Heartfelt Good-bye

We are here at the hotel in Portland, ready to fly out at day-break tomorrow. We've said good-bye to our family and friends one more time, and though our hearts are raw, we have survived. We check in tomorrow at 3:30am, and 31 hours later, we'll land in Nairobi, bedraggled and exhausted and very likely grumpy, but alive (we hope). So now, all that is left to do is to say good-bye to those who are neither family nor friend, but who have blessed us nonetheless.

1. Good-bye, dear American drivers. I shall miss your polite manners on the road and the way you always stop at 4-way intersections. You have no idea how you have warmed my heart!

2. Good-bye, oh makers of saran wrap where the metal teeth are sharp enough to actually cut the wrap without turning it into a mangled ball of useless plastic! Cooking with you was a joy.

3. Good-bye, Kroger and Fred Myers and Food4Less. It never ceases to amaze me that you have unexpired milk on the shelf every single time I've needed it. Thank you; I'll miss you! I will also miss your jars of spaghetti sauce, packs of 30 tortillas for $6, applesauce, and cans of beans...as much as I mocked you when I first came back, you made my life so much simpler. If I'm truly honest, I'm dreading the return to 'real cooking'!

4. Good-bye, OPB. I sure appreciated your cartoons without commercials for my kids. Martha Speaks, and Sid the Science Kid, and Word Girl, and Wild Kratz...and who can forget Sesame Street? I'm not terribly fond of what you've done with Daniel Tiger taking over for Mr Roger's Neighborhood, but I'll let that slide, because it was awesome to escape the commercialism of the holidays.

5. Good-bye, Bran Flakes and bagels. I expected the bagels to be a hit with my kids, but the Bran Flakes were a surprise blessing I didn't see coming. You made my mornings so much easier--I shall mourn my loss of you every morning for the next several months until making and freezing two batches of waffles from scratch every week becomes normal habit again.

6. Good-bye, hot-water heater. You have no idea how much I enjoyed washing my hands in warm water, or how white you made our clothes in the washing machine. I will again learn to bathe my 3-year-old in a shower without getting drenched, but I sure appreciated your on-demand response to my needs these last 6 months.

I shall NOT miss AT&T, who persists in refusing to unlock our phones, which we paid full-price for, because "the computers won't let us". So with that, farewell to all things American, simple and convenient, and run by technology. Africa, it'll smart a little to get used to the cooking, and cleaning, and traffic, but we love you too, and we're ready to find your little market-shops where you don't need a computer to let you do things like unlock phones! So here's to variety, to pros and to cons, and to a full life lived well wherever God has placed you!!! Talk to you next from the other side!

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