a good friday

When I came home at eleven this morning, I heard a comment from Rachel that nearly made me fall over: Hannah is the best babysitter in the world! Well that was a relief. Hannah directed morning grooming, breadmaking, flash cards, even journal writing suggestions for the two hours that I was doing rounds with Jim.

Jim took me to the male medical ward and pediatrics to do rounds with four of the Georgia medical students. Inbetween cases to quell the boredom, he quizzed them on American presidencies and history. Occasionally one of the students would pull out a clever question like, what is the cube root of 625? And I would be the one first to answer, well, it’ll have to be an awfully big number….AIY, reveal my ignorance.

The baby with kwashikor (protein malnutrition) sat so perfectly still, upright, eyes staring blankly, but beautiful as a chocolate button. I could take that little one home.  The pediatric windows wide open on this overcast, cold to the bone kind of day….children dressed in many layers, and several kids admitted for pneumonia. I had to suck back the tears as we reviewed the five year old girls’ case. She had recently come out of a coma, still on oxygen and intravenous fluids. She was on the mend, but a mother’s heart doesn’t like to see a child so close in age to her own in such a state. I have always remarked that it’s awfully amusing how much knowledge I had as a maternity nurse, teaching new mothers how to care for their babies. I realize that my mother heart knows better how to care for little ones too, and their mamas, after I’ve become a mom myself.

After I came home, we reviewed astronomy, earth landforms, and African biome terminology one last time, and packed it away. We returned our huge stack of books to the tiny library, and gave them our extra books as donation. Then to the market for matches, flour, sugar and eggs. We returned for a short quiet time, then took a taxi ride to Agnes’ community for a final visit. As we drove up the steep, rutted, cliffside road/path, I remarked to Agnes that if we were in Canada, I would never take my car up this road, not even a 4×4, otherwise we’d likely have someone pushing from behind to get us up this hill. One minute later, the three passengers in the back of the car were pushing us up the muddy mountain hill….four times they repeated this!!

We wanted to make a quick visit to the recently created Christian school, then drop off a few things to MamaTeresa. On our walk to Agnes’ home, we met MamaTeresa, who had just been at Agnes’ home. Agnes had hired MamaTeresa to pull weeds in her garden. She was providing her friend employment so she could purchase beans for her family.

My original intent for this visit was to help Agnes weed the millet garden she and her son had planted. But in Africa, time is not your own, and we didn’t have nearly as much time as I’d hoped actually weeding, but loads more time chatting with everyone along the way. We did have a half hour to savour gardening on a steppe…aiy. The very large gardens are planted on the sides of mountainous hills: just attempting balance is hard enough. But this task I could happily pursue in Africa or Canada…weeding is good thinking time.

A quick trip back to the station and we had dinner waiting for us at Salome’s home (hospital administrator)…chapati, green crumbs (stewed lentils), roasted potatoes, coleslaw, stewed sheep. Downhome, hearty Kenyan cooking. Blessings and words of encouragement ended our busy day, encouragement to come again soon, stay longer, and follow God’s leading in everything we do. A good day.


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