After I got back to Ilula this afternoon, bringing a new intern to the home, I sat with 10-year-old Rogers and explained to him that one of his sponsors is in the hospital and not doing well at all. He just buried his head in my side and started crying hard. Rogers had never met the man. He had never even gotten a letter from him. But he knows that the man cared enough to support him, and it hurt to hear that he wasn't doing well. At times, I think I forget that these kids know first-hand the pain that death brings. Each and every one of them had buried their moms, and even their dads, had they been around. Death is a harsh reality in their world.
It's good to be back in Ilula. It was good to see the kids today. They were in rare form when I quickly went to say good-night to them, imitating scenes from VeggieTales' Queen Esther. I had shown them that movie 2 weeks ago, and they had memorized lines and songs from it, even with a complete American accent. It was really funny listening to them!
I am preparing for a leadership retreat I'm leading this weekend. I'm taking the management team from Kipkaren to the forest for team building. I am really looking forward to getting to know each one of them on a personal level, and doing some activities that will challenge us all.
Had Swahili lessons today. It's good to be able to study with someone else - Jen Davis in Kipkaren. Their family is new to ELI, but her husband grew up in Kenya, so he speaks Swahili fluently. Jen had taken Swahili in college, so she's ahead of me, but I don't mind that. That makes for a good challenge to try and catch up. I look forward to being able to carry a conversation in Swahili. I catch myself thinking a lot in Chinese lately because of trying to learn Swahili. I read one time that any languages you learn at a later stage get saved in one area of your brain, hence the tendency to think of phrases in a second (or fifth) language when trying to acquire a new language.
Time for bed. It's way late! Lala salama.