Finally made it to Raleigh yesterday later afternoon. After leaving Slippery Rock at 5am I drove out of the cold and snow and into the sunshine. I broke up my trip with a run at Pilot mountain State Park. Which was good for my soul. Then arrived for our whanau (family) to be together again to end one chapter and get ready for the next. Someone was happy to see me.
Robin & Moana left Pittsburgh this morning. They are gone. They are in Raleigh NC until we all leave the US together on 3/29. It was quite the load they had, between 2 suit cases, a jogging stroller & car seat. That leaves me here in Pittsburgh to wrap a few more things up before i drive to NC next Thursday.
After a long day or packing, watching moving company people pack & then the dreaded cleaning we have left our home. ugh. Its a mixed feeling. While on the surface its just a small house of bricks (& 4 toilets…. yes 4) its the memories and the people and personalities within it and through it that made it difficult.
While i won’t necessarily miss the house, what it represented will be missed. Hold on, i am not lamenting or regretting our decision. But walking away from a home whereby its people and personalities shape it… now that is hard to walk away from.
We are making this decision for lots of reasons, our biggest is for Moana and what we want her to be raised around. Family nearby, the land, the ocean and water in general.
Her day was spent at day care today, the only day a week she goes. Which worked out well while the chaos went on at our house.
But now its done. We are back at camp where it all began when we moved here and lived here for about 2months. Not as long this time but as though we are doing the whole thing in reverse.
Moving truck just pulled up. And so all the packing & loading begins. Lots of bikes, boats, books & a few clothes and knives & forks.
Tomorrow is close on the house. Definitely not a boring 24hrs.
Today was a big day for us. Robin & Moana finally got their visa approved for NZ, and this evening we booked our ONE-WAY tickets to NZ or home! We leave on Wednesday March 29th out of San Francisco and arrive early Friday morning March 31st.
Bummer thing is this. My home town in on fire right now, with large wild fires burning in the hills above the city. The dry summer and wind is not helping. Should be under control by the time we arrive, but just in case i’ll bring my garden hose.
We are definitely moving back to a volatile country. Between earthquakes, threats of Tsunami’s and now wild fires, its never a dull moment. Could be worse we could have a President (or Prime Minister) of NZ who…
As we prepare to return home i have lots of reflective thoughts on our time here. Partner that with trying to read 3 books right now, all of which are about trying to live out our faith in a more relevant way.
Its no accident that i am reading these books at the same time, in fact 1 of the books has referenced another… i could have saved time and just read 1 of those 2.
Anyways, one such book called “How Youth Ministry Can Change Theological Education-If We Let It” (2016). Edited by Creasy-Dean & Hearlson has this quote in Chapter 6. “…people that set out on a geographical journey often have a mindset ripe for change, but once they leave home, they also experience insulation from the usual influences of their lives. Which sets them free to move in different directions and experiment with different identities”. Jeffrey Kottler who wrote this , also goes on to say “It should not be surprising, then, that geographic journeys that separate learners from established social networks impact their thoughts, emotions and behavior.”
That sums up what we have experienced and most likely what we will experience again in New Zealand. Even though its my home I/we have gone back and forth between the US & NZ in the past 16years we sense that this place is brand new. And even though i really am going home (to the province where i was born and raised) this time there is a sense that we have added to our skill set enough in the previous 2 years to prepare us for whats next. And then sometime in the future we will leave NZ and come back here for what ever we feel called to do based on what preparing we do in NZ.
This doesn’t mean we are alway looking for the next train, or bus or plan ‘outta here. But recognize we will still live in the moment and be present and participating in the moment. I think we have certainly done that here in the past 2+years.
We are coming HOME!!! Yes Robin, Moana & I are moving back to Aotearoa (or New Zealand for some of you). We should be home around April 1st and will be settling into life, this time in the Canterbury Region.
We will live with my parents for a month or so while we get our feet under us, then will look for somewhere to put our feet down more permanently. But for the foreseeable future it will be Canterbury.
I have accepted a job with Scripture Union as there South Island Camps Coordinator and will be facilitating their outdoor camps throughout the year. I will have some other opportunities to take on with them, however that will be further down the road.
Therefore, right now we are going through the task of extracting ourselves from life in America. So watch this space for some of those adventures and stories. This has not been an easy decision and certainly not one based on 1 or 2 motivations. We will miss many people and a lot of good work and stuff here in Western Pennsylvania and across the US.
My absence from this platform has been noticed by none more than me! GULP. Over 2 years, which is about how long we have been away from home. Read into that however you want. But i will be posting a lot more on here from now on.
This is a little video I put together on our last weekend in NZ. Not far from my parents house. Mt. Evans 6hr rogaine orienteering race.
Well us Humphreys never do things by halves.
Move across the world for less than 2 years
Move back to cold as… Western PA (currently 4oF here, feels like -10F) from the sunniest place in NZ. And yes i still run outside!!!
To having a baby.
Oh and closing on a house next week.
What will our child turn out like…better not be boring. Or as Abraham Lincoln said “Good things come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”