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Rwanda Trip

Welcome to Tara's Travel Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for me. If I have time in between discovering new places and meeting new people I will reply to them!

Diary Entries

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Location: Schiphol, Netherlands

Hi Everyone!
I am now in Amsterdam and was hoping to catch a city tour on one of the canals and perhaps see Anne Frank's home but...I need sleep. I left the hotel and took a 1.5 hour flight to Kenya and had a 6.5 hour connection there. Then the 8 hour flight here with a 9hour connection and back on for another 8 hours to Vancouver. Sean keeps trying to book me a flight back to the island but you know me....I don't listen very well, it's too expensive! There is a Yotel here that you can book by the hour so I will go get some rest. I can't wait to see the family again and all of you! Thank you again so very much for your messages and checking up on my trip! It was a blast and I can't wait to fill everyone in.

Anyhow, off to catch some zzzzz's and a shower before it's time to head off again!

See you all soon!
Tara
xoxoxoxoxoxxo

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Location: Rwanda

Hi all,
I have received your messages, thank you so very much but I don't have time to reply!! The shuttle bus is being loaded, we are saying our good bye's and it's time to go. As I leave Rwanda and all it's beauty and inspiration, a piece of my heart will remain. Thank you for following my stories, as you all know, there are many more to tell. I am being called away.

Talk to you all in a couple of days,
Take good care,
Tara
xoxoxoxoxox

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Location: Rwanda

Wow...it's the 25th already?!!!
Hello all! What a trip! Yesterday and today we started building the home for the family. It is a Mother of three. She is a widow and has recently, on July 26th lost her child of almost two years old. No, this is not uncommon. It is very labour intensive and we are completely RED at the end of the day. (The mud here is red)
How you build a home: Two guys with shovels and other sharp objects, dig a VERY large hole in the ground. In the hole they add water and dry grass. However, first, you have to walk the 10min with water jugs to fetch the water. Also, you use a machete to cut the grass. So...once this is done, you can start. Once this mud is made, they shovel it up onto the ground where we are (as this hole is about 8 feet deep..well, it eventually gets that big) and we use our hands to make "mud balls' and then slop the mud into a mould. Once the mould is full, you take the mould off and start again. So a group of us are in charge of filling the moulds, some go and fetch water. There is also a large footprint of the house dug out of the ground. This you have to fill with large rocks. So some are in charge of carrying rocks over to the footprint and filling it.

A very labour intensive project. We start in the morning, leave for lunch and come back again after lunch until about 5pm. Quite the learning curve though. So that, my friends, is how you begin a home in Rwanda. All the local children help and the really little ones stand around and watch. I gave them a few of the blow up beach balls today and they loved it! I also handed out some of Emily and Cam's old clothes as ALL the children's clothing is literally falling off their bodies. It is the only clothes they have other than their school uniforms. I love the children of Africa. As much as I love our children and all of yours...you have never seen a smile like these children can smile. Yes honey, there have been many of them I would take home in a moment.

The other day we visited the memorial. I didn't think it would be that difficult as it was like a museum. I was desperatly wrong. I will tell you, I had a complete meltdown that night as I was alone in my room. I have not sobbed that hard in a long time and as I have mentioned before, the things these people have done, been through and put eachother through is despicable. However, many of them are now friends. How a human being can forgive the way they have and live among eachother everyday, knowing that person has killed their parents, siblings and even children. Babies. All of them. No one to be spared. Our driver made me feel the top of his head yesterday as he told me his story. He has a dent in his scalp literally about an inch deep. It is from a machete. How he survived is a miracle. Anyhow. Many lessons learned here and many to be shared. On a positive note, I will meet Emmanuel and Gilbert this week!! It will be a nice break from building! I'll let you know how it goes and as always, I miss you all so very much.

My family...I am so sorry to not be calling. It is very expensive and I"m tired of getting cut off every time I talk to you. But please know it's not because I"m not thinking of you or missing you desperatly. I truly am and I can't WAIT to hold you all again. Please, know I'm sending LOTS of hugs and kisses to you!! Mommy loves you so very much babies.

Lots of love and thanks everyone for your kind messages and checking up on my site...I love it!!

