Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday in Addis

We've had packed days and limited access to e-mail. Below are updates I had written last week. Today, we're off to meet the archbishop of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia as well as a number of evangelical colleges, learning from all what they're doing in the city of Addis. I'm learning lots. It's been good. I'll try to upload photos to Flickr. Not sure if it'll work.


Today was a really insightful day. On our tour of Addis Ababa the other day, I was watching people kneel in front of the church, praying for what could’ve been hours. I wondered if they truly had an understanding of the Gospel, or if their devotion is a blind desperation, if you will. It also didn’t make sense to me that they would pray to pictures of Mary and Jesus, or bring flowers or candles as gifts.

But today, we went to visit His Holiness, The Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. (Basically, it means he’s like the pope of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.) First, we were received by His Grace, The Archbishop of the Church in Southern and West Africa. (Those of you who know me well would know that I don’t usually pay much attention to titles. But we were drilled on the right way to address or talk about these men, so there you are. We visited with HH and HG.) Ray (our professor) explained to us various aspects of the liturgy, how, in the Orthodox Church, “worship is the recreation of the drama of our salvation.”

Going on a 2-hour tour of the Patriarch’s Museum (led by a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic tour guide) opened my eyes to much of this expression of worship. And while I don’t enjoy liturgy and traditional religion, it did make me wonder if we as modern-day charismatics haven’t lost some reverence for the cross.

However, I didn’t like how some Ethiopians were bowing before HH, kissing the end of his robe, and kissing the cross… Ray had explained that the kissing was merely a hope that the virtue of a person (or icon) would rub off on you. Still, to me, it seemed more like people were worshiping the person and the cross, both of which are merely pointing to Christ. I could be wrong


Today, we’re going to visit one of the slum areas of Addis to see the work Jember’s group has done. After that, we’ll be having a class on Poverty and Race. That should be interesting!

My roommate Bethany and I have been able to move out of our expensive hotel and move into Kristin Davis’ place. What a blessing! (I met Kristin once in Kenya. She’s the cousin of my former neighbor, Davis.)

Tomorrow, we’re having a “tourist day,” visiting the Nile Gorge as well as the oldest monastery in Ethiopia. Speaking of the Nile: I never realized how much of a source of contention the Nile has been in this part of the world. Egypt reaps all the benefits and balks every time Ethiopia, Sudan or Uganda want to use the water to irrigate their own countries. In fact, we were told that if Ethiopia could use the water in the Blue Nile and in Lake Tana for irrigation, they could grow enough food for all of East Africa. But they can’t. Egypt says the Nile is theirs. Someone even mentioned that they believe the next big war in this part of the world will be because of the Nile. Yikes, eh? (In case you’re confused by where Uganda comes into play: The White Nile starts there and the Blue Nile in Ethiopia. They merge in Northern Sudan.)

Friday & Saturday

Yesterday, we walked some of the slums of Addis. It’s hard to believe that 80% of the city’s people live in slums! And check this out: ALL the land in the country belongs to the government. You can own a house, but you don’t own the land. During the Derg era (communism), the government claimed all land. And though it’s now a federal government, they’ve not given back the land to the people. Crazy, eh?

So, anyway, we walked the slums to see the projects Jember’s group has done. They had broken down shanty homes and built brick houses with shared kitchens and communal pit latrines. (Some areas still simply have open sewage.) They built schools and youth centers, a daycare facility for the elderly, care centers for mentally and physically disabled. Projects you’d expect a government to take on, which they don’t.

People were friendly, and as always, the kids were adorable. No-one should have to live in slums, though. No-one.

Today, we’re going to visit a monastery in the Nile Gorge. Should be interesting. Oh, and BTW, I woke up last night to the laughing of HYENAS! In the city limits, yes. Kristin says this is one of the only African cities where they have to deal with the danger of hyenas. I lay in bed thinking, “That’s a hyena! No, it can’t be!” But indeed, it was.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday in Addis

I had written a long update, but left my flash drive at the home where I’m staying. I’ll try to post it in the morning. We’ve had a HECTIC schedule, going from early in the morning till late at night. It’s now 6:15, and it’s the first time in a long time we’re heading home early.

