I decided this morning that I really needed some time out. Though going on safari with the interns might sound restful, it's part of my job, especially when I'm the one who's driving 700 km in two days in Kenyan roads. (Check out the pictures from our time at Lake Nakuru and Lake Bogoria.)
So, this morning, I decided to carve out some alone-time before church. Deciding to do something and actually getting to do it are two different things, especially when there are 8 visitors around for whom I am responsible.
Once they were all in Sunday school classes and I settled in for some me-time, I got a phone call from a neighbor/colleague, Joelle. Could I please help? His sister-in-law was in labor and needed to get to the hospital. I got ready in record-time and headed down the road to pick up Abraham (Joelle's brother), Sally (his very pregnant wife), Jane (a relative) and Loice (Joelle's wife).
Let it be known that I don't wish for ANY pregnant woman to have to be transported on our roads in rural Kenya, let alone a woman in labor! I tried to find a balance between getting to the hospital as quickly as possible and making the ride as smooth as possible. I must've said "Pole!" (Sorry!) 50 times on the half-hour journey to Moi Referral Hospital.
After dropping Sally and her entourage at the ER, I noticed our Trooper (one of the children's home vehicles) parked nearby. I called Laban (the director) and found that he's in the children's ward with Hillary (one of our boys). Hillary's stumped the doctors with a condition they are yet to diagnose. Symptoms are similar to malaria, but it's not that. I went to pray for Hillary and offered to take him home while Laban took care of errands.
I managed to catch the last 10 minutes of church, after which I took the team to Kerio View for a Sunday afternoon breakaway (for them.) A few hours later, I brought them home and thought I might lay down for a nap. But I remembered that little Brian was itching his hand when we passed him on the road as we headed out to Kerio View, so I got my "Kids' Kit" (all the stuff to dig out their jiggers) and headed down the road. Two hours later, I had removed eight huge egg sacs from the side of just one hand. By then, it was getting dark, and I was late for dinner with the team.
I had given the team an assignment to tell me what cultural observations they had made during my day and a half away with the interns, so over dinner, we talked about those observations with the Kenyans who had joined us for dinner.
By the time the team went to put the kids to bed, I was finally able to come home to Flannel, who was delighted to see me. And now, after posting the team's blog entry for the day and uploading photos for work stuff, it's 30 minutes to Pumpkin Time, so I'm going to join Flannel in Dreamland.
First thing tomorrow, I'm driving the team to Kipkaren for a visit. While they tour the center, I'll be taking new staff photos for the ELI web site. Though it'll be another full day (and a day that will inevitably offer new challenges and joys), I doubt it'll include the variety today held.
But who knows? It might offer even more!