Take good care,
Tara
xoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Location: Rwanda

Muraho!!
I only have about 5min to write a quick note, we are off to the market for some shopping. it's a day off today so I got to sleep in!! Yesterday, we had child visits and I had the great pleasure of meeting Terese, Yvette and Cederic!! I can't wait to tell you Erica, Paula and Steve and Brenda about your sponsored children. They are all absolutly beautiful children and deserve so much. They received all your gifts and say thank you! I have pictures for you and found out more about them. When I have more time, I'll fill you in! I'm sure your dissapointed I don't have pic's up here but I will try soon to upload some. Trust me, I'm VERY dissapointed I can't put some on here. They are GREAT pic's!!!!

We also visited Nymata Genocide Memorial. Even if I had the time, I cannot yet express the emotion that runs through your body. It's still there, still fresh and still makes me nauseated. Today, we visit another. This one is more like a museum however, there are clips that are played with some survivor's stories. The one yesterday had the bones displayed and the clothing of the victims still laying on the floor and benches.

I think as a human being you need to hear the stories and i will tell them eventually. I will show the pictures and I hope you can stomach it. They now attempt, and some are now friends, to live together, in harmony and leave the past behind. If you have not heard about this period in time where 800,000 to one million were slaughtered (literally) you may want to read up on it.

I am sorry to not be downloading pic's. It takes forever and as I mentioned, there is always a wait for the computer so I don't want to be holding it up. I hope you all are doing well, are happy and healthy! I will touch base again soon and as always, miss you all.

Take good care,
Tara
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxox
PS...I love the messages, thanks for the Love from afar!!!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

Hi Everyone!
Let me start by saying I have never had to take immodium before. Well was I ever thankful for the stuff today!!! Enough said. Today was a great day! We spend a day with a local African woman and her children. We helped do chores, cook lunch and just spend time with them. Her name is Alice and she has two children aged 13 and 7. Her husband passed away from aids and her and her youngest daughter are infected. We spend three hours there and almost two was just preparing supper. She is a very blessed lady and has alot more than many families we are meeting. She has a home made of clay and cement (far nicer than most homes) a cow and two goats. We cooked lunch over an open fire with pots, cut up the food in our hands (onion, carrots, sweet potatoes etc...) as they do not have cutting boards. Some of the group went to fetch firewood and some went to harvest sweet potatoes. A few of us stayed behind to cook and clean. Due to my "tummy issues" it was decided I should stay behind.

Alice's sink consists of a hole in the ground covered by something that resembles straw then a cement mixing bag laid on top to catch the water. You take two pots, one large filled with about an inch of water and another the same. The one pot acts as a sink that you use a bar of soap and a very old sponge and you rinse the dishes in the other pot. She has a makeshift table made of sticks held together with twine. However, when you wash the pots, you use an old peice of a potatoe sack as it acts as an abrasive. If it's really dirty you put dirt or mud into the pot and use that to scrub the food off with. Then you rinse.

They have rooms but sleep on the cement floor. They do have "clean" drinking water which is quite an asset. Also, she has a cow and two goats provided by World Vision (WV). They also helped build her home. Her youngest child was born with what they call "clubbed foot" and she couldn't walk. After entering the sponsorship program with WV, she was taken to receive an operation to fix it. She was there for 6 months and can now walk and is a beautiful little girl. So today, was a great day. Alice cried when we had to say good bye. Some of us did too but it is a great story she has, despite having HIV. She is very blessed with what she has. WV also provides her and Angelique with medication for the disease so they are now healthier and Alice is not in and out of the hospital for months having to leave the girls with neighbours. So no tears today. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

As always, I miss you all and can't wait to see you when the time comes to return home. For now, I am enjoying Africa and all it's up's and down's. What a dream come true. It's more than I ever imagined and I thank you Sean so much for your Love and support.
Without you, I wouldn't be here..thank you my wonderful hubby. Also, my family for taking such wonderful care of our babies, also, i wouldn't be here without you. What a dream come true. I only hope everyone gets to experiance something remotly as wonderful once in your lifetime.

Maricoza,
Tara
xoxoxoxoxoxo

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Location: Rwanda

Hi Everyone,

Well, you all were right, getting onto a computer is a tough thing to do!! So is talking to the family. I haven't talked to the kid's yet, it's very difficult to have the extra time to and get a phone to use. However, the trip started off with a bang! We were delayed three hours in Vancouver then there was a strike in Kenya leaving us stranded there for 20 hours. Fortunately, there were quite a few of us.

