Starting the day with a run, a dog, sunrise, birds . . . and my favorite guy.
Who then makes us coffee and frozen fruit/yoghurt/avocado smoothies while we read our Bibles.
Biking to the hospital for rounds, which is not technically always my favorite, but the new interns are a breath of fresh air, and eager to learn. Here we are today in a sit-down teaching time at the canteen for chai. I'm working on a series of core lectures using the Kenya protocols to hone in on the top evidence-based interventions that impact leading causes of under-5 mortality. I do love teaching. This is a "discuss the next step in management with your neighbor" moment.
Grace is definitely a favorite thing, and I need a lot of it, so when a miracle like getting a line in a dehydrated 730-gram 25-week preem occurs after countless attempts, I give the glory to God:
It's not a favorite to see empty beds, and even today many are filling, but the lower patient volume does allow for more teaching time. Still praying for nurses to be paid, and the strike to end.
The other half of our life is supervising 9 teams in 4 countries, so another favorite is when we get team mates to visit us. We've had seven or eight different groups in the last few weeks, most staying a couple of nights, a couple just passing through. That means a full table, and creative sleeping arrangements.
Some, like these summer interns from Nairobi, accompany us to see our work . .
And give us a good excuse to go visit our local game reserve, Crescent Island.
A particularly favorite thing of mine is to see our Serge kids thriving. Life as a third-culture-kid can be very rich, but also carries chronic loss, grief, and stress, always the outsider, anxious for parents in dangerous situations, missing grandparents or former homes. These kids were evacuated from South Sudan in the latest wave of civil war, and I love seeing them blossom in a safer place here in Kenya, expressing their personalities and likes in their new home.
This one just wanted to see zebra after a year in Burundi, and there they are in the background as we took an evening walk.
This one also survived both Uganda and South Sudan, and is now discovering his musical and theatrical talents at RVA. Here he is in the lead male role in "You Can't Take it With You", which we were privileged to see.
Just had to throw this one in for sheer cuteness, as we walked by Maasai herding sheep.
And this third-culture kid sent us a photo as he was driving to Alaska . . . a REAL favorite is watching our own kids branch out into their lives, making hard decisions, taking risks, loving each other. Hearing from them, and SEEING them even if it's just photos, is a very favorite thing.
This one represented the rest of us on a 48-hour break from med school to WV during our annual Aylestock reunion.
This one just completed two semesters of French in six weeks . . and arrives in Kenya tomorrow!!
And this one hasn't posted any non-snap-chat photos of her environmental internship in Jordan, reducing me to stealing a photo from her friend's fb page earlier in the summer, delighting over a baby turtle. So cute, and I don't mean the turtle. Being a mom to these four is a MAJOR FAVORITE THING.
Being an author is also a favorite thing, but generally kind of me-and-my-computer experience. So when I met some fans, I had to celebrate. These dorm parents at RVA are reading the books aloud to these kids, who were almost as excited as I was to take a photo together. A Forest, A Flood, and an Unlikely Star comes out in September!!
As the day draws to a close, reading books is definitely a favorite thing. Yes, I packed this entire stack for my Birthday overnight to Nairobi . . .
Sunsets in Naivasha are definitely a favorite thing.
Even in the midst of a country teetering on chaos, seeing abused and abandoned kids, stressing over finances and outcomes and piles of work, far from most of the people we love most . . . there are many beautiful reminders of God's presence and power and love to carry us through.