We’re really moving to Zimbabwe! This move has been about two and a half years in the making and it has always seemed so far away. All of a sudden, we are about 30 days away from flying to the other side of the globe on a one-way ticket. I am experiencing a mix of conflicting emotions: excitement, terror, sadness, happiness, stress, peace. We have a lot riding on this and the weight of it has been getting heavier lately.
I’m sure many of you are wondering why the heck we are doing this! Actually, that is usually the first thing people say when I tell them where we are going. The simple answer is that after 15 years in the States, Dan has decided he wants to go home and farm with his Dad. But it’s not just that. We have been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience life in a whole new way and we couldn’t pass it up. How many children have the opportunity to live on two different continents during their childhood? To be exposed to two completely different cultures and sets of traditions? How many adults have those opportunities, for that matter? I welcome the chance to expose my girls to different ways of life and I can’t wait for their eyes to be expanded beyond rural Iowa. Don’t get me wrong, I love where we live and the little life we have built for ourselves. But it’s important to me that my children know there is a whole world beyond the borders of our small town. I hope this move is just the beginning of their adventures.
We are also looking forward to a much more relaxed way of life. For the past 7 years, Dan has worked as Operations Manager for a large-scale farming operation. We are lucky enough to live at the “home” location of the farm, so his office is literally out the back door. But, as any farming family knows, it is not a 40 hour per week job. There are periods where the girls only see Dan on Sundays for months on end. He has also started to travel for work, so he has been more absent than ever. When our middle daughter was learning how to talk, if she heard the word Daddy, she instantly replied “Dada bye-bye”. We want Dan to have the time to be more present in the girls’ lives and not miss so much. (In the spirit of full disclosure-he often put in more time than was required. He does not work for a slave driver! He was probably just hiding from all of the estrogen in the house!) He will be farming on a much smaller scale and will have much more time to be part of the family. I will not be working outside of the home for the first time. This both excites me and terrifies me! But I’ll cover that in a different post.
The school schedule will also allow for much more leisure. The schools in Zim follow a three month on /one month off schedule. I am very excited about this. Aside from the benefits of year-round schooling, this allows for some serious travel. We plan on returning to the States twice per year and having almost a full month to visit makes it so much more enjoyable when we’re traveling such a long distance. Also, there are many places within Zim that we want to discover. For Dan, there are fish to catch. For the girls and I, there are monkeys to play with!
An obvious reason for the move is to be closer to Dan’s family. They have missed so much just because of where they live and we can’t wait to have them be a part of the girls’ lives!
So that brings us back to today. The countdown to Zimbabwe is on. We are heading out on the biggest adventure of our lives!