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Sunday
Jun022013

Next stop: Africa

I'm the luckiest guy in the world. Seriously. I have a wonderful wife, healthy children, I live in a state free from war, famine, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes, and my problems are so few I feel as though I exist in a perpetual state of karmic receivership.

With that in mind I'm taking my family on a journey that I am affectionately calling Operation: Sleep Better at Night. It's a mission trip to Africa. Tanzania, to be precise. Or the village of Pommern to be even more precise. Don't bother looking for it on GoogleMaps, unless you have the coordinates you won't find it. (Here's a map if you're curious as to where we'll be for the better part of June. Click to enlarge).

My goals as a parent are pretty simple:

  1. To prepare my children for the world.
  2. To prepare the world for my children.

With that in mind we signed up with Global Volunteers. Leesha, will be putting her medical skills to use helping to deliver babies and do well-baby and maternal care while the kids and me will be doing...whatever is asked of us. Swinging hammers. Laying bricks. Teaching in the schools. Basically anything and everything else. We're also hauling a ton of donated medical supplies.

There's a remote chance that I'll be enlisted to blog about the experience for our hosts via an Internet connection 35 miles from Pommern, but either way you'll get the full report when we get back.

And in case you're wondering how someone gets to Pommern from Great Falls, Montana, it goes like this: Great Falls to Seattle, Seattle to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro to Dar el Salaam, and then a 10 hour drive to Iringa, followed by a 90 minute drive to Pommern. Roughly 45 hours of travel.

The journey reminds me of that Toto song that goes, "I know that I must do what's right, sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti..."

I'll post more tomorrow as we prep for departure.

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Reader Comments (4)

I love this. Your goals as a parent are right on track: too many are not prepared for the real world, that doesn't revolve around them. Traveling with kids is amazing. It transforms them with the realization that everyone is centered in their own world, not in the USA. Ours are grown, but we are taking two (and a spouse) with us to Singapore this summer.

Our goals for our kids when we homeschool were simple: learn to read (can find out any info); can do basic math (can figure out anything); and be polite (you help anyone and anyone will be willing to help you).

Wishing you a great journey and many amazing memories.
It is so nice to see someone give back! Service is so important and adding medical service with supplies is a greater benefit to those you are serving. Have a wonderful time!
June 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharleen Haugen
This is wonderful. Your kids are very lucky to have you as parents (and, not to be too cheesy, but our world is very lucky to have parents like you in it). Safe travels, and may it be life-changing and eye-opening and unforgettable for all.
June 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNatalia Sylvester
Thanks for all the good wishes. We'll bring 'em with us.
June 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

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