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31 Days Until Home

June 13, 2015

The end of our time in France is fast approaching.  All of the language school students are discussing our exit strategies, where we are headed, how to cram everything into bags and totes and make it all fit within the European baggage allowance (which varies a lot between airlines).  Some families are headed back to the US for a month or two, to catch weddings, have a baby (seriously!), say hello to family, or pack their belongings into containers to ship them to Africa.  Some are headed out on vacations to rest their brains and bodies before moving to Africa (this is our plan).

We just received word that our shipment is all together, in one place, thanks to several people for seeing that last minute items arrived and were assembled into bins for us!!  We hope it will be shipped in the next couple of weeks and arrive around the same time as we do.  This right here can be a matter of prayer, if you don’t mind!

We have just two days of class left before exams.  It is actually really terrifying, because in some ways, we both thought we’d be more fluid in French, but then, we head about town and we are able to function just fine (not with any level of fluency, but fine) with what we have learned.  We have both noted that it takes about three months between learning a new concept and easing it into our verbal usage.  I can’t really explain why that is, but I hope to spare some time to continue studying (reviewing) what I’ve learned to be better able to construct sentences.  We shall see how it plays out in Congo!

Meanwhile, a nasty cold is circulating between students.  I have avoided it, but Matthew has been hit hard and Axel appears to be down with it today.  Please pray that I either get sick tomorrow or that I can outlast it!  Being sick during exams sounds awful.

We have had an exciting past few weeks – so much to share, no brain space to do it!  Today is the big elementary/pre-school party/carnival/show.  Levi and Amelia sang songs with their classmates, and performed dances.  It was too cute!  All of the parents signed up to help in different ways, and Matthew signed up to do set up this morning.  If you ever want to know what Matthew is like, this is it: he signs up to just help a little…and then he ended up running the sound for most of the spectacle (<–language confusion…I literally cannot think of a better word, because this is what it is called in French).  Between songs, he was adjusting some microphones and got a very big thank you from the lady with the microphone – thanking “our American parents” and mentioning Matthew by name.  It was hilarious and awesome.

Wednesday this week we made the trek to IKEA.  It was about 45 minutes away, but we rented a car, shared it with our friends, the Potters, and headed off to buy all of the things [we didn’t already have] for Congo.  It was a fun day and our kids had a fun time home with Nancy and Charity – two girls that I will miss immensely, not only because they love my kids and are willing to watch them whenever, but because they are also fun friends.

This amazing photo was too cute not to steal - Charity and Nancy

This amazing photo was too cute not to steal – Charity and Nancy

Last Friday (I’m working backwards, can you tell?) we invited Levi’s teacher over for dinner.  We didn’t know anything about him, but Levi had been asking for months if we could.  We had a great time discussing all sorts of topics (even ones considered taboo in French culture, like religion and politics – this was Matthew’s idea) and were sad to finally say goodbye at 11pm.  He is interesting to talk to, thankfully his English is fluent, though we spoke in French also.  We hope to have him visit us in Kinshasa sometime, since he is a world traveler, but hasn’t spent much time in Africa…yet.

And before that?  Well, my brain is a little fuzzy.  So, in conclusion, pray for our health, and our poor French-stuffed brains as we head into Exam Week.  Pray for our kids as they are preparing to say goodbye to dear friends, big and small.  Pray that our shipment will be on its way safely.  Pray for our families, I have two family members preparing for big surgeries in the coming weeks, and Matthew’s brother is on deployment in an ocean.  Pray for our friends here at school – several are having family issues, financial headaches or just travel woes.  It is a trying time, but it is also an exciting one!

We are so ready to be HOME.

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