Actually, we moved back in January. We are still in Tanzania, we’ve just relocated to the Southern part of the country. To put in perspective from where we lived in Arusha…it takes no less than 2 days of traveling, either by car or plane (after landing there is still 6hrs of driving) to get to our new home. So basically, we are in the middle of nowhere.
Ironically, our ‘new’ home is actually a home Colton’s Dad built back in the 90’s when they first moved to Africa. Colton spent the first half of his childhood in this house. The house has since been lived in and modified in the past decades by other missionaries. The family that was in this house before us were moving back to the States, and so it was available for us to live in. This was actually a huge blessing for us for a number of reasons, but I will try to briefly explain the story.
First of all, the relocation was for Colton’s job. The opportunity first came up last summer. Having been to the area a few times (its near by Colton’s parents), I was well aware of the fact the location is less than desirable for anyone, even Tanzanians.
Although the town has a few nice shops and a produce market, the nearest place to get ‘luxury’ items such as butter, cheese, yogurt, canned chickpeas and ‘western’ produce like broccoli, cauliflower, squash, apples, green beans, is 6 hours away.
The area, Sumbawanga, is known throughout the whole country for its strong and effective witchcraft. That’s not to say everyone down here is involved in witchcraft, but rather some of the most powerful witch doctors have lived here for generations.
Since Colton grew up down here, and his company already had a presence here, Colton was the obvious choice to move to Sumbawanga.
So when Colton presented me with this opportunity, my first thought was ‘we have to go’. My response might be surprising given the location and my knowledge of it, but I knew in my heart that this was our next step. It was too ironic to be a coincidence – that Colton would be asked to move back to where he grew up – for work. Not to mention we would be only 2.5hrs from his parents as appose to 2-3days. In his later life of boarding school and college this would be the closest Colton has lived to his parents since he was 15.
I’ve always believed that if an opportunity is presented to you, take it. I also believe that we were not given this life to make decisions based on friends and comfort. Over the past 4 years we have made a lot of good friends in Arusha. Im not saying I don’t care about them or miss them. But what is life if we never take opportunities only because we are scared to leave our friends, comfortable home, and start over?
To make a long story short, there were a lot of ups and downs after the initial decision of moving. Around October last year the decision was final, but no final moving date. There was a lot of moving pieces that needed to come into place first before we packed up our home and moved across country where communications are not reliable.
We went on our Christmas vacation still not quite knowing when the move would be, but expecting it to be ASAP.
When we returned from holiday it was finally decided that middle-end of January we would move…that was in like 2-3 weeks! We were able to get a home lined up to live in only to have it fall through the week before we moved. Colton’s parents generously spent 2 full days looking for houses for us to rent in Sumbawanga. Nothing. So only a few days until we moved and we did not have a place to live.
The house was basically packed. We were moving no matter what. House or no house. We knew this was what we had to do and believed it would all work out. We just had to have faith. Literally 2 days before we moved this house opened up for us to live in. We could not be more thankful or blessed.
We had a few more ‘last’ get-togethers with friends before making the long drive. We sent the moving truck on its way then stayed the night with two of our good friends. We are so thankful for friends like them.
We left before the sun was up. Colton drove his company car and I followed in our ‘new’ car. Both packed to the brim. 12 hrs to Iringa, where we stayed the night, and another 12 to our new home. We made it without any problems.
Colton’s parents arrived at the house a few days before us to clean and do some touch up work. When we arrived the truck was just unloading its last item. It arrived half an hour before despite leaving an entire day before us! I don’t know what we would have done without the help of Colton’s parents. They stayed with us a few days to help get things settled, sew curtains, make dinner while we unpacked, etc.
It has been non-stop since we moved. Colton’s work has picked up in full force and we have been able to spend some great quality time with Colton’s parents and youngest sister. Life has been so crazy these past few months but we have had no doubt we made the right decision to take the opportunity and move here.