Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I'm Almost Gone!

Well, I have been one busy lady the last month and a half. When I decided that I would go to Tanzania with my parents, I started thinking about what I could take with me. The little school over there that is named in memory of my Grandparents needs many, many supplies so I began shopping in earnest.

Some of the things I bought for the kids were an Australian decorated pencil each, coloured pencils, pencil sharpeners, 5 soccer balls, and 5 rubber balls, with a pump and extra needles.

Also, the school my two boys attend had 2 big boxes of used school uniforms they were given for charity. They said I was welcome to have them if I wanted to pay for shipping them. There were tugs on my heart strings as I went through all of them and realised that there were not going to be enough for every child to have one. But some are better then none.

I found school exercise books for 5 cents each, as our “back to school” sales were on here in Australia, and I bought 420 of them. Two for each child and a few to spare. It just about broke my heart when my boys brought home over 10 exercise books each for me to cover for their school year. I knew there was no way I could manage buying, much less shipping, over 2,000 school exercise books for the little kids there. And then the reality of mission work hit me. If I only bring two books each, the kids will have only two books each. Every thing I do, or don’t do, makes a difference in these children’s lives. I started noticing all sorts of things that I would love for the little kids to have, like school backpacks and lunch boxes, school uniforms, little toys; all things that I would not think twice about buying for my kids just for fun. I often got teary eyed while shopping.

After I gathered all the gear I realised that I was not going to fit it all into my suitcase. I had four times the weight I was allowed. So, I had to call a shipping company that specialises in excess baggage. I sent three boxes last week, and after they had gone, I started to panic. I was definitely going now, or else the things I had so carefully packed would have no one to pick them up!

To take my mind off travelling internationally alone for the first time, I started planning the song services for the conference we are going to. First I asked the pastor there if the people sang in English or Swahili. He answered that they sing in Swahili, but I would lead out in English. This worried me a little. I was not interested in singing five solos before each meeting. So, I called my Grandmother who lived there for over 30 years, and asked her to give me a list of songs that people would know. We had a lovely chat, and she assured me that they sometimes sing in English as well.

When we had finished our talk she told me, “Thank you so much for calling, please do it as often as you can because it doesn’t cost me a cent.” Then she giggled. She is a funny lady. So then I got one of my dear friends, Leah, to record backings to the hymns. We had a good time trying to work out how to get midi files off the electric keyboard and into my computer. After they were done I had 17 hymns to make power points for. That took me a while as I had no experience in using power point. I do now!

So…it is the day before I go. I will miss my husband and my boys so much, and I worry about whether or not they will wear the right uniforms on the right days, and whether or not they get their homework done and handed in on Fridays, and whether or not they remember to take their swimming gear on the right day. Good thing my mother in law is coming to help Luke out. But I am excited as well.

Can’t wait to meet you in Nairobi, Mom!

1 comment:

Grandma said...

OH, Tammy, I would love to be going with you. However, I am blessed to be able to be with Luke and your two little boys while you are away. Thank you for being part of our family and sharing "Grandma Africa" with us.
God be with you all and the people you meet in Tanzania.
'Mum' Bernice Pannekoek