Writing is in my blood, the desire to process, to share, to explore ideas, to shape memory. But for the last month I have been unable, because the fullness of life itself has been too varied, to rapid, to overwhelming to leave time for thinking about it. Christmas and New Years were, for us, a discipline of living in the present moment.
The week before Christmas all our kids except Caleb arrived in Kenya, Luke brought Abby to brighten up our family, and we all went to a house on the coast of the Indian ocean that we've rented several times before. Warm waves, fresh tropical fruits and fish, games of bananagrams, walks in the sand, snorkeling, it was a glorious four days. Then we spent three days camping in Tsavo National park, celebrating Christmas in the wilderness, our stockings strung between palm trees and our tents overlooking a muddy river populated by crocodiles and hippos. Dust and driving, elephants and gazelles, sunsets and sunrises, Christmas traditions over the campfire.
That week of true holiday, in the holy-days sense of turning away from normal time and giving focus to the presence of God in tradition and in each other . . was truly refreshing. We don't want to hide the fact that we take vacation, good restorative adventurous memorable days, boosted by the generosity of our moms.
Back in Naivasha we returned to work between Christmas and New Years.
Then we flew to London and bused on to Battle (site of the 1066 conquest of England by the Norman King William) for two weeks of Serge work--first a conference for all the team leaders around the world, then our usual semi-annual meeting of the Area Directors and Executive Leadership Team. Seeing our East and Central Africa group brought us much joy as we ate meals together and held endless sidebar meetings. We prayed specifically and earnestly for so many people and issues.
As the meetings ended, we met Scott's mom Ruth at the airport in London for a two week visit, and flew back to Kenya together. We've been back to work but also entertaining Ruth: seeing patients, having meetings, teaching lectures, making phone calls, interspersed with introducing Ruth to friends, going on a weekend overnight to a lovely lodge and driving in a game park seeing animals and birds.
At the airport
For once, Ruth can enjoy OUR cooking
Watching the sunset in Naivasha
Game driving at Lake Elementaita
So, in short, since mid-December we've been immersed in the lives of our kids, our teams, and one of our moms. Meaning very little space in our conscious days has been left for writing. Thanks for coming back to our site, and reading this far. Thanks for the Christmas cards! And we're back.