Hi everyone
We’re really sorry to hear about so much sickness and stress. Katie has been sick yesterday and today, so we’d appreciate prayer for her as well.
Tonight we’re staying with Lora (Katie’s friend and bridesmaid from Trinity) in Lafayette, Indiana. We had a good time with a surprising number of Poortenga relations who got together on Saturday, and then with my mom’s whole family yesterday for the afternoon. It was nice, but we’re starting to be eager to get home. We have no itinerary for our trip home. We’ll just drive and see how far we get each day, and hope we have time to fit in the grand canyon (as opposed to space to fit in the grand canyon, which I don’t think is an issue!). I have to be back at work one week from today, and I just found out that my classroom was changed, so I’ll start by moving all my stuff and getting reoriented in a new workspace. It’s not a big deal, but I do spend a surprising amount of time trying to figure out the best arrangement for desks and equipment in a specific room. I’m a bit overly picky, but I do feel like the physical environment has a big impact on the overall atmosphere. It could be fun, though.
For the non WV Hakes, Liberia was amazing and exhausting. We arrived on Sunday night (late at night) and worked all of the daylight hours until the following Sunday afternoon, when we got our only showers of the week and went back home. It was very rewarding: the orphans moved in during our last night there, and they were very excited and grateful. I began some good relationships with some young Liberian men who we hired from the local village to work on-site with us. I also slipped away from the construction for a few minutes one day to get a tour of the village across the street, and another day to see the beach and my friend’s dugout canoe (he’s a fisherman by trade).
We’ll post more about how things are going, and some pictures from Liberia, when we get back to California. Hope you all are well (or at least improving),
Joel

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