Monday, December 03, 2007

Kiptoo's back!

Kiptoo, originally uploaded by Boyznberry.

Kiptoo is back. He was accidentally left in the US during my last visit. As a result, he missed the visit to Rwanda and the Congo. But that's OK, since he doesn't seem to like war zones. He went to Sudan last year but never came out for any pictures. (Click on Kiptoo's picture for just a small sample of some of my favorite photos from this past week.)

This week, though, he went on safari again. And he went to the beach with Danette and I. We had a blast, by the way. Simply relaxed. Did some snorkeling. Walked on the beach. Relaxed some more. Played table tennis and many, many games of "hand and foot." Watched some movies on my computer. Walked more. Rested even more. Watched crabs dig holes in the sand. Saw leopard sharks play in heel-deep water. Followed a stingray! Scrutinized the coral reefs during low tide. Gawked at parrot fish, butterfly fish and angel fish. Were happy not to see a lion fish.

We had seen some lions earlier in the week, though, on safari with the team. The craziest sight was to see a lion break a tooth while chomping on a carcass! We just sat and watched him eat; could even hear him rip the prey to pieces. Then we gave way to another vehicle to get close. We saw the lion suddenly get up and walk in circles before laying down. When we pulled up again, one of his bottom teeth were hanging out the side of his mouth. I can only imagine how cranky he had to be the next few days!

The very best thing about the past two weeks, though, was to have friends around. I felt normal again just being able to visit, especially with Nan and Danette. I don't have to weigh my words or be afraid about how thoughts expressed over dinner conversations are going to be received. I think that's one of the challenges of being single. Married couples could visit with their spouse (I'd hope!) about issues big and small and discover in the process what they think. When I visit with colleagues about challenging issues, it can come across as a final opinion, not just as verbal processing. Which is tough. Which makes me hold back my thoughts. A lot. Because that's the right thing to do.

I'm rambling.

Tomorrow, I fly back to Eldoret. I have a visitor from Cedar Rapids, Kelsey Sheehy. Just for a few days. Kipkaren's VERY busy this week. We have a kids' camp, and a lot of visitors who are coming for a wedding. And interns. Kelsey will be staying on my floor. That's how busy we are this week. And the week after. Then it's just a week till Christmas. Wow.

But there are still some weeks left before the year is over. Much still needs to happen between now and then. It's been a good year. A hard one. One that will stand out for the things God has taught me. The lessons continue. That's life. The journey continues.

I'm glad Kiptoo's back to share the journey with you. :)

1 comment:

  1. Adele,

    I can appreciate your feelings about just wanting to be listened to..."I don't have to weigh my words or be afraid about how thoughts expressed over dinner conversations are going to be received."

    I'm not sure married women fare much better though. I've seen studies and comments from women who say that they just want their husbands to listen to them--but the husband immediately sees the issue as one he has to resolve or "correct."

    Listening is an art...listening not only to what folks say, but what they mean when they say it. Analysts call it the "subtext." You're saying "I just want to let off steam about this," and the hearer automatically goes into "fix" or "correction" mode. That usually makes me shut up too! ; )))

    I don't want them to judge, correct, or otherwise "fix" my ideas--I just want them to be a friend, listen with their heart, and let me share what's on my mind (and vice versa)...It's always a challenge...