That being said, it’s been a very, very good experience. An eye-opening one in terms of urban issues and ministry. Today, we were supposed to visit 6 churches, but due to getting stuck in a church parking lot behind other vehicles, we ended up just visiting 5. Everything from an Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the morning (where, by the way, you’re not allowed in if you’ve had intercourse in the past 48 hours, or if you’re having your period) to a Pentecostal church, a Lutheran and an international evangelical church. Huge differences, not only in the style of worship & liturgy, but also in the type of people they attract.

Our class is made up of a fascinating bunch of people. There are 3 students from the US (2 of whom are the only other ladies in the program), and then one guy from each of the following countries: Angola, Malawi, Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria. And then 2 guys from Ethiopia.

Yesterday, we drove for 13 hours (seriously!) to see the Nile River Gorge. Actually, it was about 6 hours there, and then we turned around immediately. We weren’t even allowed to get out of the bus to walk across the bridge over the Nile. We made the mistake of taking photos of the bridge (as well as the grand one they’re constructing right next to it), but the military came and insisted we had to erase the pictures. I don’t get it. Anyway. We turned around, drove 4 hours to a monastery (Dobre Libanos) where monks stay in mountain caves, but by then I it was too late to visit the caves, so we saw yet another church. And then drove back to Addis.

Had a good time visiting in the bus, though, especially the last 2 hours when we were really, really tired. The 3 American students plus the program coordinator and the other Kenyan guy and I were having a blast, singing songs, playing “two truths and a lie” and so on. Just fun stuff. The only American guy (other than our professor) is African American, and a pastor at that. He was getting us to sing songs the African American way. Much fun was had. At least by us. J

Want to get home early and get some good rest before we head into yet another packed week. Hopefully I’ll get to upload a photo or two tomorrow. Will try my best.

My mind’s turning from all I’m learning, and with the thought of how things are in Kenya right now…

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

News from Addis Ababa

I’ve been having a hard time getting onto e-mail. My roommate Bethany and I hiked to the Hilton today after class to use the Internet here, since, as far as I can remember from 2 years ago, it’s much faster here than at the Ghion.

The entry below is from my first night in Addis. I hadn’t written about yesterday and today’s class yet. I may add something at the end.

Monday night

So, I’m back in Addis. It’s so much easier to travel to a place like this when you’ve been here before. At least I knew my way around the airport. The people around me looked different than what I expected, though. That’s because a flight came in from Yemen right before mine. At the luggage carousel, I was surrounded by women in black burkas and red, green and yellow headscarves. Quite the contrast, I know. At first, it seems that Ethiopians have this thing with Rasta. But the truth is that it's merely the colors of their flag, and their previous emperor (Haile Selassie) was known as Ras (like Duke) Tafari (his actual name prior to coronation). But when he visited Jamaica, there had been a long drought, and upon his arrival, it started raining. So they decided he had brought the rain, and from there came Rastafari, the religion.

Once I wrestled my luggage off the carousel, I had to try and get it on a crowded conveyer belt again to be X-rayed before I could leave the customs area. There seemed to be maybe 5 male travelers for every 20 women, at least, and the women were feisty, pushing luggage away to get theirs on…

Outside, the arrivals hall had far fewer people than the Nairobi arrivals (though, nowadays, it’s not at all crowded due to the 80% drop in tourism…) In Addis, people have to pay 2Birr to be allowed into the airport. So unless you have to go in, you don’t.

There was a vendor trying to hawk bunches of fake flowers for 20Birr. He also doubled as a taxi agent, asking me time a number of times if I need a taxi. Which I didn’t. I was just walking around to try and find a person with a BGU sign. (I found him an hour later, but I wasn’t concerned. I knew a few others were coming in after me, so he might be late.)

I did find an ATM, which was a pleasant surprise, seeing that I couldn’t find a single, working ATM in Addis during my last visit 2 years ago. But alas, this one was out of order, too. In fact, it didn’t even have a bank logo on. The screen above the ATM had the name of a bank scribbled in magic marker. To get money out of the machine would take some other magic. It simply wasn’t going to happen.

As I was taking in the sights around me, a woman started wailing. Serious wailing, to the extent that pretty much every person in arrivals was watching her. She was with friends who took turns to hug her and console her till she stopped crying. It was a sad sight. I thought she must’ve lost a loved one. It certainly wasn’t tears of joy!

