the three R’s: thRow it, buRn it, and buRn it

Poor kiddos look like they have a case of measles. They don’t. It’s bug bites. Agnes will get us mosquito nets for our beds. I think, mostly, those are necessary in malaria territory, which we are not. Someone had said before we left that I should bulk up on Vitamin B12, then the bugs won’t like our blood. I have been using B complex for a long time and I have no mosquito bites.

We went to the market for Jim’s OR shoes again. Someone adopted them. Turns out, no more size 12 available. Jims says he’s feeling a bit like a medical student, learning so many new things. He watched a urethroplasty today. Not a surgery he typically participates in, but as there happens to be three surgeons at the hospital at present, he has some interesting opportunities.

Zach practices his medical skills at home. He pulls out my stethoscope, with the bell in the wrong direction over my heart, and tells me, “you gonna live”. Phew, I was worried. He was worried going to bed because of another insect. Jim put the praying mantis outside. I’m quick on eliminating spiders, but the indoor crickets don’t worry me.

Did I tell you about the smell of Africa? Like a continuous bonfire. Off the plane I thought it smelled sweet. The smokiness offends my senses, occasionally overwhelms me. What would it be like to sit over a fire making chai tea, or stewed sheep? It’s hard for me to throw away the plastics, tin, cardboard, and paper. I told Agnes that we wash many things to put them into recycling, so they can reuse the material for something new. She wasn’t familiar and reassured me that it was okay, they burn everything and I don’t have to waste my time washing things here.

We went to the local church yesterday…it seems to me there a lot of similiarities in North American format, but the harmonizing is from heaven. I didn’t understand a word they sang, but I could sit there for two hours without complaint. I recognized a couple words: watoto means children, mazuri means fine, and Kristo means Christ. When walking home, a drunk fellow grabbed Hannah’s hand to say hello, then wouldn’t leave our side, despite Jim’s insistence. Finally at the station gates, he pushed him away with a firm go.

Things I would bring with me again: paper towel. Okay, I know it’s not environmental to use, but you try sopping up milk on the floor with nothing. I’d also bring a decent potato peeler, mine is dull. And a whisk. Even I am surprised that I am living without my Tassimo, or french press. The instant coffee is so good. I won’t lie though, I’m looking forward to a latte at Blenz.



6 thoughts on “the three R’s: thRow it, buRn it, and buRn it

  1. I’m making a list of all the stuff to send but I think you may have to extend your stay to await its arrival! Not sure if that suits your plans.

    • If you’re sending stuff, will you send a vegetable peeler and a whisk? And more mosquito nets. Oh, and we’re running out of deet. (while Madelyn was scooping cookie dough onto the pan, Rachel was a foot away spraying DEET on her FEET on the CUPBOARD. Need I say more…

  2. Reading the blog daily and the memories flood back. How quickly the station compound becomes a home and how over the multiple times we have been there the water and power outages are still the so frequent. Cell phones are new and the internet connections are now so much better. The medical work still makes you feel like a very poorly trained generalist (yet we are often surprised by how much we know) and the other missionary families sometimes make you feel like a spiritual midget in that we are so addicted to comforts. Plenty of needs but just enough hope to make the ongoing effort to help worthwhile. The hospital is an organized chaos but every few days a dramatic recovery makes the days of suboptimal responses fade away. The mystery of new African friends makes you think you will never understand them but daily you are reminded they struggle with many similar things that you do. Praying for you daily. You will dream about Kapsowar when you get home. I know because I think about that far away place nearly every week.


    • I can only imagine how pathetic I might appear worrying about my freezer of meat, when I do have beans available. Or that I might even have to transport water from the river. We’re told repeatedly that we are privileged in Canada, and sometimes want to avoid the truth of it, because somehow it makes us feel bad. We don’t need to feel bad; it’s just the reality we’re born into. I agree with Laura that we have a responsibility to use our resources for the less privileged too. But all of this speaks to how sad the discontent of our hearts can be when we have everything. This is God’s work though, building in contentment despite our circumstances. (BTW we just got hot water this afternoon again, for the last four days…after days without water, HOT water really does seem like chocolate chips, really nice but not really necessary).

  3. Ahhhh, missing that green front door! You should be able to get a wisk and peeler at Nakumatt in Eldoret. If someone is going in, they should be able to pick it up for you.

  4. oh and I can hear your voice in these posts – I hear your tone – the lilts and pauses and such – I’m really enjoying these:)

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