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Alaska: Days 9 & 10

May 16, 2013

Tonight we wrapped up our time in Fairbanks and tomorrow morning we will hit the road for the seven-ish hour drive south to Anchorage.  So, of course, all of those little last-minute stops took place and the past two days were extra long, but so fantastic to catch up with so many people.

Wednesday morning we had breakfast with a friend and supporter who we had known in Fairbanks before, who had moved away (they are a military family) and, suddenly, they moved back!  Last week!  And she saw via Facebook that we were visiting and had us over.  It was such a great time and to watch her little boy and Levi play airplanes together was really fun.

We ran back home for quick naps and then went back out again for an appointment with the midwife clinic here in town that had guided me through my pregnancies with Levi and [first half of] Amelia.  It was fun to see some of them and their brand new building.  They did the regular check up and we got to hear baby’s heartbeat – all is well.  Then, out of the sweetness of their heart and knowing about our weird situation, decided not to charge us!  What an unexpected blessing!

Then it was time for a chilly cookout with friends and supporters we’ve never met!  It was fun to finally meet in person – though we’d been Facebook friends since 2009 – and we had a great time visiting and watching the kids play in the snow and around the bonfire.

This morning we slept in – all four of us until 9am!  Clearly, our bodies are confused because of this constant light!  But, today was probably the longest day out for us.  We headed out first for an unsuccessful trip to my old workplace – I haven’t worked there since before Levi was born, but I like staying in touch.  However, everyone I knew was out for the day.  Next we stopped by a few places out in North Pole for one last goodbye.

Our afternoon was spent with a quick hello to some new friends – parents of another missionary wife in DRC!  It’s a small world and we were excited to meet them.  They are headed out next week for their first visit to their daughter and her family in a village a long day’s drive outside of Kinshasa.  We became close to the family since they came to Kinshasa every few months to stock up on supplies and were excited for the chance to say hello.  It was a great visit.

This evening we had our last dinner with a family from church that has been our dear friends since 2008.  They were also so helpful and generous in letting us borrow their car for the last 10 days!  We had a great time and their kids loved helping ours play in the last remaining snow and show off the new chickens.  The cheesy halibut and bacon-wrapped scallops were the best we’ve EVER had.  Their kids asked some really great questions about our lives in Congo, and were most shocked to learn that the Congolese have never seen a moose, let alone eaten moose meat – a staple for many Alaskans.  After dinner, we had another bonfire and s’mores, but the kids were tired and after lots of runny noses and one bloody lip (Amelia’s) – thanks to a quick, high-impact run-in with a metal tricycle – we decided it was probably time for bed for everyone.

On the way home, Levi’s dream of seeing a moose in Alaska came true (though it wasn’t his first ever, it was his first for his memory) – one was chillin’ on the side of the highway, as many do in the Great North.

Even though I forgot the camera cable and really haven’t taken many pictures anyway, we did manage to get this classic a few days ago…

Amelia and Levi sit on the Alaska Pipeline

Amelia and Levi sit on the Alaska Pipeline

A HUGE thank you to everyone in Fairbanks and North Pole who made our visit so fantastic: from lending us vehicles, comfy rooms, boots, coats, and anything we needed – what a wonderful trip and we are so sad to leave already!  However, we are even more grateful for the time we had here

Next stop: Palmer and Anchorage!

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