So, to be fair, this isn't really an update. It's actually just a form of procrastination. I'm surrounded by boxes and packing paper and can't even seem to get the Christmas tree down! That's right, January 9th and there's still a Christmas tree (or two...but who's counting) up in the house. I dropped the boys off to school this morning in an effort to extract myself from the nice warm bed and snuggly brown dog and came home to get started, and now, hours later, I'm still just puttering around!
Many of you have been asking about supporting our trip or sending needed items along with us. Here's the details of that:
First of all, not to be blunt (ahem...) but we can certainly use financial support for our trip. If you'd like a tax receipt for a donation, make out a cheque to Hands at Work and either send it to the US or Canada Office addresses listed in the sidebar. Please put the project number LTV-12-22 in the memo line. You can also make out the cheque to Hands at Work and give it to either Jason or myself and we can send it in for you. Just so you know, if you send a cheque to Hands directly, because of privacy laws, we will only see the donation amount, we won't be given donor information and therefore won't know who made it. So, if you do this and we don't send you a heartfelt thanks, that's why!
Also, we will not be bringing any extra donated items along. Truthfully, there's very little that we could "bring" that would alleviate the suffering and poverty. If you feel strongly about helping in this way, we will take cash donations along and pass those along to the Hands at Work service centres we're involved with to be put to best use. For those of you who would like, we'll gladly play "postman" and pass along letters of encouragement and cards to those in Africa. A good friend of mine, Cathy, has sent letters along with me on past trips and now has a semi-annual letter exchange with our friend, Cynthia, in Mulenga. It's amazing to be in Zambia and have someone ask how Cathy is and what is new in her life. These letters mean a lot to those who receive them and it's a beautiful way to encourage someone whose life is difficult at best.
And now, for the reality, we are just weeks away from Africa. Our house is going on the market. I have mixed emotions about this but if it needs to sell for us to afford to go, then go it will. Originally, I was holding tightly to the house in an effort to have something to come back to, you know..."for the boys' sake". I've slowly unravelling my white knuckles off all of these things, as I've said before. There's much to let go of but I keep reminding myself that I can't fully grab what's in front of us if my hands are full of all this. So, on to purging and packing...