The other 3 students arrived, and with that, Imme, our driver. We walked out into the warm air of Addis and drove through the colorfully-lit streets of the city. Everything seems decorated for their recent millennium celebrations. (Ethiopia doesn’t use the Gregorian calendar like we do. According to the Ethiopian calendar, the year 2000 just arrived in September last year.)

Tuesday morning

I’m heading downstairs for a cup of famous macchiato. Not the Starbucks type. Real Ethiopian coffee. I slept OK once I got up to put my earplugs in. Lots of unfamiliar noises around.

Had a great time visiting with my roommate last night. Bethany’s a 28-year-old pastor from Chicago. Today’s schedule holds mostly introductory stuff, and then a t0ur of the city. Hopefully Bethany and I can find time in there somewhere to look at a nearby guesthouse, which is far cheaper than the hotel where we’re staying… Hopefully that works out!

It’s nice and warm, by the way. Not hot. Just comfortable.

Despite all the excitement of learning new things today, I cannot help but keep thinking of neighboring Kenya and today’s press conference. I’m praying that February 19, 2008 will go down in Kenya’s history as a day that brought peace…

Wednesday evening

Since we’re studying urban ministry models, we had a tour of the city of Addis yesterday. Jember told us about her city. I thought she has to have a real passion for history. She was able to tell us in minute detail about the city, what happened when/where. We drove to the highest hill, to Entoto, to view the city from where Emperor Hailen Selassie’s home was before they moved into the valley and established Addis Ababa. At the end of the 6-hour city tour, we stopped at one last large home that used to belong to one of the rastas (dukes) prior to the Derg (Marxist) era.

Today, it made more sense. I learned that she herself was a niece of the Emperor. I wrote the bit below during the introductory session this morning. Yes, I like to multitask.

MaAfrika, she’s been hailed. Ethiopia’s Mother Theresa. She’s sitting behind a desk that dwarfes her. Her polite smile and soft-spoken demeanor hides what a phenomenal woman Jember is.

Ethiopians call her “Sister Jember,” or Doctor Jember. Not the ordinary nurse, this is. She is the niece of the last Emperor, Haile Selassie I. Her husband, Dr. Hailegiorgis, a man with a PhD in architecture who had designed some of the most phenomenal hotels and parks in Addis, was a descendent of another monarch, Emperor Menelik II. He was also the mayor of Addis. (Menelik I, it is believed, was the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.)

Their wedding was a royal one that lasted 5 days. But because of them being royal, Dr. Hailegiorgis was imprisoned for 12 years by the Marxist government. While in prison, Jember took her husband 2 meals a day, never allowed to see him. He asked for more food because he was sharing his food with the others in his cell.

Jember, herself, was later imprisoned for 5 years. She started a Red Cross training program for inmates and guards, and when she was released, she insisted on being allowed back to complete the training.

Only once everyone in the program had graduated did she leave for England, to be with their children. When her husband passed away from cancer, their sons could not attend the funeral since they’d immediately be drafted into the Marxist army. Their youngest son jumped off the 15th floor of a building to be with his father in death…

Jember returned to Ethiopia and started a program to serve the city in a way that God would want.

It was one of her husband’s dying wishes that Jember be challenged to get a doctoral degree, which she completed in 2001. Part of the D.Div work included compiling a Handbook for Poverty Alleviation through Holistic Ministry.

And so, here we are, learning from a woman who has suffered much, but persisted through it all and is still persisting to bring about change in a country with a federal system that still bears too many resemblances to the former Marxist beliefs.

Tomorrow, we will be visiting the Patriarch, Abune Paulos. He’s a friend of Jember’s, thus the privilege of meeting him. As the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, his position is similar to that of the Pope.

After that visit, we’ll be going to some of the major Orthodox churches. I look forward to learning more.

In case you wonder: The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is indeed the oldest church in Africa after the Egyptian Coptic Church. Many of their traditions come straight from the Old Testament. But they do worship Jesus as the Messiah. In a way, it’s almost like the Messianic Jewish church.

I didn’t bring photos with me to the Hilton. I will try to post photos later this week.

I haven’t been able to read the Kenyan news tonight yet, so I don’t know what’s happening in Kenya. I am desperately praying that things are going well, that there has been a breakthrough in talks.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Why you *might* not hear much from me the next two weeks

For the past 2 weeks, as I've been away from the unrest around our village, I was able to get my studies done (for the most part) in Nairobi. Today, I'm meeting a fellow APU grad at church, and tomorrow, after hopefully finally getting my work permit - it only took 2 years - I'll be off to Addis for 2 full weeks of classes.

