the itsy bitsy spider

“The eggs are hatching!” Rachel shrieked as she took the dozen out of the fridge. Indeed, they were cracked, but also unbreakable….they were frozen. I turned the freezer too high. I pulled the four from the top shelf that weren’t frozen to prepare Roll Kuchen (a mennonite doughnut). Served with watermelon, this is a sweet treat. Turns out I forgot the eggs on the back counter, because Rachel and I were furiously frying the roll kuchen for the new friends playing soccer with the girls outside. So theoretically, I served each a piece of bannock. And to my surprise the mandaazi recipe (african quick bread) is almost identical to the roll kuchen. Every culture has a sweet fried bread!

For breakfast I attempted the bag of quick porridge oats. Yikes, it’s less favourable than nestle baby food. Nestle does know how to make dried milk powder though. The kids actually love it. That’s good, because other than the UHT variety, it’s their only option. As for other dairy products, margarine doesn’t melt the same here as it does back home, more like heated marshmallow. The cheddar cheese was too bitter. I asked Agnes if her kids liked it; indeed they did. She couldn’t understand why our lot wouldn’t. And I guess if we’re running out of eggs, we can always follow the wandering, wild chickens back to their homes.

Jim gave us a tour of the hospital, each ward a separate small building connected by sidewalks. Pediatrics ward and Maternity ward sitting kitty corner. Male and female surgical ward separate. Jim was on his way back to resuscitate a fellow who had overdosed on pesticides. Earlier in the day I was correcting Zach for licking his hands sprayed with Deep Woods. I can’t imagine a jug of it.

We were beckoned by a few families sitting outside Pediatrics, wanting to touch Zachary, and even asking for a photo together. The ten month old, Noelle, a sweet little soul, looked as tiny as a five month old. Gwendetta, two years old, looked much younger, much smaller than Zachary. Even the mothers were amazed at Zach’s age. Hannah didn’t understand their giggles, but I assume it was their delighted curiousity, as much as we are curious about them.

Jim is playing soccer with our kids and the neighbour kids. “Neighbour” because some of them come from a long distance away. A girl Madelyn’s size was playing soccer with her baby sibling strapped on her back. Many kids visit throughout the day, some speak english, but all play ball. Hannah’s been asking if we could go shopping, so she can buy a pair of shoes for one of the kids, not because he’s shoeless, rather because his shoes are badly worn. We’ll leave as many clothes and shoes and toys as we are able. To think of all that we own back home, and these two soccer balls bring so many children to our door.

Zach doesn’t want to sleep by himself, actually he never has, but there’s more of an urgency now.  The bugs are bugging him. Before bed, I squashed a big spider with my facial cream jar, with a big crunch. With the light on before bed, he could be on guard for them, and ask if I would kill them. After a half hour, I decided to turn out the lights. As he cuddled with his blankie, he looked up and said, “mom, you good”. Then an hour later, because he still wasn’t sleeping, I took him to my bed. Middle of the night, he says to me, Mom, move over, not enough room!


6 thoughts on “the itsy bitsy spider

  1. Not sure how you learned to upload the photos but I am living this extra. Pictures really are worth a thousand words but the words are very enjoyable themselves!

  2. Have been loving the posts. It makes us homesick. So glad you are enjoying your time thus far! The “lot of you” are in our prayers every day! Made us smile to read that the power was out when you arrived in Kapsowar…somehow that is a fitting welcome to life in Kenya! Much love, the Schumachers

    • Now the water is out! Edna gave us a big pail of water for the weekend. Despite the tropical geography and evening rainshowers, we must mind our water consumption. Some things really are familiar luxuries in Canada…ironic that we have more water in semi-arid Kamloops than tropical Kenya.

      • Check the tank valve. Sometimes they turn the valve off that brings water into the tank. Happened to us a few times. Rainy season should be soon if I remember correctly.

  3. We think of you often, and Faye has been wondering at what point in your journey you are – it has been good to keep pace with you here. I am really enjoying experiencing Africa vicariously through your blog and am glad you’re settling into the pace of life there and having so many rich experiences (not that I expected anything less).

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying it! It is more than I expected, and in some ways, not as easy as I expected, but definitely more rewarding than I expected. Glad to have you along…

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