There is also a bit of sadness saying farewell to Kim who we will not see I the flesh again until her return to Canada in August. For me there is also a little trepidation concerning the long flight home and my concern that my back will again rebell despite all my preparation. Of course along with the sadness and trepidation there is also the happiness of the thought of being home again after so long an absence. There is also, this time, the happiness of having seen and spent time with Kim both on the road at the beginning of our trip and also at the YWAM Base in Crystal Springs. There we had the chance to not only see where she has lived for the last year and a half but also meet many of the people that are her family when she is so far away from her Canadian roots.
It brings us so much happiness knowing how loved she is and how loving and nurturing this community is. It was interesting to learn that the nickname her students have given her is 'mom'. This was also a nickname of Blake's at one time. What's going on here?Julie and I stayed at the camp last night to spend our last evening here with Kim. This seemed fitting given she was the reason we came here in the first place. The three of us had a good visit and went out for dinner and then played some cards in quiet companionship (I won). This morning when we went for our final hugs goodbye the whole group of 25 or so prayed for us and we were very moved. We left about 8am and it was a beautiful sunny morning. We took an alternate route into Auckland along some quiet country roads. The Kai Mai range ran for miles to our right and the rolling farmland was all around. It was our last couple of hours in this lovely pastoral area however soon enou we were into the city with cars thicker than sheep in the shearing sheds. After spending a few hours at the Auckland museum we reluctantly made our way to the airport and to the spot we now sit. Julie misbehaved badly coming through immigration hoping her passport would be impounded or something, but no such luck. We are homeward bound. We spent an hour or so here at the airport with Enno & Renate, friends we had met weeks ago in Whatawhiwhi and while there wasn't really time to play more bridge it was fun to catch up with the last bit of our travels and of course it was nice to see familiar faces in an airport do far from home. So that's about it for this blog as our flight is being called. When I get home I will do a final edit and go through the agony of trying to choose only a handful of photos to add here and there. When this is done I will send out an email to let everyone know it is finished. Until then I would encourage you all to put New Zealand into you travel plans. Keith, I now completely understand your comment you made in our kitchen about wanting to return here to live. My question now is: How did you ever manage to leave?