived in Florida a little early so that Indera and I could go visit the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios.  We had a wonderful time there too.  If you go, try the butterbeer.  It is very sweet, but it was worth it to say I had some.  I also got a Hard Rock Cafe pin there for my collection.

After the cruise, I stayed in Florida to visit with a supporting church.  It was a wonderful visit with the Sebring Christian Church.  I enjoyed the time there with family and getting to meet new friends.  At the tail end of the cruise, I got the cold that was going around in the family.  So, by the time I had to speak at Sebring CC I was pretty hoarse.  Even so, the people were gracious and interested in what I had to say.  They kept asking questions and even put up with the coughing fits I had through the answers.  

On the drive home to Johnson City, TN I stopped in Irmo, SC to spend the night with a college roommate and her family.  It was wonderful to see Jim and Wendy and their kids!  As soon as I got to Johnson City I went to the First Assist.  I found out I had acute Bronchitis.  So, I spent the next week or so just getting better and trying to get to feeling normal again.  So, Now you have an idea how I spent the rest of January and most of February.  More review later.

Thursday, June 13, 2013



What does that mean?  I left home so that I could come home.  I was home in my temporary home for very short periods of time. The rest of the time, I stayed in very short-term homes so I could visit people all over the States and tell them of what God is doing at home.  Then when it was time to go back home, I went home so I could pack and get ready.  After that, I got on a plane and traveled for hours so that I could go home.  When I got there, I still wasn't really home yet, but I was getting closer.  After a week of being almost home, I finally got home.

Are you confused?  Me too.  :).  What is home to one who lives away from their original home?  Is home here in Turkana?  Is it in Colorado?  Indiana?  Tennessee?  Missouri?  Ohio?  Alabama? Illinois? Oregon? Texas? Florida?  I was in all those places over the past 12 months and felt at home.  At the same time, I was missing home.  Now I am back in Kenya and still missing home.

Home to me has come to mean the place where I am.  It also means the place where I'm from.  There are a couple of places that I consider home more than others.  But.  Even when I am in one of those home places, I am not in them all.  So I miss the others.  I have returned to my home in Lodwar, Kenya.  When I arrived in Kenya, I was welcomed home by some wonderful friends and teammates.  They even gave me some beautiful roses as a welcome home present to enjoy while I was staying with them in Nairobi.  It was wonderful, exciting, comforting and joyful to be home.  It was also sad, heart wrenching and painful to have left home.  All those emotions all rolled up into a very jet-lagged person can be disconcerting!  I have survived and gotten over jet-lag.  Even so, I am still confused about home.

I think I will be confused about home until I am finally really home with the Lord.  I am sure you have heard it said that "this world is not my home.  I'm just passing through."  When you live a long way from your original home, or you have moved around a lot in your life, I think this saying is a little easier to understand.  I am at home here in this world in several very different places.  Any one of those places feels like home, but they also feel like something is missing.  My other homes are missing!  So, when we are finally together at home with the Lord, my homes will all be together with Him too.  I am looking forward to that day.  There will be no more sorrow in my heart from missing my other home and the family and friends that are associated with them.  My home will be even bigger too because those people and places (which are very many right now) that don't feel like home right now will also be home with the Lord and I will be at home with them.

Okay, enough talk about home.  I wanted to share a little of what I was thinking and feeling the first few days after I arrived back in Kenya on May 20th.  It has been mulling around in my head for a few weeks.  I knew I needed to let people know I made it back here.  So, this is the way I chose to do it.  

Don't give up on me!  I really will be back to blogging more regularly.  I have no excuse for not blogging since February.  I just didn't get it done.  So, I will be catching you up a little on what I did in the early part of this year and sharing more about doing life with the Turkana people.  Enjoy your day and if you enjoyed this little confusing piece about home, why don't you leave me a comment.  It will help me know that someone is reading this little blog and that I really should keep doing it.  I know, that is a shameless plug for getting you to comment.  Just do it for me :).  Thanks for having patience and reading!