When I was in Ethiopia 2 years ago, the Internet connection wasn't the best. But nevertheless, I'm hoping to post updates from the lobby of the Ghion Hotel, where I'll be staying.

However, if you don't hear from me, know that I probably have lots and lots to tell you, but simply cannot get onto the Internet.

In the meantime, please keep praying for Kenya. The next 2 days are critical in the peace process, and we should know by Tuesday what the verdict is on power sharing, and after that, if the people are happy with what has been decided...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

On a *MUCH* lighter note

I've GOT TO tell you the grossest story I've heard in a while. The friends I referred to in my previous post told me last night about one of the more interesting things they've seen in the part of Kenya where they live. (They live in the desert up in the north of the country and work among a nomadic people group.)

Scott told me how he witnessed a man--wait for this--sucking thorns out of a camel's eye! No kidding. You've GOT to read about it on their blog.

Oh, yuck!

But then again, how brilliant! How else would people out in the middle of nowhere get thorns out of a camel's eye?

It kind of made me chuckle to think of a visiting optometry team earlier this year to our village and one of the patients they saw. They had to remove a piece of brick from his eye. It had been there for weeks. That in itself is all but funny. What made me chuckle was the thought of what the optometrists would've done if they were told to use the typical Kenyan methods and simply suck the brick from the patient's eye.

I know, I know. It's a gross thought. But as I've told you before, it helps to laugh at stupid stuff when it seems like the world around you is falling apart.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Just share!

I've been spending time with good friends of mine the past few days in the city. They have three adorable boys, but being kids, there were a few times that they'd get at each other when one of them simply didn't want to share enough with the other two. So, listening to Kofi Annan's press conference this afternoon, I couldn't help but hear the boys' mom's voice in my head, "Boys! Just share!"

Annan was to announce the agreements during the past 2 weeks' peace talks.

Basically, the parties have agreed that
  • they will work on constitutional changes in the next year, and
  • there will be a South-African-style truth and reconciliation commission which will look into the crimes committed as well as into the election itself.
The major issue still remains to be solved, that of power sharing.

The government has been refusing to give up any power. The opposition will not accept this. Nor will the people. In fact, it's very, very scary to read what the people are saying what will happen if the government continues to refuse power sharing. (Just so you know: Iten, the town mentioned in the scary article, is about 20 miles north of our children's home in Ilula... It's starting to make sense now that one mission I'm familiar with is pulling their missionaries out of the Kerio Valley and sending them to parts of the country that have not been directly affected by the post-election events.)

Last night, I was watching a press conference by a very defiant minister of justice, Martha Karua. It was scary to see the attitude of the present government...

The teams from the two parties are to meet with their leaders this weekend. On Monday, Annan will meet with Kibaki and Raila. Condoleeza Rice will also be in town that day to exert more pressure on the leaders, though Karua was saying yesterday that other countries should stop telling the Kenyan government how to run their country... On Tuesday, the two teams will reconvene. That's when the rubber will hit the road. By Tuesday, we should know if things are going to get worse before they get better.

Thank you for caring about the future of this country, but more so, about the future of our children.

Please join me in praying for a miracle between now and Tuesday! Let's pray that the men would step aside, for the good of their country, and give up some power by sharing.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

To think about

As of this morning, there seems to be no real new news on the peace talks... Annan announced yesterday that a deal has been made. The government immediately came out saying no, they've not agreed to a "grand coalition" government. So we're waiting to hear. The people in the IDP camps are waiting. Neighborhoods are waiting. Some reports even talk of militia training in neighboring countries, in case they're not happy with the outcome of the talks. No matter how you slice it, things still don't look too good.

My class starts on Tuesday, and I'm truly looking forward to what I'll be learning. Much of the reading this far has given me new insight on some of the issues behind the issues.

Here's something that caught my eye in the book I'm currently working through. Think about this:

Economics that promote the exploitation of the poor and unfortunate as a means to accrue power and wealth for the privileged will inevitably lead to a politics of oppression. Wealth so gained must be protected, either by law or by violence, from those from whom it has been wrested. Thus politics is inevitably enlisted to secure that protection. It is that dynamic most clearly at work in the story of King Ahab of Israel. (p 56)

It is also the dynamic most clearly at work in the story of Kenya.

