So much has happened in the past few days. It has been an absolute joy to have friends here, especially Danette and Nan. It's also been a tremendous blessing to get to know other team members better. They have blessed me by simply being here.
On Thanksgiving, Nan and I helped Richard (our cook) to prepare a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for the team and about 20 Kenyans. (Allison and Juli also baked some things for dessert.) We had a great Thanksgiving meal, complete with a turkey (baked in a charcoal oven), cranberry sauce (which I hunted down in Nairobi), and green bean casserole (made with spinach instead of beans!) My favorite dessert was Nan's pumpkin marble dessert. With whipped cream, even. It felt for a moment like we were somewhere in America.
This week, I received some very exciting news. I've been accepted into a graduate program at BGU and will start classes in February! It's a part-time program, and my first class will actually be offered in Nairobi. It's called "Signs of Hope in Africa." In June, I'll have to travel to Seattle for a couple weeks' classes. Most of the work will be by correspondence, though, so it's going to be a good challenge. A scary one in many ways, too, but I'm excited about the opportunity God has brought my way.
The week wasn't without it's challenges, though. Yesterday, as I was driving the team from Kipkaren to Ilula, I heard a knocking sound in my car's engine, and then it died. Since I had just had a major service two weeks ago, I hadn't thought of checking the water before the journey. But it turns out that the insulation between the radiator and the cooler was worn, and thanks to our incredibly uneven roads, the two had been rubbing against each other, causing the tiniest hole in the radiator. The water's been leaking without me realizing it. Bottom line: I spent all of today at the mechanics in Eldoret getting several things fixed. The piston rings had to be replaced, and the gasket head, and two other smaller parts which I cannot remember the names of. The good news, though, is that the engine is fine. The water and oil didn't mix. The pistons are fine. And I got the parts for $600 less than I was first quoted yesterday... In as much as I'm still upset about this unexpected expense, I am very thankful that it turned out to be cheaper than it could've been.
So while my friends were doing a women's conference today and playing with the kids, I was hanging out with the mechanics, staring into my engine for more hours than I ever care to do again. But since it was a new mechanic (though known to my colleague Maru), I thought it best to hang around and watch what they're doing.
Tonight, Melody (one of the team members) had a session for the adolescent girls. Jennifer, the team doctor, also joined, as did Danette, and we ended up fielding a plethora of rather intriguing questions which I won't repeat here. :) It helped that there was no power. In fact, I wanted to turn my lamp down a bit, too, and accidentally killed the flame in the process, but immediately realized the girls were much more talkative when we couldn't see their faces!
What else? I'm really praying that my colleague Mary will have her baby tonight! Jennifer and Danette are happy to assist, and Mary herself says she'd rather have them deliver the baby at her house than have to drive on our bumpy roads while in labor! That would be a fun treat to help deliver a friend's baby!
On that note, I need to head to bed. It's been a grueling two days, and I'd like to be coherent tomorrow.
With love from Ilula,