I realize that this is a few days late, but here it is anyways: After leaving Lincoln, Nebraska, we traveled to my house in Greenville, IL. After a final frantic night of last minute preparations, Kelly had completed almost all the paperwork she needed, ordered textbooks for her class this summer, and just generally caught up on life a bit. Early the next morning, the three of us drove her into the St. Louis airport to see her off to the camp at which she’ll be working this summer. For me, that was perhaps (ok, definitely), the hardest moment of the trip. The four of us have planned for this adventure since February. We have spent untold hours on the road, at all times of the day/night. We have shared our deepest fears with each other, discussed our dreams, and made amazing new memories. Suddenly, there we were sending off 1/4 of ourselves. It was incredibly hard, but necessary. Kelly has made it out to the camp (in New Hampshire) and it sounds like she has been met with an awesome staff and wonderful opportunities. Even though she hasn’t been with us in body the past few days, she has certainly been in our thoughts and prayers.

So, after seeing off Kelly, we returned to Greenville for the day. Faith and Val spent the day at my house, catching up on journaling and getting our car a much-needed oil change. I spent most of the day making medical visits of different sorts, in preparation for my entry into the Peace Corps in January. It served as a good reminder to me that life (and paperwork!) continue even when all we can think about is getting back on the road.

As you may have noticed, I haven’t blogged in quite a while. That is due in part to the infrequent internet access that we have had during the latter part of the trip, and in part to allow me some time to process everything. As we wind down our trip, I’ve begun to realize the vastness of what we have heard and what we have yet to learn. Perhaps what has most stood out to me has been the way that faith and vocation have connected in the lives of the people we interviewed. I know that discussions on “faith and vocation” are a popular topic in Messiah college classrooms/conferences, but I have begun to realize how impossible it is for me, as a Christian, to try to separate the two. In many of our interviews, we didn’t focus so much on why an interviewee changed jobs, or what led them to their present job. Instead, we talked about their faith–how it colors everything they look at and think about, how it gives them hope for the problems that they see while still acknowledging that those problems exist. That’s just the tip of one of the ideas that have repeatedly surfaced during our travels. Again, sorry for not blogging more frequently, but often when we stopped driving for the day, I felt so overwhelmed by all the thoughts swirling around in my brain that I couldn’t quite put anything into words. Chao!