Dear Family and Friends                                                                             19 Jan. 09

This is a follow-up to our e-mail of 22 October with its map and itinerary. If you did not get it, don’t worry. This letter tells you what it foretold. Our 9 week trip went exceedingly well, involving 11 planes, 16 beds and 5 African countries. Photos on Picasa.

We started in Kenya with the 50th anniversary of our church. Then a safari with dear friends took us northward partly around Mt Kenya, then across and down the Great Rift Valley. Thence to Cairo, Egypt for a few days with grand-daughter Sandra before going on a Nile cruise 5,000 years back into antiquity. From the very comfortable cruise ship we made frequent excursions to temples, tombs and towers between Luxor and Aswan. Outstanding were Karnak, the Valley of the Kings and Philae.

From Egypt we flew back south to Kampala, Uganda where daughter Betsy and Todd Benson welcomed us. We visited Jinja where the Nile begins. In western Uganda we mixed birds, volcanos and health. Kagando Mission Hospital at the foot of the Ruwenzoris is a place of long-term experience and interest to us. Check it out on the web.

Next by bus to Kigale, Rwanda for five days with grand-daughter Emily who is Consul in the US embassy. Her broad understanding of the country was helpful to us. But Rwanda has as many conundrums as it has volcanos. It has great beauty and potential. But many problems remain. From Kigale we flew east to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania airport and a welcome by daughter Marilyn and Steve Simonson. Highlights of the month of December with them were:

  • safari back into old (‘61-63) haunts in the “bush” of Masailand
  • living in S’s first family home here, a small cabin in an acacia tree “cathedral” next to a village
  • numerous Christmas time “get-togethers” and participating in                   worship celebrations at S’s Arusha Community Church
  • celebration of the marriage of Emily to Ali Dualeh in the lovely sunset setting of Tarangire National Park

We left Arusha Dec.29th and arrived back in Albuquerque happy and in great form. It was a unique trip, full of gratifications and a minimum of frustrations. The Lord traveled with us.

Prominent in our thinking these days is great-grandson Benjamin Justice, 3 month old son of Jessica and Tim Ballard. He has just started a series of surgeries for congenital cataracts. His parents are IVF staffers at Western Illinois U. at Macomb.

In the year 2009 each, in their own way needs to exercise greater-than-usual reciprocal-responsibility-taking. We ourselves seek divine help and motivation to that end.

Warm regards,

Roy and Betty

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