I am two days late with this post, but Saturday was David’s birthday. We celebrated with just family that day, because Sunday is when the party got going. I took a bunch of teenage red-blooded males to do paintball wars about 45 minutes from our house. The enthusiasm was contagious, the bruises were genuine, and the bravery may have been a little lacking. No one likes a paintball sting!
David is a great kid! He is very aware of injustice, he has an international viewpoint, and he is a good friend to people from many different cultures. He continues to try and do his best in the different circumstances in which he finds himself. It is easy to be proud of David! Scroll through the pictures below for some epic paintball shots! 😉
Annie’s birthday was yesterday! What a great girl. Outgoing, friendly, willing to try new things, a great big sister. We are thankful for all 12 years she has been with us! Happy Birthday Annie! Adventure is out there!
Peter spent last Saturday making a sword all day long. He left the house in the morning and headed to the local duka (Swahili for store) to buy a long piece of steel. Then he went up to Mr. Manning’s house which is actually the 8th grade dorm to use his metal working tools. He spent the rest of the morning until lunch, cutting, sharpening, and refining his blade. Then after lunch he went back in the afternoon and continued to work on the hilt as well as welding on the guard. He has already spent quite a bit of time making throwing knives at Mr.Manning’s dorm. In the process he has learned well how to use several power tools, and he basically does most of the work unsupervised. Sometimes Mr. Manning will help with a more complicated project, such as fashioning the hilt. Peter said it is almost more fun to make the sword than it is to have it when it is done. This is one of the blessings of living in Kenya and especially near Rift Valley Academy. The kids have the freedom to pursue their interests, and they have men and women who want to help them. God is good to us with the community he has given us.
This is the sort of thing that can make your week. On Monday night we were hosting the weekly dessert night. This is a night where the long-term missionaries try and make the short-term volunteers feel welcome in Kijabe. It was the first time we had hosted in a long time on Monday, and every face that came through was unknown. But one big man, with a strong deep voice and a big smile caught our attention. He was looking at our Peruvian pictures, and before long we realized he had been a missionary in Peru. Even better, he had been to Curahuasi. I turned to the kids and said “¡Este hombre conoce Curahuasi!” Their faces lit up and el castellano was filling the house as we all reminisced about our favorite South American country. David could possibly be the “most interesting man in the world”. He was a Peruvian chef who had a television show. He has been a firefighter. And now he is a security expert for Samaritan’s Purse and travels the world doing security assessments. If he ever reads this, he can correct any errors! Between kidnappings, extortions, and latin american television stardom, he has lived a full missionary life. It was a treat to have him in our humble home in Kijabe. We say “¡Bien hecho a David!”
There is so much to say, and words would never do her justice. We love this girl for her smile, her generosity, and her goodness. We celebrated her on Sunday with a birthday party, and the laughs and hugs were frequent and generous. Her actual birthday is today. Welcome to a decade completed! Dear God, than you for Sarah!
A couple of interesting dermatology cases. The first is an older man with AIDS who has developed a cancer that is associated with HIV infection called Kaposi’s sarcoma. I did not ever see it in the United States, but even a Clinical Officer just starting in practice in Kenya can recognize it. They still confirm it with biopsy, but most know it when they see it.
The next is a sad case of a very young boy whose skin is hardening with an autoimmune disease called scleroderma. This is also diagnosed with a biopsy, but when it is as advanced as this case, you know it when you see it. As it progresses you will often have to amputate the affected extremities. I am not sure there is much hope for improvement for this young child.
When we worked at Diospi Suyana Hospital in Curahuasi, Peru we loved our short term volunteers. The first time they came it was nice to get to know them. But then the second or third time they came it was a great treat! We knew them already, and we could rejoin our friendship that was formed previously. And there was something about the sensation that we were not forgotten, and that they were in it with us. We have been fortunate to even visit some of these friends in the US when we have come home. And now we are making an entire new set of short term volunteer friends in Kijabe. I know we will be so glad to see them when they return again in the future. If you want to do short term missions, find your place, and then go. Then go again. You will be a blessing to those who receive you.