What we do about these dynamics, though, depends on how we understand our call as Christians. And so, today, my studies are focusing on our understanding of the powers and principalities at work in this city and country in order to more effectively minister to those around me. By no means to I think I'd "get it" today. It's a journey of understanding. A long journey, too. But it leads to freedom. Victory. Hope.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mixed Messages

Things are truly starting to look up in Kenya. However, despite last week ending with promises of a power-sharing agreement to be announced this week, this is the news from the weekend.

Odinga has given off mixed messages in recent days, telling supporters on Saturday that Kibaki "must step down or there must be a re-election - in this I will not be compromised."

Two days earlier, he indicated he would not insist on Kibaki's resignation, saying "we are willing to give and take."

On Friday, the former UN secretary general Kofi Annan struck an optimistic note after mediating negotiations between the two sides, and Odinga's own political party said a power-sharing agreement was in the works. Annan said he hoped to complete work on a settlement early this week.

But Odinga returned Saturday to the themes that have rallied supporters, repeating a comparison of which he is fond: "You cannot steal my cow, and I catch you red-handed, and then expect me to share the milk."

In Odinga's stronghold in western Kenya, his supporters have threatened to burn down his farm and a large molasses factory his family owns outside Kisumu if he returns as anything less than president.

And this article reports on the same event from the weekend, where Raila was speaking at a funeral.

Kibaki "must step down or there must be a re-election — in this I will not be compromised," Odinga shouted in East Africa's common language of Swahili.

One can only hope and pray that Annan can help the two parties this week to reach an agreement, and that they'd actually stick to that to which they've agreed.

I'm still very curious to see what's going to happen when the 300,000+ displaced people start returning to their homes. Some say they won't return. Other speak of returning.

The way forward is a long one yet.


My friend Andi wrote this story.

Do yourself a favor. Read it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

100 Degrees of Separation

Today, it's -25F in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where many of my friends live.
And it's 85F where I am in Africa.
That's 100 degrees difference.
That's just about how far I feel from good friends right now.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Cultural Difference

I was reading an article this morning in the Daily Nation. Something that struck me is how the chairman of the electoral commission refuses to resign despite fact that his commission has completely mishandled the election.

It's so different in Asia, where it seems like often, when someone's integrity is being questioned, they resign due to loss of face. Over and over I saw this happening in Taiwan and China, even when one would think it best for a person to hang in there and help their company through a crisis.

But this isn't Asia. TIA. And in Africa, people seem to hold on to positions of power whatever the cost.


I learned a new Chinese word this morning. Junshi. It menas "balance of power." Sounds like something Kenya needs!

Thursday, February 07, 2008


"It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate greed from grievance."

That's a quote from a fascinating book I'm reading on the scramble for Africa's oil.

Though this quote pertains to the effects of the oil business in Nigeria, it fits perfectly in terms of the crisis which is continuing to unfold in Kenya.

Mosquito Nets, and the Year of the Rat

I have a love-hate relationship with mosquito nets. Never had to use one before coming to Kenya. (It would've been good to have one in Taiwan, but it just wasn't part of life there.) I don't mind using them at my home. I sleep in a double bed, so there's plenty of space to get away from the net. But where I am now, I'm in a single bed. So I won't put the thing down. It's simply too stifling! But because I don't have my net down, I can't have my window open. Which is equally stifling. I'm complaining about something really minor, I know. So I opened the window since the light is finally turned off. Hopefully, the mozzies won't find me here. :)

Today is Chinese New Year's day. It's the Year of the Rat.

I often miss many aspects of my life in Asia. During Chinese holidays such as this, I miss Taiwan even more. But I don't miss New Year's traffic on the island.

To my Taiwan friends: Gong xi fa tsai!

Have lots of amazing Chinese food on my behalf!

Random thoughts

I haven't been blogging much lately. I didn't want to offend anyone while I was in the village, since our ministry serves people from all groups, and I know that there are some individuals in Kenya who do in fact read my blog.

But the past few days, I've thought much about what indeed is happening. I've listened to wise people talk about the issues, saying, among many, many things, that the Kenyan church has failed drastically. I've prayed and sensed God say, "What Kenya needs is a revival, not just peace."

