A visit with Family!

I leave Tuesday morning for NC for 9 weeks of training. The my next step before heading to Kazakhstan. I am excited and nervous at the same time.

My sweet baby girl leaves for boot camp on 29 Sept. I can hardly believe it. I have been given special permission to come home that weekend to say my good-byes. My Mother has invited all kinds of family to come over to celebrate and say their good-byes too. (This next year holds many changes for Marc, Sarah and I.)

Mike decided I need to be in a picture. He doesn’t understand one of the reasons I take pictures is to stay out of them. Look at my hair. Really what happened!?!?! The gray hair comes from the Hickman side of my family.. ugh!! (notice my Uncle Pete’s hair!!! and even my Mother’s. This all comes from Their father, Julian Hickman)

Alex, Amy (my cousin), Mike & Amanda, Neva (my Mom) Marc & Sarah (my kids) Cindy & Pete (my Uncle)

We are waiting for Amanda, but you can see Molly, Uncle Pete’s dog. She goes everywhere with him.

Uncle Pete (my Mother’s brother) and his wife Cindy will be in Ecuador on the 27th and miss the big party, so they drove over from Staunton, Virginia to have dinner with us last night. His eldest daughter Amy and her husband Mike and two beautiful children Alex and Amanda came too. It was great to see everyone and catch up on all that has been happening in their lives. Alex and Amanda are articulate, bright, and funny. I hadn’t seen them in about 5 years and they had really blossomed. My Uncle Pete and Cindy have traveled extensively around the world and it was fun to compare notes. I have a family heritage of adventure loving people who have traveled and explored cultures near and far. I think it must run in our blood. Most of us seem to crave meeting people and experiencing foods.

I don’t think the food is much different in North Carolina, but I will be in the mountains and that will be fun. I will continue to have internet and will keep posting what is happening. Tropical storm Hanna blew through Richmond, Virginia with little winds, some rain, but thankfully not much damage from either. Today I will try and finish packing my belongings, pack my car, and get things ready so tomorrow I won’t be running around like a mad woman. I’d like to spend some quality time with my Sarah. Marc and I had the great opportunity to work together last week and I’m thankful for the sweet time together.
As I prepare to leave the relationships I have here become sweeter and sweeter. I have been blessed richly with some very dear friends and will miss being physically near them, but am very thankful for the internet.
I am thankful for all the support and encouragement I have received so far on this journey half way around the world. I know I will treasure them even more the more miles I put between us.

P.S. No, I haven’t found my boots!!! I’m still hoping I will find them mixed in another crate, but so far not a trace of them. Edith and Sarah both remember me putting them in the “to keep” pile that day in June when I was packing the last of my personal belongings up. Oh, well… not the end of the world… but very sad for me.. :o(

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