Sunday, August 14, 2011

Leaving Portland was much more challenging that we anticipated.  We spent the entire day before our flight on August 11 with movers, house cleaners, family and friends in order to vacate our apartment and pack what we need for Botswana. Thanks to "the village" that helped us, and after many tearful goodbyes, we flew to St. Louis to spend time with our friends Sarah and Larry Berglund.

After wonderful conversation and dinner, and a good night's sleep, Larry and Sarah drove us to a tallgrass prairie restoration site ( ) where they volunteer. If you've never seen it, tallgrass prairie is spectacular. Not just grasses, but amazing wilflowers - more than 120 varieties in this 36-acre tract. It was gold with rubidekia - variety of black-eyed susans, as well as white and purple mallow. Our friends delighted in telling us that the color of the landscape changes often as new blooms appear.

On August 12 we drove to Atchison, Kansas. The closing of the Missouri River bridge at Atchison due to flooding gave us a different and longer trek!  It was a joy to see our son Grayson and his children/our grandchildren, Nico (12) and Isabella (8).  Grayson cooked what may have been his first home cooked meal of us of Kansas style fried chicken and the trimmings, very impressive!

Our time here has been filled with family activities of shopping for fishing gear, swimming at an aquatic park, miniature golf and several good meals out. Spending time with our grandchildren's mother Amy has also been a highlight of the time here. We are staying at a lovely 19th century B and B,
The Tuck U Inn, which despite its amusing name is quite charming and hospitable. Not quite roughing it in the Peace Corps yet.....

We return to St. Louis and the Berglunds tomorrow before the second leg of our journey in Burlington VT.

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