I took my last sabbatical in 2012, while serving as the Lead Minister at The First Congregational United Church of Christ of Colorado Springs. I had applied for a Clergy Renewal grant through the Lilly Foundation and received it. An exciting day when a check for $40,000 arrived at the church office!
The driving question in the application was, “What will make your heart sing?” My response was, “To have an overseas adventure with my family.” Brooke and I researched and talked it over and we settled on South Africa, which is where we went for three months with our then 6 year-old Marin and 3 year-old Sophia.
Looking back Brooke and I have wondered, “What were we thinking going across the world with two young children?” We had some good adventures. We also had some crises. Overall, I think it made our marriage and our family unit stronger. In that situation, our choice was either to work together or go insane. We worked it out.
I kept a blog while we were there. It was a little tricky because wifi was not readily accessible in South Africa ten years ago. To access it with our iPad, we often had to go to a restaurant or café that offered it. Truth be told, I would sometimes park our rental car outside a café so that I could pilfer the wifi I had used earlier that day or week.
Here are some links to the blog. If you know our kids, you’ll enjoy seeing what they looked like 10 years ago, not to mention me and Brooke. Browse as much as you like, but here are some places where you might start:
When we first arrived after a 2 hour, 15 hour, and a 10 hour flight: https://broadbentbellsinafrica.blogspot.com/2012/05/it-was-short-flight.html
On our horrific, nausea-producing trip to Robben Island: https://broadbentbellsinafrica.blogspot.com/2012/05/robben-island.html
The story of how we got lost in Swaziland (now Eswatini): https://broadbentbellsinafrica.blogspot.com/2012/06/more-than-one-road-through-swaziland.html
Our “vacation from vacation” to Mauritius: https://broadbentbellsinafrica.blogspot.com/2012/07/delicious-mauritius.html
The worst day we had: https://broadbentbellsinafrica.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-horrible-day.html
At the oldest winery in South Africa: https://broadbentbellsinafrica.blogspot.com/2012/07/groot-constantia.html