So what does the next bit of our life look like as we prepare for moving to Swaziland?
We now have 21 days left til Jim and the 5 youngest kids board the plane that will fly us away from Mississippi. Anna and Betsie will have left just 3 days before. They are going over early to help get some things ready for our arrival and also add some time to their trip on the front-end since they'll have to be leaving just a week or so after we arrive to get Betsie back in time for the beginning of her new semester. Anna doesn't start quite so soon but we wanted them to be together on what will most likely be an emotional journey.
How will we spend these last few weeks? Well here goes:
This week we must finish up our packing. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday will be full-on effort as the shipping container comes this Friday. We are packing up some of our furniture, most of our books, some of the kids toys, lots of photos and sentimental stuff, Christmas ornaments, and other things that we want for our new home but can wait the month or two or three or more til it arrives. The things we will need right away, such as clothes and homeschool books, will go into suitcases. If you would like to come help us pack, it would be super, super appreciated. I might be willing to even name my first born African pet after you.
Anna and Betsie are taking finals this coming week and then will come home on Friday or Saturday morning. Just in time to miss all the purging and packing. Aren't they lucky?
Patrick's 15th birthday is Monday so we might give him a slight reprieve for a minute or two. I think we'll have to make it up for him in some way. Maybe no dishwashing that day?
Next Saturday, the 14th, are two going-away parties. The first is from 2 to 4:30 here at We Will Go. If you wanna come, shoot me a comment or find me on Facebook and I will tell you the details. We would love to have as many of our friends and family there as possible. As I said in the last blog post, leaving behind loved ones is definitely the hardest part about moving to Africa. The second party is being thrown by our Restoration Church family. It will be a time set aside to just love on our spiritual family and get loved on by them. They have been so incredibly supportive of us along this journey.
The next week it really gets crazy. Even crazy by our standards.
What we want for Africa but didn't ship will be all in suitcases and taken over to Base 2 at We Will Go where we will be staying in one of the guest houses. Monday through Wednesday, the 16th - 17th, will be spent getting rid of all the stuff that we are not taking. We will be opening the house up and having a giant moving sale. The pots and pans, furniture, school supplies, knick-knacks, house plants, and all the other stuff will be sold or given away to whoever wants it. Spread the word if you know of someone in need or want of what we've got! On that Thursday, some friends are coming to box up and take away all the stuff that is left. And then that afternoon or Friday morning, we'll give the mostly empty house a good cleaning.
On Friday, December 20, we'll be driving to the Gulf Coast where we will spend time with family and more friends. That Sunday, the 22nd, my mom is hosting an Open House for us from 2 to 5:00. If you live down there and want to come, again, shoot me a comment or Facebook message and I'll give you the details. Before that, we'll be lunching with the Harvey side of the family.
Monday, December 23, we'll go up to Hattiesburg to see Jim's sister's family and parents one last time.
Then Christmas Eve, the Macs will be participating in the First Baptist Gautier worship service. We'll also go there the Sunday before. Hope to see many of my sweet FBC friends then. Maybe some old friends will be home for the holidays.
Christmas Day will be spent at my mom's and at my brother's.
Boxing Day we will take Anna and Betsie to the New Orleans airport then drive back to Jackson.
Saturday, December 28 is the annual W-friends get-together at Keifer's. You know the routine by now if you wanna be there.
And our last day, Sunday the 29th, will find us at Restoration for church in the morning, at We Will Go for the first 20 minutes or so of the afternoon service, and then it will be time to fly out. Our plane takes off at 6:30.
We will travel for two days with a layover in London that will allow us some sight-seeing time.
The last day of December will see us landing in Johannesburg, South Africa. We will catch a shuttle (with our 21 suitcases and 18 carryon pieces) to Swaziland where Anna and Betsie will be waiting for us. We will spend New Year's Eve in our new home even if we are eating off of Styrofoam plates and sleeping on air mattresses. Then the very first day of 2014 will find us waking up in our Manzini home.
So that's it! That's what the next few weeks hold for the MacMinions.
We'd love to see you between now and departure date if possible. If you can't make the official functions, we are definitely open to lunch dates and supper invitations.
And you know I'm not going to turn down offers to come help pack.