The trip so far is unbelievable. The first day, I was in heaven. I love this country, it's culture, the people are so friendly and the children's curiosity towards the "mzungus" which means white people is just laughable. Yes Sean, I used the word. One little child as we pulled up in of his home, ran to his mother crying! They don't see white folk, especially in the countryside. We have had many sponsored children visits, none so far are mine. So while the sponsor is visiting their child, all the neighbourhood children coming RUNNING!! It is quite a spectacle! So the rest of us pre-occupy the other children by singing them songs (head and shoulders goes over quite well, they learn the words very quickly and of course love the actions), take their pictures which you cannot put the camera away after they have ALL seen the picture in the viewfinder. Of course, they have never seen anything like this before.

We give them candy which as I found out today, can end up resembling a mosh pit if there are too many kids. Today there was about 30 around us. Yesterday Today was very rough. I won't go into details, I am on Peter's computer and he's come back to use it. But today we were surrounded by desperate poverty, survivor's of the genocide and their stories which are the most inspirational stories of forgiveness I've ever heard. Let me tell you how hard it is to look someone in the eye and see their hands after they've just told you they have personally killed about 25 people by means of machete and clubs. Today ended in tears of absolute exhaustion, heartbreak and the realization that people can be so brave, strong and forgiving. I could write forever but must end. I miss you all so much, honey, please kiss the kid's, I love you so very much. Thank you all for your support and best wishes before I left. They were very kind.

Lots of love,
Tara
xoxoxoxoxo

Monday, 10 August 2009

Location: Home, Canada

Here we are...3 days and counting! I will do my best to keep this page updated with entries and pictures! I hope you all have fun checking it out, look for Therese, Yvette, Cedric and Emmanuel for those of you who sponsored them! That is if I can figure out how to get pictures on here! We'll see when we get there :)
Thank you again for all your support, comfort and encouragement everyone. Have a safe two weeks while I'm away, see you when I get home!!

Tara


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Recent Messages

From SEAN
Hey baby I just heard back from flight centre they indicate that everything is looking good there has been no changes so you should be able to pull out at 1 45 from Kenya. Travel safe and dont forget to get ahold of me from HOlland so I can get you your flight home. Love You and can't wait to see you again.
Response: Hi Baby, I will try and get ahold of you from Holland. I do however think the ferry ride will be fine. I might enjoy the ocean after all this red dust!! I can also figure out a flight when I get to Vancouver. It will be very easy to get in touch with you then as opposed to Holland. But I will still try to get ahold of you. I can't wait to see you all again, thanks for calling the agency for me, I'm heading back from here to Kenya with another 5 people so I won't be alone if there are any mess ups. I love you and will talk to you soon!
xoxoxoxoxoxo
Wife
From Littlejohns
Tara! No need to reply - don't waste what time you have on the computer with this - instead write more on your blog! We all love to read what you are doing, seeing and sharing. Wish I were there with you! HHHUUUGGGSSS! LUV YOU!

The LJ's
Response: Thank you my wonderful friend. I love you, miss you and thank you. Africa is more than I ever could have imagined. Give everyone big hugs and kisses....lots to you!
Take good care Love,
xoxoxoxoxoxoxo Tara
From Mom
Hi Sweetie. I know, two messages in one day!!! I am alone tonight as all have settled and left me to my own. The babies are with Sean tonight. We were all out celebrating your brothers 20th. Yah, it's hard to believe he made it to 20! We saw Paula at church today. I don't feel so bad now; she's worse than I am at sending messages although her thoughts are with you always as you well know, I'm sure. I love reading your messages about the trip hon. I met a young man whom is a leader at your brothers day camp. He is going to another part of Africa in a few weeks as well. I have been sharing with him your trip. It has been inspirational for him as well!! Your babies say prayers for you and all the volenteers on a daily basis and we sing our "Somewhere Out There" song almost everynight. They go to sleep with your tapes as well. We love you very very much sweetheart!!!! On those tough days, close your eyes and know that your family and friends are with you. Good night sweetie. xoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Response: Hi Mom!!!!!!!!
it's so nice to hear from you! Thank you so much for being with the babies! What a blessing you are! I miss them so much and PLEASE let them and for you too know, I'm sorry to not call, i've already spent 70.00usd on phone calls and I'm now out of minutes again. I miss speaking to you all so very much but it is so expensive, I'll email as much as I can instead. The trip Mom is more than I could have ever imagined. The people (for the most part) are so wonderful, the children have smiles like you have never seen before and are just absolutly beautiful. I love it here Mom and as much as I miss everyone terrilbly, really am not ready to come home yet. It's that great. There have been a few rough days, very rough. It's such a different world here and I feel very at peace in it. Especially in the countryside. I do miss you all so much though and please tell my babies how much I really miss them, Love them and CAN't wait to hold them again. I'm so sorry to not be calling. I love hearing their little voices and I can't believe I missed Bryant's Bday. We have no concept of what day it is, or even what time it is during the day's. I'm so sorry Buddy!! did he have a good bday? I hope so. Well, I'm going to try and get a message out on teh blog so will sign off but I love you guys so very very much and could never thank you enough Mom for being there. This dream wouldn't have come true without you. I love you so very much and am so proudl to have you for a Mom. With all the love you can handle, Your daughter.
xoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxox
From "Dad" H
Hi sweety!!! Only a week left for ya and it sounds like you're taking everything so very well. I'm happy that it's been a great trip for you!!! Miss you lots!! See you soon!!!

