It’s difficult to know where to start documenting a trip that was filled with so much.  So many emotions.  So much movement.  So much preparation.  So much gratitude.  But I have to start somewhere so I’ll start with the prep.  Because I don’t ever want to forget how much work and hand-wringing goes into a trip like this.  Yikes!  Things that become so worth it a thousand times over the second you transport yourself into the middle of it all, but things that keep your head spinning, that’s for sure!

First of all (and most of all), the decision-making process. We reached out to so many different organizations, did so much research, put a lot of soul-searching in, and I have a whole post outlining that when we get to my Africa post, because that in itself was a journey.  Then the flight arrangements.  Another journey.  The vaccines.  Oh the vaccine adventures!  And the packing, and the whipping kids into gear before we left.  
We wanted the girls to feel some ownership of all we were going to do (help build a school in a little town in Uganda, and then onto a safari in Kenya), and also where we were going to be, so we assigned each of the kids report topics and we had Grace and Claire be completely in charge of getting the supplies we’d need. 
This is how they felt when they got back from all their running around to gather one haul of all the things we wanted to take:
Yeah, they were a little tired.
But this is how they really felt in their hearts:
Because let’s be honest, they were pretty excited to meet those kids and do the things we got to do.
We wrapped up a lot of things here at home as well.  Which included trying to take care of a neighbor in need (going through some really tough stuff) along with our other neighbors:

Sure hoped to brighten their day in the midst of some sorrows.

Grace and Claire worked on gathering and packing all the various crafts they wanted to do with the kids:

In the middle of it all I had do do an online defensive driving course of all things:

We worked on snuggling up Bo like nobody’s business before we left…ha!

 (and yes, giving her a bath…gosh she looks pretty awful up there…)

Worked on gathering rain gear since this was the forecast for while we were gone:

 Soaked up friends, including Grace’s besties with a little special graduation gift:

This was months, and really years of preparation to be honest.  We’ve been thinking about this and mulling over options ever since we took Max and Elle to India years ago.

And then we were off.

With my head and heart still churning trying to figure out things we forgot, things we should have brought, whether we made the right decisions, preparing myself for how all this was going to go.

But then I glanced across that row of my family all in a line on that airplane, ready for whatever came our way, and it cancelled out all my worries and stress. 

We were off.  And we’d be just fine without anything we may have forgotten or not thought of. 

Because we had US.  And we were meeting up with Max, Abby and Elle on our layover.  And even if we forgot everything else, this was going to be a grand adventure.


    1. Probably the majority of my pictures day to day are from my phone camera. Getting too lazy to pull out my big camera! But I do lug it all over creation when we travel.

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