The sixth graders took a trip to the William Holden Wildlife Foundation Education Center below Mt. Kenya. This is their annual sixth grade safari as they celebrate ending primary school before heading off to junior high. I was able to go with Annie as the medical provider for the trip. It was a privilege, and I enjoyed getting to know all of her classmates a little bit better. During the trip the kids learn about conservation, go on a small safari, have devotional lessons, and most of all celebrate their free time and the sixth grade year completed. It was a lot of fun!
I’m doing a lot of thinking about eyes lately. The most graphic reminder is our precious daughter, Sarah. Look at her poor eye!
This pitiful looking burn is brought to you by a bug, ironically named “Nairobi Eye.” If you crush them or even, as Sarah did, flick them off you, they release an acid that burns the skin. We have had a major infestation on campus, as well as a few around our house. I washed one down the shower drain the other morning, as I did not want to bathe with it. Sarah was playing outside with her friends, climbing on playground equipment, and one of these beetles dropped on her face.
Although I feel a wave of sympathy every time I look at her, I keep reminding myself to be so thankful that she did not get the acid inside her eye.
I am leading the ninth grade through The Chosen by Chaim Potok. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who have not read it (you should!), but in the first few chapters the narrator wonders if he might lose his eye. I was telling my classes that my mom lost her right eye and functioned very well for twenty years more! It is a brilliant metaphor in the book for the character’s awakening, for his experience of seeing things with new eyes, reconsidering all his assumptions. It makes me wonder what I need to re-see, what I assume is truth that needs to be upended. Living in another country will do that to you– challenge your assumptions, so that you can see better.
The best recreational activities in Kijabe, just as they were in Peru, are biking and hiking. Peter came on the 4×4 with a bike wrench so that I could put the screw back in and ride home. If it had not been for some school kids walking home from school along the road who found my screw and delivered it to me I would have been without a working bike until I could find a replacement part. I am thankful for honest Kenyan children. As I called home to get help, I felt them sneaking up behind me and touching my white skin. I hope they liked the way my sweaty white skin felt.
Thank you Stan Kwan for the photo. I am taking advantage of standing uphill in this photo to maintain height advantage.
From our friend Samantha’s blog on life her in Kijabe come these good words.
I don’t pretend to know why one child dies and another one doesn’t. I don’t have any great answers for that giant theological dilemma. But I do know that Paul carried on. He survived great peril, and horrible conditions, and despicable things done to him. Yet he carried on, full of joy and praising God for his trials. So I’m carrying on. And in the midst of carrying on, I am finding that I’m beginning to love this place and love these people and this culture. As crazy as these first 6 months have been, it’s starting to feel like home here…
She wrote a long post about her first six months working at Kijabe. Samantha and I share a job, splitting between maternity and the out patient department, so her experiences are much like my own. If you want a glimpse into the life of a doctor in their first year of service in Kijabe, you can read about it at Sam Goes to Kenya – The First Six Months.