You don’t choose your family.  They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. 

~Desmond Tutu

As I write this my fabulous mother and sister are on their way to Rwanda! I so incredibly excited to see them- I am not sure how to articulate my feelings into words. Suffice to say it has been almost a year since I have seen a member of my family so I have been looking forward to this trip for a long time- almost a year now! 🙂

Living abroad has definitely given me a new sense of gratitude when it comes to family. I never imagined I would lose two grandparents during my service and especially not within one month but the world has a way of going on, even when you move far away from those you love. I think the biggest sacrifice I made in order to come to Rwanda was putting so many miles between myself and my wonderful family. I gave up my opportunity to say goodbye to my grandfather and Grandma Jessie when I moved here and that is a heavy burden to bear sometimes. I truly believe in my work here and I am happy with my decision to serve 27 months in Rwanda, but Africa can feel very far away sometimes. When you say goodbye to a grandparent on their death bed over the phone it really makes you evaluate your life. I sat down and asked myself if I was still happy with my choice to be here and after a few hours of reflecting the answer was an overwhelming yes- so here I am- still in Rwanda and loving life but with a heavy heart for those I have lost.

With all this in mind I am extremely happy that my family is coming to visit and I hope I have time to post some pictures here during their trip. I will cap this off with a few photos of my adorable grandfather who recently passed away. I especially love the last one of him smelling the flowers that my family gave me at my graduation ceremony last May.


Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family.  Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted. 

~Paul Pearshall


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