And though it might be a very strange thing to do at this stage, I've watched, Shooting Dogs, a movie about the genocide in Rwanda. Some colleagues told me I absolutely had to see it. It's not the best movie to see right now. There's so much I can relate to. But there's so much I hope I never understand, even after having been to Rwanda and the genocide museum. What I do know is that man is capable of much evil.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Much-needed laughter

I wrote this on Friday night but never posted it...

I had told you that yesterday was a really tough one, but that I had been to town and picked up mail - a care package or 3 (for Christmas). One of these had some card games in, so tonight we all had dinner at David's house and we played Phase 10. It provided some much-needed moments of really good laughter. Not at the game itself, really. Just random stuff.

So we learned a few things about each other tonight. Some things, we already knew. Some were new. Some are as a result of the bad stuff (can't think of a more effective euphemism right now) happening around us.

I joked about making a list for the blog. And because my little sister teases me about my lists, I'll go ahead and make one, regardless.
  • Allison gets quiet in stressful situations. She seems calm as a cucumber.
  • And she has this unique gift of regular burping. It has nothing to do with stress or calmness. It's genetic, she says.
  • She may not like me telling the whole world about this gift, but typical of Miss Calm, you wouldn't really be able to tell. She'd be calm about it.
  • She's really very much a lady. Don't let the burping habit fool you.
  • Michelle used to be a ballet dancer.
  • And an ER nurse.
  • Between her and Juli, they have some really funny ER stories to tell.
  • Maybe the stories aren't that funny. But we thought they were. Maybe it's because of where we are right now.
  • Juli also used to work in the ER.
  • Being a nurse in rural Kenya is very, very different from being a nurse in a nice American hospital.
  • There are infinite reasons why that's true. But it doesn't mean the Kenyan option's always worse. It's amazing what Kenyan nurses get to do.
  • Michelle has a hard time getting rid of sentimental stuff. Like the dried roses from her wedding. Despite there being no room for it in her inn.
  • She's very competitive at games, though.
  • So much so that you may have to go through debt-counseling after playing Monopoly against her.
  • Not that we'd know. We've never played Monopoly in Kipkaren.
  • But Michelle has confessed that she's really that competitive.
  • (She didn't use the counseling analogy, though.)
  • Adele can get pretty mean during Phase 10 and skip competitive people like Michelle more times than is fair to be picking on one person.
  • But Adele isn't normally mean.
  • I could say lots of nice things about Adele. But that wouldn't be fair.
  • Adele likes to be fair.
  • Though she knows life simply isn't always fair.
  • Juli has picked up a strange habit since things got bad in Kenya of saying words she wouldn't usually say.
  • Not really a bad word. Just a no!-Juli-didn't-just-say-that-type word.
  • Nothing that would make you question whether or not she's a really passionate follower of Christ.
  • But it's a completey involuntary reaction to what's unfolding around us.
  • Juli has a term for that. She can give it a fancy medical label.
  • Because she knows what to call all kinds of conditions that Adele has no clue about.
  • Only Michelle really understands. Since she's a FNP, too.
  • Maybe Allison also understands the fancy terms. But she doesn't tell.
  • Allison is very honest. She actually confessed to accidently putting down a "run" instead of a "set" while she was already on the next round. And then voluntarily redid the previous phase. So it's fair.
So, we played for a long time. An entire game of Phase 10. Not the shortened version. Juli was behind the entire time. But then she won. Which really made all of us feel good, I think, seeing the underdog win.

Strange what makes us laugh these days.

If we wouldn't laugh, we'd be crying. A lot. We've done some of that.

Friday, February 01, 2008


I had a very hard day. Was in town for stuff, and managed to pick up Christmas packages that were waiting for me at the wonderful Posta Kenya. Just now, I got time to really look at everything. There were some DVDs from one friend, card games, some table cloths that kids had signed for me. And Christmas cards from 4th graders. Most of them are pretty much the same, "Merry Christmas, Miss Adele." But one was taped close with lots and lots of snowflake stickers.

"Open Christmas!" it said on the outside. I didn't think I'd have to wait till Christmas 2008, so I opened it. There were two dollar bills inside, folded into small squares.

It really made me smile.

Can't make out the boy's name for the life of me. He doesn't have the best penmanship. But he has a sweet heart.

I do appreciate the other gifts, by the way. I'm tempted to watch one of the DVDs now.