The final farewell… they are all safely off!

We just returned from the airport after dropping off 18 of the 22 students for their journey home.  We stayed in the airport until we heard that they were boarding. Then we waited outside hoping to get a glimpse of the airplane.  Indeed, just 6 minutes after their scheduled departure we saw their Ethiopian Airlines plane cruise off into the sunset.  We waved and cheered (drawing some odd stares) and wished them a safe journey.

Now before you get too excited about where the other four students disappeared, let me explain!  Josh Miller left this morning by bus for his 6 week Mennonite Central Committee assignment in Burundi and is also safely on his way.  And, last evening I took Emily Bowman, Laura Krabill, and Indy Miller to the airport for their flight to Greece and further travels in Europe….. so YES all 22 of the 2011 SST Tanzania group are safely on their way home (or to their next adventure.)

We are deeply grateful that all went smoothly and of course will have to adjust to being just a family of four again!  We’ll update the blog tomorrow with pictures from our processing and debriefing in Zanzibar.

They are all eager to reunite with you and it will take some time to share their stories, new perspectives, and ongoing questions.  It has been a rich time, sometimes a challenging time, but always a stretching and growing time.  We are so grateful for these days together and feel extremely lucky to have worked with this group.  We will miss them greatly.

Best wishes from Donna, Ryan, Mara, and Isaac.