It's a little crazy around here lately. Trying to pack for a extended stay is proving to be a challenge. We will be in Yaounde' and traveling the first few days in Cameroon, most likely the temperatures will be hot or at least pretty warm. Once we arrive in Ndu, we have been told it's cool and to bring sweaters and warm pjs. I'm guessing we will still think it's warm, coming from Minnesota. We will be doing construction type work, so we will need appropriate clothing for that. The training info we have been given encourages the women to wear skirts when we are out and about. I'm not sure how frequently we will be able to do laundry either so we need lots of socks and underwear. We made our dining room table as big as it would go and brought clothing for each need for each one of us in our family. We've been told that our luggage may not arrive at the same time that we do, or perhaps at all, so to pack accordingly. We packed a little of each persons clothing in each suitcase and added Drew's tools throughout. It was really an obnoxious amount of clothing when we had it all heaped on the table. The sad part is, I still have clothes in my closet and drawers too. It doesn't help that I have put on weight during this season of good food, putting me in my "fat" clothes. I'm fully anticipating slimming down with the different whole foods we will be eating, which means I need to bring a few of my smaller sizes too. I have never been a light packer - it must be from that year of Girl Scouts when I learned to "always be prepared". In addition to tools and clothing, we also need some cooking supplies (pot and pan, spatula etc), pillows, spices, gifts, shoes, toiletries, camera, games, books....the list goes on. This is just the items we may need, other missionaries have had items sent to us to bring in our luggage. Needless to say, we are having no problem filling up our 10 allotted 50 lb suitcases. We will be like sardines traveling in our van to the airport.
I have every intention of leaving as much as possible in Ndu when we come home. I will leave it with the local missionaries to go through or distribute how they think best. I think that is why I feel it's okay to over pack, because I know that it will be so freeing to leave it behind. Hopefully, I will be able to continue that trend of letting go even after our trip. It's that time of year when we really start analyzing what we want to change in our lives. As I look around at all the "stuff" I have accumulated, and realize that nothing I have can give me security, I wonder why it is so hard to let go?This past year was one of cutting back on our impulse buying and trying hard to just stick to our needs. We had our goal of going to Africa always before us so it wasn't really that difficult. Once we have reached this goal and returned to our life in Minnesota, I hope to continue saying "No" to all the little extras that cry out to me. I want to get to a place where Christ is everything and my comfort has nothing to do with what I can see. I have so far to go.
Happy New Year to all of you.