Sunday, early church, then a flock of RVA/Kijabe station ladies headed to the tea farm in Tigoni for a lesson in Kenyan history and agriculture arranged by Kate D to raise money for forest preservation. The farm's owner, Fiona, told stories of her grandfather who came to Kenya more than a hundred years ago, and made it his home. We learned about tea bushes and plucking leaves and the 24-hour branch-to-tea-bag process which ensures freshness, about oxidation and sorting and politics and regional specialties and the advantages of high-altitude cool-weather slow-growth. When we had toured the fields and a patch of indigenous forest, our hostess served us lunch in the lovely gardens complete with more tea and an amazing lemon mousse. The fun thing is that we now have an actual WHM team: Bethany, Anna, Ann and Jane, Acacia and me (Julia decided to stay home at the last minute because of her heavy load of commitments in the coming week).
This has been a weekend of respite in the midst of heavy work (strike still on !!!), political uncertainties (a grenade thrown into a Nairobi church again today!!), missing Luke and Caleb (deeply and frequently !!), and the slow resettling transition back to life in Africa after my summer retreat (embarrassingly drove on the right (as in not left) side of the road on a rutted empty patch today until two equally slowly moving vehicles headed right towards me and Bethany politely suggested I switch sides, never did that before !!). The rhythm of Sabbath is a rhythm of faith. One that says another day of a bit more study, a bit more cleaning, a bit more exercise or cooking or seeing patients, is not going to make everything OK. That even with loose ends and need, God says to pause.
So Friday evening Scott and I drove out to watch the football and tennis teams play at Greensteds and then have a real date, a fireside dinner for two and overnight in a tasteful luxurious banda overlooking Lake Elementatia. Yesterday I made some really good special food and we had a group of kids over to watch a movie. Today the tea.
Tomorrow it is back to preemies and clinic and ICU protocols and the stress of crowding too many patients into our limited space and hearts.
But for tonight I'm thankful for the respite this weekend has offered.