Going back to Angola was pretty impossible during the wars and their aftermath. In the last 3 years, though, travel has become much safer and easier. Several missionary kids and some former missionaries have returned in recent years, including my parents in 2000. While my mother was still alive, I hesitated to leave for an extended period. Not only would communications be hard, but also it might be difficult to get home fast if her health took a dive. But once my mother died a year ago, I began to think seriously about returning. My brother who lives in London had also talked about going back. My other brother actually worked in Angola for UNICEF back in the early 1990’s, when everyone thought peace was breaking out. Now he is in the midst of UNICEF job transition and cannot come on this trip.
Mom left us each a small bequest that has allowed us to plan this trip. At first I thought only my husband Doug would come with me. But the trip has become a family affair, with both sons and one daughter-in-law coming also. Regrettably my other daughter-in-law is also in job transition and couldn’t leave. I’m both excited and anxious about this trip. I want to show my family my old hometown and the mission inland where I went to school. But I worry about not being able to plan very much ahead. There are no guidebooks for Angola, no easy Internet sites for booking hotels, finding out about transportation, etc. We will literally be relying on the kindness of our Angolan friends to take care of many arrangements.