The whole reason for my extended time at home was for my sister’s wedding. It definitely held bonuses like extra time with friends and even being able to work again and earn some money. After the wedding my family had relatives stay for a week in our house. We had several adventures including a trip to Morton Island (highly recommended), a walk up Table Top and a drive to find kangaroos, wallabies and deer.
The rest of the time we sat around drinking coffee, doing puzzles and word games, chatting and swimming in our pool. The weather was perfect, sunny and blue skies with scattered clouds. Oh, glorious! I haven’t been in a country during spring since 2010 and I soaked up the seasonal change, raving about how much I enjoyed it. September in Toowoomba has a Carnival of Flowers and so it was the perfect time of year to be outdoors and drinking in the smells and colours of spring.
Extra time at home meant that I got to see the happy couple when they returned from their honeymoon and catch up with them. Extra time meant more days drinking coffee with mum and my sister Rebecca, sitting on the porch swing on the back deck and swimming in the pool being silly. Extra time meant that I had more days with my gorgeous little ones. Selfishly I was so glad the littlest has been induced three weeks early because it meant that I had five weeks with him!
|this just makes me laugh|
My last days in town were full of goodbyes. Although I love my life on the ship, I found it particularly hard to say goodbyes again. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all to live life far away from home, because your new place becomes home too, but this time I felt the wrench. I hate missing my friend’s kids growing up while I’m away. In February it’ll be my own niece growing up without me. I can’t stand that thought, but while I know God has me here, it’s where I’ll stay. Thankfully we have such great access to the internet on board that I can keep up with photos (provided the ones with the kids post photos!). It’s not the same as being there but it’s definitely better than nothing!
I arrived back to the Africa Mercy in Cape Town, South Africa on Monday evening. I was still feeling sad about leaving home and part of me will always feel sad about missing life there, but I was welcomed back to the ship with open arms, huge hugs, big smiles, so much enthusiasm that my heart smiled as wide as it could. And here I sit, on the same bed I left, staring out the window into an unfamiliar port, literally minutes away from sailing out into open seas. Oh, do you know where we are going? Madagascar!!!!!