Here are ten of the things I’ve been up to this week:
1. We had our new friends Trevor and Jackie round for dinner on Monday, and got to know them a bit before we go away. That was good. Turns out they are old friends of Dave’s aunt and uncle, who also used to live round here. Small world.
2. We’re reading The Purpose Driven Life (which is crying out for a hyphen and doesn’t have one) with our cell group, and loving it. Challenging me – especially stuff about relinquishing control. Hard. Parting with belongings is fine with me, but parting with my plans is much harder. Painful. But I hope in a good way.
3. We’re doing visa applications. Photos. Forms. Documents in Thai that we don’t understand at all. Dave’s in charge of that one, so not too much for me to stress over (though I like to try).
4. We have signed our wills, so it is now safe for us to die, not that it is high on our agenda! It does seem to be a requirement for missionary types, though (the will-making, not the dying). Haven’t paid the solicitor yet, and we wondered what the legal status is if you die at this stage. Presume they still stand… anyone?
5. On Friday I ordered a new suitcase (we only owned one proper big one) and a cabin luggage type bag. Both blue. They arrived today. Lovely. My cabin bag was only £20, reduced from £99. Bargain. Debenhams, if you’re interested. They’re made by Tripp.
7. I have started organising the stuff we’re taking to Thailand on to four shelves of the cupboard in my study: two for taking with us, and two for shipping. The Marmite has been added to the shipping shelves. Think I’ll last the first six weeks without it.
8. Spent a little while by Alton pond on Tuesday, just sitting and taking everything in. Lovely. Very calming.
9. I’m just finishing off writing 30,000 words of project updates for World Vision – the reports that are sent to child sponsors so they can learn about how their sponsorship money has been spent and all the development work that’s going on in their sponsored child’s community. It’s hard work, taking the field reports, picking out stories and statistics and writing them for a completely different audience to that of the original. And then doing that again and again, about five times for each country, once for each area development project. But it’s definitely worthwhile. I like working for World Vision – they have a real integrity about what they do, and are accountable through the whole process. And some of the stories are amazing. Wells. Toilets. Education for those who couldn’t access it before. Tools and seeds and polytunnels, so parents can feed their children and earn a living. Caring for people with HIV. And loads more in the same vein. I think if I collected the stories myself I’d cry all over these people. They’re wonderful.
10. Very thankful for the help of lovely people. Lots of pledgers for the coming months. Jan, who had us round for a lovely lunch, told us all about our new job (which she did until recently) and gave us the key to her bike, which she left at CCD. Really generous. Thank you, Jan! Our lovely cell group, who rallied round when our freezer misbehaved yesterday. Thanks, Jane and Helen and Lynn and Janet. And thanks too to Jane F, for providing helpful info on Thai embasses and where to get cheap scrapbooking supplies in Bangkok (Chinatown is apparently scrappers’ paradise – I can’t wait)!
So, all is well, despite a few dramas along the way. Five weeks on Saturday is D-day. Eeek. Still Quite A Lot to do.