Monday, June 09, 2008

The Last Post...

...from Tanzania, that is. We are leaving in 7 days. I'm not going to try to put into words what it feels like to say good-bye to a place we have loved so dearly, to friends that have meant so much to us, knowing that for the most part we won't see them again. I defy anyone who has been here to discount the beauty of this part of the world; indeed I am sure that I shall never find a place so agreeable nor people so amiable (hee hee--I've been watching "Pride and Prejudice" and slipped a bit of Jane Austen in there). Watching our last rugby game last night (Tanzania beat Kenya 16-15...hooray!), our last lunch at Stiggy's (where we were treated to excellent wine, excellent dessert, and wonderful company), our last church service, our last day at PHS...these past few weeks have been filled with reminders that life is going on here--and we're just going on.

Noah and Ava are taking things hard, Noah especially. We've talked a lot about how we arrived in Arusha not knowing anyone or anything, that we could never have imagined how we would feel so quickly about friends, school, and work. God prepared a place for us here. God is preparing a place for us in Beijing, too, and we can't imagine what is waiting for us there. Something very different, but also very good and we can be comforted in our sense of loss that we will continue to experience great blessings in our lives. I'm sure that some day that message will be understood, without one of them throwing themselves down on the ground, sobbing!

Our last official PHS function was to welcome the families of the newest class to orientation on Friday. As before, families made a tremendous effort to get to town to learn more about PHS and arrival information. The newest class will join the current students at the end of June on campus. We are so proud of the staff at PHS and the work they do. It doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary, but in this country they are working with students in ways that are unheard of. Everyone is on board--cooks, cleaners, teachers, etc. They all feel like a valued part of a great team and we are so proud to have been a part of that.

We arrive back to Minneapolis on June 15th and will spend the rest of June there and most of July in Montana and Idaho. We leave for Beijing on August 8th and arrive on the opening weekend of the Olympics. We hope to see as many of you as we can! I think the blog may be a bit quiet over the summer, but check in once in a while--we will continue to blog about our adventures in Beijing at the same address!