Getting Ready to Go

Selling most of our possessions 5 months after we were married was a little surreal.  I don't remember all of it, but one day several people came by our little one bedroom apartment, looking to buy some of our furniture.  We had priced everything low already, but it was annoying when this guy started haggling with us on the price of the leather couch and chair.  I think it really hit home that day. We were actually selling everything.  We were moving.  We were leaving everything that was familiar and moving to a part of the world I knew nothing about.

We didn't sell everything.  We kept the special china Tom had gotten from his grandmother in Germany.  We kept a few of our wedding gifts. Tom's parents were kind and let us store those things in their basement.  I remember driving all those boxes to Connecticut and loading them onto shelves.  I think we had only used the china one time since we had been married.  It was for my first real dinner party.  I was so nervous.  I was so afraid things would get broken.  Tom watched me become this emotional wreck before his very eyes.  It was something he hadn't seen before.  Poor thing.  Looking back it was amusing.  Right then, it was terrifying.

We visited with Tom's family and with my family before we left.  It was a crazy time.  We purchased one way tickets to Nairboi with an onward ticket to Addis Ababba in Ethiopia.  We knew we were leaving September 13, 1989.  We didn't really plan on coming back.  Now we know that made no sense.  Of course we would come back to visit at some point.  But we were going to Africa to be missionaries and in our mind, that was going to be the life we lived going forward.

When we visited my parents in Michigan, we went to one of my favorite places, Mackinac Island.  We were walking around and passed by a hut in a display.  My mom said something about us living like that in Africa.  I was shocked.  I told her we lived in an apartment in Philadelphia and we would also be living in an apartment in Nairobi.  It must have been difficult for our parents.  I can't even imagine how it felt for them.  We were giving up good jobs, selling the condo Tom owned, most of our wedding gifts and moving half way around the world.  

Lori ZieglerAfrica1 Comment