On 6/7/12 I finished my last day of work and walked out of my office for the last time. It's been rather surreal to accept that I am not just on vacation, but in fact taking a completely new direction in life. With this end of the road in work, Jason and I have turned all of our attention to clearing out our home and getting it ready to host a renter. This is huge undertaking, since we will need to sell nearly everything we own, as we don't want to pay for storage for a year. In some ways it is surprisingly relieving to rid oneself of objects that tie us down. We are beginning to see the value in possessing life instead of possessing objects.
On 6/8/12 Jason joined a small group of students in graduating with his doctorate in nursing practice. In attendance to see him graduate was myself, my mom and dad, my brother and sister in law, and both of Jason's parents. We were all so very proud of him and enjoyed a wonderful family lunch to celebrate his accomplishments. There were so many times where the road ahead seemed daunting and unending, and so when graduation finally came it was hard to believe that it was finally occurring. I think the reality of it is setting in and we are both feeling a degree of relief that has not been felt since our "salad days."
While we initially intended to bring our dog with us, after reading a lot about African culture, we determined that it would not be appropriate to bring the furbuddy. What we came to learn is that many people in Africa are afraid of dogs due to their common use for protection of property, and that very few people (mostly expats and extremely wealthy) have dogs as pets. Given that our dog is a working line german shepherd dog, it is clear that many would experience her with fear. A friend of ours who spent several month in Nairobi pointed out that a dog is a luxury to people who don't need to balance the choice to feed to dog or feed their children. Recognizing that we are guests in a country very different from our own, we wish to do everything possible to honor the lives of those around us. For us, that meant leaving our dog where feed and acceptance is plentiful. We will miss her very much a she has been a constant and loyal companion.
Here is a picture of our dog Zelda (aka Zola Von Grunheide) and me at the Pacific Ocean in Washington. Everywhere we go is better when Zelda is with us.
What an amazing companion!
You will be greatly missed, Zelda.