Some blessings today.
- My mom spent the night in the basement and Luke was under curfew confined to his dorm, but neither experienced loss or injury in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. May the spirit of community and can-do permeate the areas most affected. My favorite radio news story this morning was of reverse-looting in NYC--a man returning scattered items from the street to a broken shop window.
- ACACIA. Enough said, but I'll expound. We've loved her since she was an embryo. It is a privilege to stand on the sidelines in awe of a 15 year old girl growing in grace. I love her increasing confidence as a person, a student, a basketball player, a friend, a believer. We celebrated her birthday with gifts, meals, friends, and a nostalgic video sent from her real family in Sudan.
- The young men and women who come to Kijabe to train. Today was the final day of the year for the Clinical Officer Interns. On "T"'s final rotation in nursery he improved tremendously in his clinical skills, but I also came to appreciate his heart for patients, and his reliability. A good guy. We had a formal prayer/speeches/chai/goodbye for him in the nursing staff room this morning.
- Moments of peace in the midst of chaos. Monday I agonized through two deaths. Yesterday there were three very very sick babies admitted within a short period of time, each brought desperately into the nursery with minimal life. The first was COLD (32 degrees C) and damp and listless a few hours after birth at a small clinic, the second was HOT (41.5 degrees C) and shriveled and jaundiced and not breathing a couple of days after birth, and the third was twitchy and lethargic and malformed five days after birth having gone home instead of coming here as referred. I had to call for backup as I organized my team to administer oxygen and push fluids and draw labs and calculate meds, checking back and forth between these babies. There was a moment in the afternoon when all had turned the corner towards life, and I sat down to feed another stable baby whose mother has been in our ICU with serious infections after her C-section elsewhere. There are few things more therapeutic in the midst of beeping monitors and gasping babies and needles and blood and stress than holding a baby and helping him suck milk from a syringe.
- My kids. I shouldn't say too much about our NHS sagas, but for reasons obscure to me my oldest was not offered admission until the last month of his senior year after he already was headed to Yale, the second showed incredible persistence in applying time after time and finally was included also later in his senior year, and the third was rejected her first application too. So when we got an email that Julia was to be inducted today we were happy for her (though the ambivalence of the "in" and "out" remains). She's an all-around servant-hearted hard-working faith-seeking lovely person. Also fun to see her join with Elizabeth C, after we had watched old vidoes of these girls as 3 year olds in Uganda together.
- Swedish meat balls. For equally obscure reasons, perhaps hearing of one of Scott's uncle's deaths this week and remembering visiting the family, I was inspired to cook from the Scandinavian roots I don't really have genetically. Swedish meat balls, always a staple of Scott's grandmother and mom. Lefsa. Only my meatballs were crumbly and my lefsa amoeba-shaped and I was about to give up on the whole enterprise but Scott kept up my spirits and it actually tasted amazingly yummy. You can't go wrong with sauteing in butter, and dipping in ketchup.
- Football. Jack scored a goal in the first thirty seconds of their crucial game this week, which his team went on to win 3-2. He's been sick and so I'm very thankful for that moment of brilliance, a boost of resilience. The night he was sickest we watched Man U together in a thrilling controversial win over Chelsea. This morning we talked to Caleb whose intramural soccer team lost in the finals in an equally controversial match (his goal disallowed long after it was scored for suspicious reasons). Still that makes them 2nd in the 40-squadron competition.
- UGANDA: gifts from friends, pictures and stories. All that will have to be Scott's to tell, but his weekend was worthwhile and eventful and bonding and more fun than he expected to have going to meetings! I'm glad we're all back together.
- Babies, and life, which just holds on and breaks through.