xoxoxox
Response: Hey Dad! Yes, I'm taking everything quite well. there have been a few rough days, one absolute melt down but at least it was in the hotel room by myself. You can only handle so many death stories in one day. Especially such brutal, horrific ones such as these. I miss you lots too and thank you so much for being there with the kid's, I couldn't do it without you guys. I love you and cna't wait to see you soon!
xoxoxoxoxoxooxox
Me!!
From Carrie
Hey Tara,

I can't beileve how many people I have told about your trip and what an amazing thing you are doing. I hope your tummy is feeling better and glad you packed the meds! Anyway we took Aylee yesterday to play some mini-golf and to the playzone. Kelsey and Ayleee had lots of fun. Afterwards Aylee came to our house to play for a bit and they played so well together!!!!! it was amazing, I didn't have to intervene once.

All is well here, Kelsey is going to start transitioning into her new daycare this week-shoud be interesting.

Oh yah-our bathroom is FINISHED!!!! the kids can use their sinks. Anyway I miss you and am looking forward to seeing you soon!

Kelsey says "hi aunite Tara-miss you" and is blowing you a kiss from Victoria X-did you catch it?

Love ya-C
Response: Hey hon!
Thanks for taking aylee for me, I'm sure she loved it! Tell kelsey auntie says "hi sweetie! I miss you and love you sooo much! I hope you had fun with Aylee and can't wait to hug you again!" Good luck with the transitioning, it will be interesting but "Im sure she will do fine. She's a big girl and her sister will take care of her. All is well here, I'm loving it and despite missing the family terribly, could use a few extra days here. It's an amazing story to tell. Anyhow, give everyone kisses and hugs for me and send my love. Can't wait to see you again!
Love,
Tara xoxoxoxooxoxoxxooxox
From tara
so glad to share a little of your dream.
had dinner with your sissy and nathan.boy is chels ever big, you wouldn't know she has 2 month to go.they still don't have a name yet.
spending day with jay n family on sun.
miss you so much.
be safe.
xoxoxoxox dad
Response: Hi Daddy, Glad your spending time with Chelse. I saw pictures of her on the computer and yes, she is big! However, I hope healthy. I hope you are taking good care of yourself too there Dad. Africa is great, not yet ready to come home. But miss the family soooo much. Please give everyone lots of love for me, lots to you too and good luck with Jay, hope things are okay there. I miss you too Daddy and love you very much! Lots of kisses and hugs....
schmoo xoxoxoxoxoxoxox
From Darla
Hey Tara, glad to hear you are having a blast. You haven't said anything about bugs?? How are you coping with that??
Can't wait to hear your stories and see pictures. Sean told me the story about the Quiznos apron, that was hilarious!!!!
Lots of love from the Donais FamilyXXXXXXXXXXXOOOOOOOO
Response: Hello Donais family!! Well, I don't want to jinx myself, but so far, only one bug incident. My roomie came back one night and found a MASSIVE cocoroach in our room!!!! About the size of a small cell phone! I"m glad it wasn't me but it did make me realize that large things can make their way in :(
How is the family? All here is well, loving it as usual! I wish we caught a pic of the apron! Give everyone hugs and kisses for me!

