A Month of Goodbyes

By the time we left Tenwek, I must say that we McCropders all felt thoroughly appreciated!  Kenyans are very good at saying goodbye.  They have ceremonies and speeches and times of gift-giving.  Our missionary community, too, was very gracious in their send off.  Driving away for the last time (for now), I had no regrets about this person or that person who I wish I could have seen again, or someone I hadn't gotten a chance to say goodbye to.

The goodbyes started early August, actually, a month before we left.  Since the Cropseys left a month before the rest of us, no one wanted to throw two goodbye parties, so we said goodbye early!  The Tenwek missionaries threw us a party and (even though we're a bunch of wazungus/white people) gave several nice speeches.  Here we are outside the party getting a group photo:

Then there were goodbyes from our Kenyan friends.  We had a musical coffeehouse night that all of the interns and many residents attended...full of music, snacks, and laughter.  The Bible studies that many McCropders had been a part of had goodbyes, too.  Pizza, meals, beautiful gifts of baskets and such.  We were also invited out into the village for chai one last time.
 Our church had several goodbye moments.  During the last Sunday service, Eric and Jason were able to lead worship and sing some of our favorite Swahili songs.  We were all invited up for a sendoff prayer as well.  That night, many people gathered together again in the church for a musical celebration and again, well wishes and a send-off to the McCropders in thanks for our service.
 And finally, the morning of our departure, the surgery department had a special thanksgiving worship service and passed along gifts and thanks to Jason and Rachel.  We feel so blessed to have been a part of this community for the past two years.  Goodbyes were well said, but still hard, and we look forward to hopefully returning someday, if nothing else to greet all the people who treated us so well and so kindly.

No comments: