In the last week we have:
- Prayed and wrung our hands over sickness and injury in our kids far away.
- Had a break-in our last night in our 6-week guest house stay. Clever and well-prepared thieves cut security cables and forced open locked suitcases to steal both our computers and all Scott's camera equipment, a decade of investment. Though they rifled through everything else, they left inconspicuously with a suitcase so we are grateful that back up hard drives including thousands of photos were left behind. However you aren't hearing much from us. I am typing this with thumbs on a phone. Doing our jobs with no computer is not easy. The tenuous cellular connection makes it even harder.
- Moved, more rapidly than anticipated into our nearly finished home, which we love. But moving is a very disorienting process. Trunks of junk ccovered in a year's dust from storage. Realizing we don't have pillows. Or blankets. Or food. We are making progress but it has been exhausting.
- Woken up the morning after being robbed to very unexpected election news and a national outcry. Watched coverage of post-election violence. Listened to people poised to abandon the American democratic system. Listened to gracious concessions and welcome by President Obama. Listened to the younger generation's feeling of betrayal and fear. Listened to Kenyan friends wonder what will become of immigrants they depend upon. Listened to others feeling hopeful about abortion. Or smug about winning. Again, exhausting. More on that when I can use all ten fingers to type.
- Been adopted by a puppy. Yes our first morning in this house, a whining little 5-6 week old puppy followed us home. It's our job and heart to notice the helpless and respond to cries. We thought we knew a family who would want her, so we cleaned her up and fed her and in all our spare time moving and working, got her immunized. Only to have the news that the family can't take her. So here we are, with a baby that cries and pees on the floor and wants to be fed and held. But she is cute, and has been a bond with our landlord's son.
- Dealt with leaks, deliveries, mistakes, broken appliances, workmen, and all the usual trials of making things work in a broken place.
- Walked through daily ward rounds and work, preemies dying, and all the usual struggles of a place like our new hospital.
So yes, let's try not to repeat this week.
On the other hand...
On the other hand...
- Scott celebrated his birthday by hiking Mt Longonot with Bethany and me, four hours up and around the crater, breezes and sunshine and conversation. And raising money for Friends of Naivasha to hire nurses in outlying clinics, to ease the overwhelming burden of patients (about a baby an hour born here, around the clock, 365 days a year.) A beautiful day and a worthy cause.
- Friends rallied to join us in celebration, including a cake and sponsoring our walk.
- Our new neighbors have been friendly and helpful.
- My Paeds colleague said goodbye for a 2-month leave, but in the process warmly affirmed my partnership with her, which meant a lot. And an acquaintance at church told me how much his aunt, admitted to Scott's care, appreciated his effort. Little affirmations that mean a lot.
- Two of our kids went to Herculean efforts to intersect over the weekend. When you are far and inaccessible, it is very encouraging when kids try so hard to be family to each other.
I suppose the take home message of the week is, life does not proceed smoothly along the paths we would choose. But a caring, supportive, connecting community makes all the hard parts survivable.
Praying that those who feel desperately disenfranchised by the election find power and meaning in caring together. And those who feel hopeful for their agenda and priorities will look around to lend a hand and understand those who do not. And that the insanity of riots and fear will give way to clarity and love. And that we will survive this hard week and, in the words of Luke 21:19 in yesterday's reading:
19By your endurance you will gain your souls.