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Sunday, June 16, 2013

The boys are back

Luke and Caleb are home.  One week ago this evening we drove in the darkness to Nairobi and elbowed our positions in the jostling crowd of taxi drivers thronging the arrivals door, straining when it opened for any glimpse of our boys.  Then, there they were, in the flesh.  Joy.

Since then our days have been full and good.  Luke was joined by Millie from his African Studies program at Yale; together they are working this summer on a research project examining the geographical distribution of spina bifida cases in relationship to malaria prevalence. So their first week involved some orientation, rounds, lectures, meetings, setting up computer programs and data sheets, meeting people.

Caleb has only nine days in Kijabe, plus three at the coast with friends from his graduating class to help a family who are working there.  He arrived quite ill with amoebic dysentery, compliments of a five-day trip to Morocco with Luke on the way.  They had a blast hiking up the tallest mountain in North Africa . . only Caleb had to ride a donkey down to preserve his knee.  Anyway as they sampled snails and schwarma and mint tea and churros, Caleb swallowed too many bugs.  So his first few days were spent getting tested and examined and taking drugs and resting, while we tried to keep up with the rest of work and life.  He's much better now.

Here are all four kids in the yard this morning after church:

 And here is basically what we've done this week:  watched games (my favorite relaxation pastime), made nice dinners, talked, listened, ate, talked some more.

Best times ever:  listening to Caleb play guitar and soaking in some vitamin D.

Dinner at the Maras with our team!

This was a father's day grill-out in the bush . . 

Jack's U15 Rugby 7's team entered a tournament with 14 teams (about 150 boys) and won the second-tier top prize, plus Jack was named one of the two MVP's for the whole tournament (voted by the Kenyan referees as I understand it).  

Julia and Acacia's Volleyball Tournament was actually canceled due to the lack of other teams showing up, but they played a fun morning of 2 on 2 games.

Riley and Jane with their new pet bunnies.

Pizza party number two, with Letchfords and Newtons.

So it has been a full week, with fires and movies and card games at night, baking and eating and walking in the days.  And the precious moments of touching, hugging, hearing, seeing these boys.  Millie has also been a delight, and I like having 8 at the table.  But there is still a sense of lurking sorrow, the inevitability of this all ending that I try to ignore in my heart.  And the tension of wishing Caleb's days were not work-days and school-days for the rest of us.  The sword that pierces the mother's heart, even in joy.

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