Lately we’ve been a little quiet on social media and that’s because we’ve been processing some big life decisions! Namely, our family is moving back to New Zealand this Christmas.
Why? Three reasons:1) We found out earlier this year that our son, Maz, needs to have open heart surgery for multiple issues he has with his heart/lungs. This was a surprise for us and really hard to hear. We’ve been thinking lots, praying hard and weighing up the different options for months. Finally, we ended up landing on moving back to Auckland, New Zealand - indefinitely.
2) Both of our jobs recently offered us roles back in NZ starting Jan 2020. Tim has accepted an offer with Tutapona that will see him as the Vice President of Global Programs for Tutapona. He will be overseeing the Country Directors/Project managers in Uganda, Iraq and Lebanon as well as developing Tutapona’s Australasia funding base. I will be working part time at Tearfund leading their Creative Team and still doing humanitarian photography/storytelling.
3) All up, we’ve been living in Uganda for a total of 6 years. If we were to include Dubai, it’d be 7 years overseas. Not to mention that Tim and I both spent the majority of our childhood years overseas (him in Africa and me in the USA and Australia). Both of us noticed when we went home this Christmas that things were maybe starting to “shift” in us. Can I be really honest? The wear and tear of living apart from family and our community back in NZ was taxing us. The challenges of living in a developing country that was not our “home” were starting to show. Higher than healthy stress levels, irritations over little things and building frustration. Neither of us would ever want to leave Uganda bitter or resentful. So we accepted these promptings as little signposts that perhaps a change was coming. We want to leave how we feel now. Deeply grateful, in love with this country and her people but also excited for a new chapter. Not burnt-out or cynical. Just a feeling, backed up with many heartfelt prayers that our season here is coming to a close and the timing feels right.
How are we feeling?Mixed. Really mixed. Sad to leave the country that has given us so much. Our babies, dream jobs, an unbelievably rich in friendship community. Our beautiful home, a fabulous school, a wonderful church and a lifestyle that means daily in-person chats with your besties is a given. Weather that delights us and a perspective on poverty that haunts us.
Also, super excited to have our families and close friends in NZ get to know our kids and to be able to make everyday memories together. Excited for good food, malls, and beaches. Excited for a change but grateful we get to keep the biggest part of our lives in Uganda – our work. Excited for the next chapter.
Tim will be back in Uganda twice a year and I’ll be back about once a year. That feels really good to have down on the internet in black and white.
*Photos by Candice Lassey*