So, one month from today, I will have traveled 27.5 hours by air (Portland - Chicago - Zurich - Nairobi - Dar es Salaam) and then 6 to 8 hours by car (Dar es Salaam - Pommern) to arrive in the Iringa District of Tanzania, ready (?!) to volunteer.
But in case you don't want to (understandably) sully your soul by visiting a fundraising website, I'll share the sentimentality here, too:
ONE MONTH! We arrive in Dar Es Salaam in one month. What are we doing to prepare? Well, we've both shopped for quick-dry underwear and hiking boots, we've stocked up on Bonine and Imodium and bug spray. But right this minute? Well, Meggie is in France with 30 parentless fifth graders, as part of her last week teaching her regular students. And Emily is reading Paul Theroux's DARK STAR SAFARI, as if it will prepare her properly for German East Africa, later called Tangyanika, later still known as Tanzania.
But to the real point... having reached the goal of $3100, we're stunned. It's hard to express at times to people who ask why fundraising is humbling, but perhaps this might explain it...
By going away from work, and family, to do this trip, by attacking our bucket list with a BIG entry marked off, we could have financially set ourselves back a year, or more, of all disposable income. But insetad, we have your help. And your help lets us continue to have a life in Portland - it lets us buy baby shower gifts and buy a round of drinks for birthday girls; it lets us put a tiny $20 bill into the ROTH IRA this month, and lets us get takeout on an exhausted Friday night. It allows us to still remain a part of this daily world, the social and professional and personal, while ALSO scratching off the bucket list item, and THAT is humbling. It is not us alone in the world taking this trip; it is only with your help that we're able to go (literally) half way around the world to volunteer and immerse ourselves in a wholly new experience. YOU are letting us be in both this world, and that world, and you are helping us take it all in with our huge, patient, loving, very scared hearts.
So - thank you. Thank you for sponsoring and thank you for considering it. It means, quite literally, the world to us.