Every A/G MK (missionary kid) is given a trip back to the field they were on with their parents sometime between their 18th and 23rd birthday. Our daughters, Jennifer and Sarah, have been waiting seven years for their return trip; we left Tanzania in 2001 and just returned last month.
So, after we were in Tanzania for one week, Jenn and Sarah flew out for their trip down memory lane. We had just finished General Council in Dar Es Salaam; the girls flew in on Saturday and we began a whirlwind of travel for the next 10 days that ended in Nairobi, Kenya where we lived for some time during our first term and Jenn lived most of the time there going to school.
The first place we went before heading out of Dar was to the island of Zanzibar just about a 20 minute flight on a very small plane from the coastal city of Dar Es Salaam. We had never been there before so we went there as a family to make a new memory; we had a wonderful visit on the island.
We made a sweep through Tanzania from Dar to Dodoma to Mwanza. We spent a few days in Mwanza and unloaded the container that held all of our belongings we left here in 2001 so that the girls could pull out those things they wanted to take back with them. We spent time at the home of our good friend, Seni, went to a church service at Kirumba Valley, and ate at a couple of the restaurants they remembered.
For the last leg of our journey we spent all of one day driving up through the tea fields of Kericho, Kenya and stopping at some of the places the girls remembered. On the morning of the second day we reached Nairobi for the final leg of our travels. We visited Rosslyn Academy where both girls had attended school; Sarah spent one year there and Jenn was there for three years. We visited friends and some of the places the girls wanted to go.
All in all, it was a fast-paced trip down memory lane but even with some bad roads and long days and a lot of different sleeping arrangements in less than ideal situations, we had a wonderful time as a family and made a lot of new memories.
This time brought closure to our time as a family here in Tanzania and it was a time also to make some great memories that we could pull out in the days ahead as we are separated and remember them. We took lots of pictures which you can view on our website under pictures and also we made a few short videos that are also posted.
On the days when I miss the girls, I scroll through the many pictures we made of our trip together and remember; it makes me feel like we are not so far apart.