It's good to be home. After spending a day in Nairobi with Karen and Laura, Karen returned to the US and Laura and I left for safari the next morning to celebrate her 40th birthday. It was an amazing time of resting, lots of laughter, of meeting new people, of simply focusing on the beauty of the world around me...
We got back to Nairobi at 1 pm today, went to pick up The Car at Mayfield, drove straight to Nakuru, got my car (yeah!) and continued the journey back to Eldoret. Six hours later, we pulled into the children's home at Ilula and Laura got to meet the children and staff here.
It's now close to midnight. I've been catching up on urgent work e-mails, unpacked and an now more than ready to sleep.
I miss Flannel. She's still in Kipkaren. I'll be leaving for Kipkaren first thing in the morning to show Laura what we do there, and we'll be back in Ilula early in the afternoon, at which time we're hoping to go back to our friends down the road.
Speaking of those little ones: Mary, one of the moms here, knows how to remove chiggers*, and she taught Ruth. They spent some time doing that last week, and we'll go and work some more on removing the parasites from the children's feet and hands. They say that you have to be careful not to break the bug itself, or it explodes and hundreds of eggs spread into the open wound... But if you do take it out carefully and throw the little ball-like bug in the fire, it literally explodes. Apparently, the areas where the "uninvited guests" have already been removed are starting to heal! Praise God for that.
Many of you have asked how you can help. As soon as I know what more we'll be doing (other than helping them put in a floor in the house, dig an outhouse, take the kids to the doctor to get meds, buy them shoes and socks and continue to supply daily food while working with the dad on things he can do - he's been helping remove the chiggers by himself, I'm told), I'll let you know. (How's that for a record-long run-on sentence? I'm obviously tired.)
Speaking of the dad: Ruth says that he had actually cleaned up himself when they went back to the house a couple of days ago. He's been putting on clean clothing and has washed himself, so there are already positive changes!
It seems surreal in a way, having just come back from time away and being back in a world of immense need. But that's the reality of life. I am infinitely thankful that I do get to step away from time to time and get perspective from afar while spending time resting in God's presence. It's critical to do so, I've found, lest I reach a point once more where I feel I have nothing to give.
I've been filled up by beauty, by God's nature, by laughing with friends, by visiting with people who know me. For that, I'm thankful. It feels like I have something to share once again with those around me.
* I'm not 100% sure what the kids have are chiggers as you know them in the US. I'll let you know for sure what they have after I've taken them to a pediatrician in town later this week.