Saturday, April 15, 2006
It's GOOD to be back!
From the airport, we had to drive slowly to sidestep the deep mud holes on our road home. I can only imagine what the road will look like in just a few more weeks...
First, I had to go and greet the kids. I WISH I could show you a picture of their faces as they literally started RUNNING towards me, seeing who could get the first hug. And then I had to hug all 96 of them, many whose faces had spots on from a recent outbreak of chicken pox. After I hugged each and every child, they sang their newest songs and praised God for my safe return.
Then it was my turn to talk. The kids ALWAYS want to hear who sends their regards! So I brought greetings from my family and from the friends whom I had gone to see in Florida. ("We receive them," the kids often say when you tell them that you bring greetings!)
They beamed when I told them that I have a gift for each one of them. Danette's mom had made fleece pillow cases for all the kids before the Iowa team came in December. However, some of the cases didn't make it over with the team, and I was thus the bearer of gifts since I now had enough to hand each kid one.
After dinner, they lined up. First, the girls from East Wing came and organized themselves according to size. "The littlest ones first!" they declared. "Next, medium size!" Then the boys came, a bit less organized than their sisters.
After that, I headed to West Wing, where the kids were still having dinner. As they finished their meal and washed their hands, they came over to receive their gift. Margaret told me, "Tonight, we will have sweet dreams!"
I had really, really missed the kids. It's amazing how they have crept into my heart.
Oh, before I forget: The boys from West Wing were very proud to show me that their garden is now expanding. Before, they had in and of themselves, made just a little garden along the fence. Since the recent team from NY had put up a kid-height washing line, it has freed up the entire area along their fence for gardening! They've been tilling the ground, preparing to plant some vegetables of their own. I can't wait to take them some seeds tomorrow that I had purchased in South Africa, and some that I had gotten from ECHO, a ministry I had visited in Florida.
Since this is the start of their Easter break, I'll invite some of the older boys over to come experiment in my greenhouse and plant some seeds to transplant to their garden.
So, about the vacation: I spent the first week in Pretoria, working from my sister's house. I came down with a bug which I thought might be malaria, so I had tests done right away. I was glad to hear that it was just a bacterial infection, and I was well before I got on the plane for the 17-hour flight to Atlanta.
From Atlanta, I flew to Fort Meyers, Florida, where I met up with friends for a delightful, restful week on and around Sanibel Island. We did a lot of shelling, walking on the beach and simply relaxing. I got quite a bit of sun, so I'm a darker shade than I usually am.
After 9 days in Florida, the journey home began. There was the 17-hour return flight (7.5 hours to Ilha de Sol, an hour refeuling time, then another 7.5 to Johannesburg--it's a killer flight!) from Atlanta to Jo'burg, a day and a half with my sister and family in Pretoria, the next flight to Nairobi, where I had a couple of meetings scheduled, and finally, this morning, I was happy to walk off the airplane in Eldoret.
Other than visiting with the kids, catching up with the Albrights, and unpacking, I was able to take a good nap this afternoon, not having had good sleep this whole week. Yeah, jet lag!
Tomorrow, I have to head to town to buy groceries, and then we'll have our usual Saturday afternoon movie time.
It's strange how it simply doesn't feel like Easter here... No Good Friday services. No Easter eggs. I doubt there's a sunrise service on Sunday, but I might be wrong. (Which suddenly reminds me of how, when I was involved with youth ministry in Taiwan, the youth group would make breakfast for the whole church after the sunrise service!)
I'll once again be posting regular updates on my blog now that I'm home.
May you have a blessed Easter and be inspired by Christ's victory on the cross!