The Carolinas

Well, less than a month until our French departure!  More on that process later.  Eric and I were asked to come and speak at an orientation for the newest group of Post Residents (the program sponsored by Samaritan's Purse that sent us to Tenwek for 2 years) last week.  There are 15 new families heading out to the field sometime between now and January.  Some to Tenwek, some to other parts of Kenya, some to Honduras and Nepal and others.  It was a fantastic chance for us to "give back" and share some of the wisdom we learned over the past several years.  It was also great to get back to SP headquarters, in Boone NC, and say hi to all the good folks there who helped us along the way.  We hope to continue with a great relationship with SP in the years to come.

As part of this trip to Boone, Eric and I decided to extend our time by a few days, since his parents volunteered to watch the kids.  We took a total of 3 1/2 days to relax a bit.  One of the things we were encouraged to do at MTI (in Colorado) was to take a "boat" time.  It used to be that missionaries, upon their departure from the US, had 4-6 weeks in a boat before they would arrive in their new culture.  That time could be used to process goodbyes, recognize changes, recover from the frantic packing and activities, and transition to the new time zone and climate.  Now, you get on a plane and step off 24 hrs later, totally exhausted.  We decided this could be a little mini-boat for us, to process things and relax at the same time.

So, we were able to relax a bit in Boone (and see the new Batman movie, awesome).  Then we headed down for one night at a Bed and Breakfast in South Carolina, Eric's 49th state.  Along the way, we took some time to do some hiking at a beautiful gorge with multiple waterfalls.

After a refreshing lunch of malts and burgers at a 50s style cafe with an awesome name (Moondoggy's), we continued to to the Red Horse Inn, just north of Greenville.  It was beautiful, with our own balcony overlooking the mountains.

 The next day we took the scenic route back to Nashville, stopping at a beautiful overlook called Caesar's Head, as well as Pisquah National Forest.  

The following pictures show that Kenyan signs have nothing on rural America. :)  We bought some peaches and pottery, and then headed home.  There was certainly a lot of time to reflect and process this year.  More on that to come.