Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A trip to the US

January 28, 2015

WOW, has it really been 2months since our last post?  We have been in the United States for a whirlwind tour to see friends and family and introduce our son Emmanuel.  It has been a wonderful time.  Emmanuel is an amazing little traveler!  He slept much of the time on our international flights (36 hours from our home at Nyankunde to our home in NC) on Warren's lap!  He was jet lagged for about a week, needing more sleep but that is about it.  It took us longer to adjust to the time zone than our son.  We spent a week in Boone acclimating to life in the US...then without any further ado we were off on a major road trip, covering 15 states in one month!
Leaving Nyankunde in December







Visiting family in Tennessee
First stop: eastern Tennessee to visit paternal great aunts and uncles and cousins.  We initiated our borrowed Pack-and-Play.  There was no napping for this little boy with so many fun people to play with!  Emmanuel loved meeting his great
aunts and staring up at the lights of Aunt Diane's Christmas tree.


Second stop:  the arctic tundra of Wisconsin to spend the holidays with Lindsey's family!  Some
Great aunts and cousins (Lindsey's family)

Greatgrandmother Nelson
highlights of our time include Emmanuel meeting his great grandmother, his grandparents, and his aunt Laura.  Our diesel Jetta failed to start on multiple occasions due to the extreme cold.
We enjoyed the humid heat of Olbrich Gardens and watching the train display with aunt Laura.  We were able to get together with lots of extended family and our son charmed everyone.  Grandma Nelson and her friends hosted a fun shower for Emmanuel.
With Aunt Laura 
Grandpa and Grandma Nelson have been waiting patiently to meet our son and they savored every moment.  Both of us shivered in our woolen socks and wondered how we ever survived the midwest.










Third stop:  Fruitvale, Texas, for a Christian Health Service Corps  (CHSC) orientation.  We will continue our work in DRC supported by two organizations, with Lindsey on salary with CHSC.  We enjoyed getting to know other


Orientation adult learning with CHSC
people going out with the same organization and learning more about CHSC.  In our free time we went out for walks.  One afternoon a young couple in a BIG truck offered to give us a ride, as the weather must have seemed cold to those Texans.
















Fourth, Fifth, Sixth stops:  Providence, RI, to visit Warren's sister, brother and family.  After a couple of nights on the road and



Rochester friends:  Sandy and Heather
visiting with friends in Chicago and Rochester, NY,  we arrived in Rhode Island.  We spent most of our evenings in the warm indoors, visiting, and eating wonderful food.  It had been three years since we had all been together.  Warren and I gave a noon conference at Brown University on our work overseas.
The Cooper Family in Providence
Aunt Alice

Aunts Alice and Kathy
We made a stop at the prestigious Yale University to visit Emmanuel's oldest cousin Jamie.

Seventh stop:  Hartford, CT, and Mecanicsburg, PA, to visit our friends the Dombrofskis and Reichenbachs.  It is so nice to catch up with old friends.

Eighth stop:  Back home again in Boone, NC!  What a trip!  After sleeping in 10 different homes we collapsed in our beds.  Here we are
Emmanuel's pediatrician
getting ready for two more years on the field.  We are busy packing medical supplies, personal things, sending out correspondence, medical appointments, and of course spending time with friends and colleagues in the area.   We have been out for a bit of hiking and recreation as well.
Gifts from Karen


Sometime during this whirlwind we managed to join a church here in Boone, Alliance Bible Fellowship.  We have been so blessed by how warmly we have been received.  It is inspiring to see a group of elders that see themselves as spiritual leaders of the church.




We are so thankful for this time we have had in the United States, for family and friends.  It has been a delight to share Emmanuel with everyone.  The Lord knew that we needed a baby with an easy-going demeanor who travels well.  For all of you who opened your homes and made time for us, thank you so much.

And finally our ninth stop:  Switzerland where we will spend time with Grandma and Grandpa Cooper, then back to Congo.

Love,

The Coopers (Lindsey, Warren, & Emmanuel)

Grandpa and Grandma Nelson