Perhaps because I’ve been involved in some form of the education system most of my life, either as a student, teacher or parent, there is nothing out of the ordinary about being “off” for Christmas. Not only is it a particular blessing that we have been able to have the whole month of December back in the U.S. for the Christmas season, but many others are “off” so we could be with family and friends during a season of celebration.
We left Burundi together on Dec. 1st but separated in Amsterdam to different sides of the continent, each taking care of some different aspects of our lives and visiting some family and friends.
Highlights for me: Being able to visit my closest friend and partake in a long time tradition—the annual December Bizarre Bazar in Richmond.
Visiting my 94 year-old, step-mom, who has the vitality and mental state of a much younger woman. Together we visited my 85 year-old aunt. Always a treasured time! We went over to San Francisco to see all the Christmas lights in Union Square and wander around in a 4-story fabric store that she remembers from her younger years. It was so much fun to do together and it really put us in the holiday mood.
Spending Christmas with our family in Seattle. Randy and I met up again Dec. 18th for ten days to celebrate the Advent season with our kids, extended family and our son’s in-law family, who graciously have included us in their Christmas celebrations for the past two years. It was truly wonderful to be with so many people we love!
An added highlight was spending a special decade marker birthday with this marvelous group of family and in-laws. I was delighted to host them for a dinner of all my favorite things. They brought all the silly revelries to really make it a fun party.
Our last stop was Cincinnati to visit our home church where we saw many of you who faithfully support us with your prayers and encouragements in so many ways. It’s hard having all the lovely people in your life crammed into a month long visit but we “suffered” and enjoyed every minute. To those of you we were able to see—thank you for caring for us!!! It was such a pleasure to be with you. For those we were unable to see, hopefully the next time. For now, we are back in Burundi! Where the flowers are blooming and the weather is warm, refreshed to continue working here!