Tara xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxo
From johanna
Hi sweetheart, I called Sean tonight and he helped me get to this page. I am so glad you are having an amazing time. We all miss you terribly and want you home soon okay. Ed sends his love as well. Be safe and still enjoy yourself. You are an amazing woman Tara and I could not be more proud of you,
Imiss you and love you
mom Emerick
Response: Hi Ma!
Thanks for your message!! I am having an amazing time and please tell Ed I say hello and thank you! I will be home...not so soon but that's okay by me! I really love it here, minus the tummy issues! I will be safe and please do the same back home. Can't wait to tell you about it all! Give everyone lots of love for me, and lots to you too!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox
Your daughter, Tara
From sean
Hi baby, was thinking of you and thought I would say hi Aylee just came down she was in bed she would like to type her name so here you go aylee. okay well I miss you terribly and cant wait to see you, I am very happy you are settleing in you (know other then the hole poop thing) lol. I am very proud of everything you are and cant wait to see you home again. I love you Tara.xxoo
Response: Hi Baby,
I miss you too....so very much. I really wanted to talk to you last night but my phone ran out of minutes while talking to Ayle's. I hope you are having a nice time with the kid's. I hear Rach has been babysitting alot. Is all okay? I will get more minutes soon. So far, about 50usd on phones. But I miss you guys and think it's worth it. I love you so very much, please give you and the kid's such big hugs and kisses for me. Can't wait to fill you in on the trip, what an amazing place baby. I really am elated to be here and am loving every minute. Minus the poop thing. did you mean to spell whole "hole" just to add to the effect??? :)
I love you honey and will try to talk to you soon. Take care of our family.
xoxoxoxoxoxox wife xoxo
From Kelly Potts
Hey Tara. I am so glad to have seen your blog and I will continue to check it every day..as I am pretty alone here in Montreal. I bet that you are having quite the experience there...sounds like it was quite the adventure with the tummy troubles and the preparing dinner and all. Things are going well here..lonely the first week..but I am sure that it will get better as time goes on. Take care of yourself and drop me a line or two when you have time.
Response: Hey Kelly,
I'll bet you will be llonley for a little while, but soon will make some new friends. I'm glad to see you got there safely. I'm sure Jen will be lonely without you! I am having a great time..I don't think I'm quite ready to go home yet but do miss the family terribly. Anyhow, take good care of yourself and we'll touch base again soon..hopefully! all the best,
Tara
xoxoxox
From TARA
IT SO WOUNDERFUL TO SEE HOW MUCH LOVE IS IN YOUR LIFE.
MY CHAT WITH CAT WE WON'T DISCUSS ON YOUR BLOG.
AS FOR JAY WELL MAY BE SOME ONE WHERE YOU ARE CAN TELL YOU THE STORY OF THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT GRAVE YARD.HE IS HOME AND WAITING, BUT FOR THE MOMENT HE IS HOME IN HIS ELEPHANTS BACK YARD.
TIME STANDS STILL FOR NO MAN.
YESTERDAY HAS GONE, TODAY IS TODAY, TOMORROW IS TOMORROW,
KEEP THE GOOD FROM YESTERDAY, ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF TODAY, AND PLAN FOR TOMORROW.
AND A COUPLE OF PRAYERS .

LOE YOU
THISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSMUCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

XOXOXOXOX DAD
Response: Hi Daddy, It doesn't sound like your chat went well. I'm sorry. Like I mentioned before, I hope your thinking of what to do with yourself in the future. I am trying to enjoy all today has to offer, so far, so good. It's really nice to get your messages, I love and miss you so very much. Take good care of yourself Daddy and I'll talk to you again soon. You will be in my prayers and I'll ask anyone if they know the elephant story :)
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxox
Schmoo xo
From Brenda
Hi Tara,
I am happy to hear that you arrived safely and are having such an amazing experience. You look so happy in the picture. I showed the boys the photo and they are having a hard time believing that you are actually there. Dylan just gave me a strange look. It is pretty amazing and I am really proud of you. You go girl!!
I hope you are feeling better. Be safe and we are all thinking of you often.
Lots of love!!

XOXOXOXO
Response: Hi Brenda!
Thank you so much for your kind words. I am having an amazing time and please tell the boys, I can' t believe I'm here either!! Take good care of yourselves and I can't wait to see you when I get home :)
Love, Tara
xoxoxoxox
From Carrie
Hey Tara,

I went to your house last night and saw the whole family. They were celebrating your Grandma's birthday. I gave a huge hug and kiss to Aylee and suprisingly Landon, came to me for a hug and kiss. The kids are doing great and I think Sean has a whole new appreciation for the things you do at home. So we might be taking Aylee mini golfing on Saturday when we drop off our charitabe donation for the Single Parent Family Resource Centre. I talked to your mom about it and both she and Aylee thought it was a good idea.

