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Days 92-94

September 5, 2013

Please tell me you saw the last post, written by Matthew himself?!  It’s a rare treat for him to write a blog post, for you AND for me, so make sure you don’t miss out – all about our “man”cation in Durango.

Tuesday morning we left our friends in Durango and headed southwest, crossing the Four Corners (UT, CO, AZ, NM) and heading into Arizona.  Our goal that day: the Grand Canyon!  Neither of us had ever been, so we figured we should stop and see it.  It surprised us at just how immense it truly was.  We now consider ourselves fairly well traveled, but the Grand Canyon is far grander than we had assumed.  We drove through the park, stopped at each lookout on the South Rim and admired the view (between the rain storms).  Hearing the thunder echo through the canyon was almost, but not quite, as cool as seeing the rainbow.

We then drove to the nearest major town for a hotel stop for the night, in Flagstaff.  We enjoyed a brief dinner, quick dip in the pool, then got some work done on the computer before retiring for the night.

We had a leisurely morning, since our drive was fairly short to Phoenix.  We are beginning to actively make plans for our return to Idaho and to begin training.  One of the first things we did that morning was to sign Levi up for swim lessons.  He’s done so well this summer and made so much progress, Matthew wanted to be able to keep him active, and the Nampa rec center offers evenings swim classes, so it’s fun to make a little progress toward a stable life, even if this sort of stability is still temporary.

Our drive to Phoenix was gorgeous and, yet again, Arizona surprised us.  The mountains were covered in pine forests – reminding us of Washington and Idaho!  We saw many more rainbows as the sun shone on one side and the dark clouds thundered on the other.  We also made our first drop below 5000ft for the first time in over a week!  Yay for my poor, squished, pregnancy lungs!!  But not yay as we watched the thermometer on the truck climb to 111F!

We arrived south of Phoenix on the Pima Reservation.  Our host family there are missionaries, he is a pastor, to the Pima tribe, but they have adopted and are in the process again from DRC.  We stayed in one of the mission buildings, where teams who come to help stay, and hung out with the family for the afternoon before heading out to dinner.

That night it was the regular Wednesday night prayer service, and we were given the opportunity the present our mission in DRC with MAF to the native people who came.

It was fun to get to know this amazing family and hear about their mission work on the rez – how similar it is to the despair in Congo, yet it is on US soil!  Matthew even had the opportunity to do some visiting with the pastor and see some of the villages – the reservation stretches from south of Phoenix all the way to the Mexican border, so it’s quite vast and many places are isolated.

This morning Amelia was up early, ugh, but we had a good morning spending time with our hosts.  The Mrs. and I headed to her regular lunch date with several pastor’s wives in the area and I enjoyed chatting with them and eating some tasty Mexican food.

Then, in the afternoon, it was time to say goodbye (until Saturday) as we split our time to spend it with another family – one who I got to know quite well in Congo, as she was stuck for over two months in country due to paperwork delays with her two girls.  So fun to meet again and see how much these girls have grown!  Our kids were quick to take advantage of the pool (rumor has it it was over 110F again today) in the shade with Daddy while I got a much-needed nap!  Hooray all around!

Tomorrow is kind of a big deal…go here to remember what happened two years ago…

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