Wednesday, December 07, 2005

all is quiet

We're having a quiet time here in Whangarei. Willi and Lou are safely home, and we're doing mostly school and boat chores this week. Not many kids are around, so we've spent the afternoons at the local playground and scootering along the waterfront. Pete is touching up all the paint and varnish. Why is it that people always fix up their houses and vehicles for the next person? It's all looking spiffy and ready to sell. It seems that every person we talk to has a different opinion about selling boats in New Zealand. For now, we're giving it a try and I figure it only takes one person to buy, no matter where the boat is. We've got several people interested in the van, so things are falling into place.

When I look back on this trip, I think I'll remember it as three different phases. Bellingham to the Marquesas was a time of new experiences, frustrations, challenges and faith building. We learned how to home school, live on a boat, travel, make new friends, and slow down our pace & expectations. We made close friends and became a self sufficient family unit. By leaving behind all that was familiar, we learned what challenges we could stretch ourselves to meet and where we fell short. Starting in the Marquesas, but really in the Tuamotus, we began to see the beautiful islands that we had set out to find. We began to meet lots of other families and made more friends. I'll always thing of Kauehi as the start of the best part of the trip. The South Pacific was our dream come true and the tropical beaches, warm water, snorkeling and friendships made it an amazing time. The sailing still proved difficult and I never felt that I had the energy to be a good mother and a good sailor at the same time. With challenges still to face and a turning point approaching, we agonized all through the Societies about whether to head for New Zealand or Hawaii. I felt that even though we were still facing some great challenges as a family, we'd come all this way to see the South Pacific and now that it was finally getting good, I just couldn't quit. So we made the decision to go on, one island at a time, and when it stopped being fun, we'd head for home. At some point, it became clear that we were much closet to New Zealand than home, and to do the least amount of sailing, we should head south and sell the boat down here. Now we are in phase three of the trip. Most of our friends have bought cars and rented houses, or are off traveling. We did our bit of sight seeing with Willi and Lou and now it's time to put this trip to bed. We're no longer spending leisurely afternoons snorkeling and beach combing, we're back to living in civilization. We had a discussion last night about our disappointment in how hard parenting on a boat turned out to be. We had imagined the whole trip would be like the months we spent in the Pacific and after all our hard work and effort to make this happen, it seems a shame to have not enjoyed it more. However, the future is open to us and we both agree that boating in some form or another is in our future. For now coming home for a bit or forever seems to be the right choice. We do feel a sense of accomplishment on having come this far and the memories will be cherished forever.

Your prayers for a speedy sale of the boat would be so much appreciated. As always, we're ready to follow God's leading, and do what He has for us in the future. Whether the boat sells and we stay home, or it doesn't and we're faced with more choices, we feel confident in the future.

Happy winter to you, from summery New Zealand, Kellie


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