October 11, 2013

Wrapping Up 2 Years

We only have a couple of weeks left before we return to the U.S.  Our time here at Karanda Mission Hospital has been a great time of growth in many ways.  We are thankful for the experiences we have had and the valuable lessons we have learned.  We know God put us here for a very specific purpose and we pray that our presence here has been a blessing in some way.

As a part of our wrapping up, we took a trip to South Africa as a family.  This has been something we have wanted to do since we arrived in Zimbabwe, but for one reason or another, we were not able to go.  Finally, we had our car back, and the timing was right.  We enjoyed lots of family time and even reconnected with missionary family from 30 years ago!

This was Dontie's first grade teacher, Laura Peppetta (and her husband), from when Dontie attended
 Rosslyn Academy in Nairobi, Kenya.

We also got to visit with Andrew and Laura's daughter, Bekiwe, and her new husband.  
Dontie and Bekiwe went through elementary school together.  

Here are a few other glimpses into our trip and the fun we had as a family:

 A great train theme park we found just outside of Pretoria, the capital of South Africa.

Little Christopher loved the water slide at the theme park.

Leena got to have her first swing experience!

 Luke learning how to care for collard greens at Peppetta's farm.

Having fun getting to know mommy's first grade teacher, "Auntie Laura"!

 The Pretoria Zoological Gardens: The boys loved seeing the animals up close!
These are Madagascar ring-tailed lemurs.

A big treat was getting to spend a lot of quality time with daddy.  

We also managed to squeeze in a few things that were more historic, like the Voortrekker Monument.  We learned about the history of the early settlers of South Africa.

Even the boys enjoyed the experience.

We also went to Union Hill, the office of the president.  What beautiful gardens and architecture.

It was a little difficult coming back after such smooth, modern roads and fantastic rest stops, unlike anywhere in Africa.  However, we were happy to be out of the car and not in a different bed every few nights. Vacations are wonderful, but it is always good to go home.  Now we are at the task of sorting, packing, and saying goodbye to the people, places, and things that have become special to us in these two years.  For two of our kids, Karanda is really all they know!

We are looking forward to seeing family and friends in the U.S., but also have a lot we have to do.  We feel God leading us back to Africa, so we will be looking for another mission-sending agency and continuing or journey from there.  We have felt so blessed to be a part of the Samaritan's Purse team and are grateful for these two years serving under them.  We will continue on this blog wherever God takes us, because we are The Kidwells In Africa!

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