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Monday, July 21, 2014

Lasts and Leaving

Last hikes with Julia (note that the "lasts" in this post are because Julia is leaving.  We will be back in Kijabe after we take her to the States, working at least another year here):

And playing with the panorama feature as we took the dogs along the railroad last night.  Today the kids did an all-day hike with another family while we worked in the hospital, bushwhacking up to the high ridge road.  And they have the scratches to prove it.

Last decisions, throwing things into trunks that stay and trunks that go, tossing clothes, lingering over memories like athletic letters:

Last meals with team, Sunday at Bethany's and Monday at Massos.  Ali looks like he can't take anymore lasts.

Last Sunday brunch.  Last AIC church service.  Last meals at home.
Last run on Barns trail.  Julia quite patiently plodding along with me.

 Last days of work, so this was a treat.  Mary who survived Guillan Barre, and a long ICU stay, came back to show us she is WALKING and smiling and about to resume school.  I was on call the night she crashed, and was the one who intubated her.  I made the decision to give her a tracheostomy, and cared for her during long weeks.  We so rarely get to see the kids later, back almost to normal after weeks of paralysis.  A bright spot in a week of too many deaths.

Below is the chaos in casualty as I left tonight, the bustle of our excellent staff receiving 13 victims of a military lorry rolling over.  No one was too interested in Pediatric help so I got out of the way pretty quickly, but it seems only one needed surgery and hopefully all will recover.

Work is continuing to the last minute.
Tonight I finished the last work on three scientific posters and one oral presentation our AIC Kijabe Paediatrics team will present at an International Congress of Tropical Paediatrics meeting in August.  I hate to miss it, but I'm thankful for the research we've been able to pull off, and hopeful the ideas will spur better care for kids in Kenya and generally in Africa.

 And so the lasts build up to the leaving.  Tomorrow evening we will pile in a taxi and head to the airport. A week of family vacation and then a month of moving and settling and greeting and thanking.  We start at the Rabenold/Letchford wedding in PA, then to Charlottesville to sort Luke into an apartment for medical school, then almost a week in WV where my Dad was from to work on an old farmhouse he left us that we're fixing up as a home base now that half of us are stateside, then Charlotte NC to see my mom and sister, then a quick jaunt back to Charlottesville for Luke before Julia's International Orientation starts in Durham.  Once she's settled, we have a couple days with my family again, then north to Dulles where Jack heads to Kenya and Scott and I to CA to see his parents.  From CA to CO for Caleb's parents' day weekend, then PA again for Serge meetings the first week of September.  A visit to our main supporting church, Grace, and then we fly back to Kenya September 8.  We're staying 14 places in 5 weeks in the States.

Our focus this trip is family:  seeing parents who have had health challenges this year, settling two kids into new universities and seeing one who has been through a lot.  We'll see a few of you who support us, but that will mostly come next year when we take a longer furlough.

Would you please pray for us?

  • A blessedly restoring week together with Jack, Julia, and Luke, that we would have memorable meals and talks, that we would love each other.  I so wish Caleb could come. It will be a reminder that even on vacation, the world is not as it should be.
  • Smooth travel, connections, finding our hosts, safely moving every few days to new places.
  • God's provision.  Two generous gifts have erased our deficit for now.  So grateful.  We are needy people in every way, and we believe in pouring out more than we receive.  So there you have it.
  • A healthy embrace of America for Julia and Luke as they begin new phases of life (college and med school) and a healthy connection to remain to their home in Africa.  For sweet deep friendships, and thought-provoking classes, and God's leading in their lives.
  • That we would be a blessing to those we visit, particularly our parents.
Thanks!  Now back to packing.


Jennifer Ronco said...

Praying for all of your needs!

Kelli Clifford said...

Have a great trip back to the States, Jennifer. Blessings on you and your family and prayers for all of the firsts that await you all.