Great picture of you and the kids on your site-I'm glad you are having a good time.

Stay safe-love you. I wish we could see if our notes are making it your way.

C.
Response: Hey!!! Yes...your notes are making it my way!! There is only one computer therefore, always a line up for it!! Thank you so much hon for checking in on the family for me!!! I greatly appreciate it and tell Kelsey, Auntie Tara says hello and I love her too!! I hope everyone is doing well, all here is great! Tiring, emotional but a dream come true. I looked up at the sky the other night while we were visiting a child, the sun was setting and there was about 30 african kid's in the backround singing and clapping as the little sponsored boy sat there talking with his sponsor. I had to withhold tears because this is truly, a dream come true. So thank you for all your kind words and your help with the family. Give all yours my love, hugs and kisses! I miss you and can't wait to see you when I return.

Lots of love,
Tara
xoxoxoxooxox
From Darla
Hey, It was good to hear that you made it finally. Saw the picture, you look so happy and the kids too. I love how the one kid is posing, it is so how the kids around here would pose, shows that kids are all the same. I will keep checking in. You take care and be safe!!! We miss you to!! XXOO
Response: Hi guys!!! How are you?! Yes, the kid's here are exactly the same as ours! They are so sweet and so happy! I hope everyone is well, I am doing great! Tired and emotional but great! Thank you so much for the message, I really like getting them!! Kiss teh kid's for me and I can't wait to see you guys when I get home.

Lots of Love!!!
Tara
xoxo
From Erica, Emily and Cam
Hi Tara,

Just read your update and wanted to send you some loves from back home! Stay safe and spread some love around for us too!
Response: Hi guys!! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY ERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the message!! I have not met Therese yet so no updates on that end. Things are well, emotional but well. It's long days but wonderful days. Africa is more than I thought it would be, the people are very friendly and it is a beautiful country. I can't wait to share it all with you when I get home. Cam..I was thinking of you on Sat and praying you got home safely. It must be nice to be back. Emily, there are so many kid's here your age, they are great!! Your old clothes will come in VERY handy!! Erica...get back to the books :) I am sorry to have missed your birthday, did you have a good day and night? I hope you did. You guys take good care of yourselves and I can't wait to see you again!!

Lots of love from afar!
Tara
xoxoxooxoxo
From Cindy
Hi Tara! I'm so glad you made it ok! Being stranded is no fun deal. I had it happen to me once...not sure if I ever told you the story, but I will when you get back. Some strange work was about in the universe that day!
I can only imagine the emtional wave you must be experiencing...I would be crying the whole time. What an amazing person you are to be giving your heart and your help to these people who need it so badly. I hope you can find the time to load up some photos, I would love to see what you're seeing. But, I can wait till you get back too!
I am thinking of you everyday, and I miss having you a phone call away. I look forward to more from your adventures!
Please take extra special care of yourself, and be safe...:D
Love you, Cindy and the Brood XOXOXO
Response: Hey!!!! I am so sorry it's takekn so long to reply! There's only one computer and there's alwyas a line up for it. I am going to try and upload some pic's but it takes forever!!!!! How are the babies? I miss you guys! AFrica is everything I thought it would be and more. It's such an experiance, I wish I could pack it all up and take it home with me. We are all crying everyday. One minute your crying and the next hour your dancing and clapping with a group of singing african kid's. What an experiance. I am so blessed to have this dream come true. Please kiss the kid's for me...how's Brenna's walking coming along? I can't wait to see you guys again soon and don't worry...I have a TON of pic's to show you! Thank you so much for the message! I really enjoy getting them. I do get them, I may not have lots of time to reply, but I get them and love them! Thanks so much hon and I can't wait to see you again!

Lots of Love from afar,
Tara
From aylee
Hi mommy, daddy is writing this for me cause I cant spell all the good yet. I miss you and love you, Landen is sleeping but he is sad you went to Africa but he misses too.And he loves you again. and daddy misses you too. we are having fun and cant wait to see you again. have a safe trip we all love you.
aylee
xoxoxoxoxooo
Response: Hi baby girl!!!! I love it when you write to me!! I really liked talking to you last night! I miss you guys sssssooooooooooooooo much! I hope you are having a good day today, I am! It's a great day today, except Mommy's tummy is not feeling very well today. Hopefully tomorrow it will be better. Please give Landen lots of hugs and kisses for me and I am sending SSOOOOO many to you too! Make sure you have fun with Nana, Papa, Daddy Auntie and Uncle! Tell them all I love them. I will talk to you again probably tomorrow night and I can't wait!!! I love you angel and please tell Daddy I love him so much and miss him terribly. Have a great day Baby girl!

Lots of Love,
Mommy
oxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Ps. I made everyone tonight at supper say our "rub a dub dub" prayer and told them how you yell as loud as you can so God can hear you. They all think your cute. I love you baby,
Mommy
From schmoo
Hi Schmoo, I, m so happy for you and so very proud of all your accomplishments.
Miss you all very much xoxoxo
Please say hi to the elephants for me.
Be safe xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx DAD
Response: Hi Daddy! I finally have some time to return some messages! Africa is everything I hoped it would be and more. i can't wait to tell you all about it when I get home. It's really emotional. One minute your crying your eyes out just wanting to curl up in bed and sob and the next hour your clapping and dancing, having a great time!! The days are long, usually gone by 8am and back by 9:30pm...just like your days!! I miss you very much and it's so nice to hear from you. how is jay and how was your chat with Cath? I hope you are doing well and not running yourself into the ground. I love you so very much and can't wait to talk to you soon! Take good care of yourself Daddy and I'll catch up soon...I hope :)
Lots of Love,
Schmoo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxox
From Romy
I thought I sent a MSG this am, but I guess it is in cyber space. Have a safe & great adventure.
Romy
Response: Thanks Romy! I hope all is well with you, things are good here. Very emotional as you could imagine. I hope you guys had a good time in Parksville, and are enjoying your holidays, you could use the break. Thanks for the message, sorry it took so long to reply. We'll catch up soon I'm sure!

Take care for now,
Tara
From Tara Darnell
Have a wonderful time Tara!
Be safe and take lots of pictures so you can tell us all about it when you get home.
ciao
Tara D
Response: Hey Tara! Sorry for the late reply. There is only one computer here and it's ALWAYS busy. How is the family? I hope well. AFrica is wonderful, emotional and a dream come true. I have taken lots of pictures and someone is doing lots of video taping I'm hoping to get my hands on. I am trying to keep this page updated but it's not easy!! It takes forever to upload pic's and there's always a lineup for the computer. Tell everyone I say hello, thank you so very much for your message and I'll talk to you again soon I'm sure!

Take care,
Tara!!
From sissy (auntie) Rache
Hi sissy!!
we're al going to miss you when you leave, and hopefully Landen and Aylee will be fine without you...but im sure they will be, they have the rest of us there for comfort :) I love you Tara, have a safe and happy trip, and we'll all be waiting for you at home :)

Luv Rach :P
Response: Hi Sissy!! I'm SOOOO happy you emailed me!!! I love you so very much and I know the kid's are in great hands. They love you so much and I know you'll love them just as much back. I am having a wonderful time and I can't wait to tell you all about it. I hope you are enjoying the rest of the summer and looking forward to rowing! Hasn't it started by now? Today is the first day isn't it? Let me know how you like it. I miss you, love you like crazy and can't wait to see you again. Don't let the bed bugs bite!!! I love you sis, thanks for the message and as always, I"m proud of you.

Lots of love,
Sissy
xoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
From sean
Let me be the first to leave a msg.
We will miss you like crazy, be safe smile we are thinking of you.
Love you baby XXXOOO
From Cindy
Hi Tara! Wishing you the very best on this amazing adventure! Good for you for getting it all together, and making one of your dreams come true...:)
I will miss you, but I know that this will be one of the greatest times of your life. Enjoy it.....
Love you, Cindy and the Brood
Response: I will miss you too and can't wait to catch up when I get home. Take care of those kiddies and get some girl time in for yourself. You could use it :)
xoxoxo
Tara
From Deborah DeZeng
Hi Tara
Iam so proud of you and can't wait to hear and read about all your adventures. Take care honey and be safe.

Deb
Response: Thank you Deb! Please give hugs to those cutie pies for me! All the best to you and Mike and we'll chat along the way :)

Swap n shop buddie!