Happy Thoughts

Things I’m thankful for this morning:

Trash bags– I found some biodegradable rubbish bin liners (as they call them here) and I’m happy to put them to use!

King Arthur Flour website recipes– try the cinnamon scones

David comes back to Kenya tomorrow!

Lovely memories of the birds, the acacia trees, the sunset on the lake, from a family weekend on Lake Naivasha

The many types of birds who live here that lift our spirits with their carefree flying and jubilant songs

The kindly painter who told me that I made good chai (I nearly doubled the sugar yesterday!)

The friendly joking and laughing of the construction guys working at our house

Bright fires on chilly nights

Will is content with his job and has been commended lately for his teaching

The Lord’s reminder of all the wonderful people (specifically from ACU) who encouraged us to do missions

Sibling pairs who are friends with our girls

New kids coming to school next year and all the possibilities therein

Peter’s enthusiasm for the guitar

Coco soundtrack, especially the Spanish version

Two families who visited this summer– we appreciate you!

Cry, the Beloved Country

The repetition of the phrase “I, the LORD, have spoken!”

Carol truly grandmothering our kids

Each time one of the kids says “Thank you”

Talking to Katherine on the phone

Annie’s braces

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Black and White Casqued Hornbill

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The Shirk girls are over

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Will at work delivering babies

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Annie’s braces

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David on his way to the States nearly a month ago

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Katherine the Great

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The Reids visit us and Hell’s Gate

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New construction at Flamingo House

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Sunset on Lake Naivasha

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Glamping with the girls

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Acacia trees on Lake Naivasha

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The Shewmakers visit and we ascend Mt. Longonot

 

 

 

 

Parental Prayer Request

In a few hours, we will put David on a plane headed to the USA. His grandparents have generously offered to fly him to Dallas to work on his driver’s license, spend time with them, and maybe even make a few college visits. Thanks, Abo and Carol!

His family will miss him though and we’re all a little nervous about this solo international travel. Please pray with us that he will make it safely to London, not fall asleep and miss his connection, and then fly on from London to Dallas without problems. Thanks for praying for all the things, small and large, that we post here.

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The Moments Before

This is what it looks like in the middle of the night right before doing surgery on a woman with an ectopic pregnancy. This mother of three came to our hospital with severe lower abdominal pain, a very fast heart beat, and low blood pressure. When we examined her abdomen it was very tender in the lower pelvic region. We did a quick ultrasound confirming our suspicion that she had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. This is a surgical emergency. I walked quickly to the operating rooms and woke up the surgical staff, but I could not find the anesthetist. It turns out he was trying to help revive a 28 week baby who had been born two days earlier. I found him because the pediatrician called as I was sitting the in the OR and asked me how a different, critical patient in the ICU was doing. This other patient was admitted for severe HELLP syndrome. This is basically a multi-organ failure during pregnancy resulting in anemia, liver failure, clotting failure, and in this patient’s case she had developed blood clots in her lungs. I said she was stable, asking why she would want to know. It turned out this unfortunate woman’s baby had died. My on call anesthesia tech had been helping try to resuscitate the baby. Ari (the pediatrician) wanted to assess how the mother was doing in the ICU before she let her know her baby had died. I ran up to ICU to check on her, and I watched as Ari in the most gentle manner shared the bad news of our sick patient’s baby’s death. I walked quickly back to the OR, scrubbed in and opened up the abdomen of our ectopic pregnancy patient. The pelvis overflowed with blood and clots, but with suction the uterus was seen and the large ectopic pregnancy (this is a pregnancy outside of the uterus) was seen in the area where the fallopian tube enters the uterus. We took care of the dead ectopically positioned pregnancy, started a transfusion for the mother, and then closed up. I went home only to be woken to the news that another patient had a severe perineal tear from her early morning delivery. Back to the hospital I rushed to sew up this bleeding tear in the operating room. Today I have a lighter load, doing lectures in the ICU. I am so glad, because it was a tiring night. Oh, and its my birthday! A great start to year number 49. Yes that means I am 48 years old today. I cannot believe it.

Sophomore Restaurant

At Rift Valley Academy there are projects for each class to build unity as well as to serve the RVA community. One night is called Sophomore Restaurant. All the sophomores and their sponsors (we are some of them) work to plan a menu, advertise, arrange baby-sitting, and then it all comes together in one day while we cook, serve, clean, and entertain our RVA diners. I think it is the funnest thing we have done with the sophomores, and it was fun to watch them all work together to help one another and serve the RVA staff. Allison once again took on cooking responsibilities, and I helped run a small cafe next door that served those who were not able to get tickets to the main event. It was definitely an all day project.

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The line outside the small cafe where I helped.

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Allison getting the Mediterranean dishes ready

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Lots of food

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Dessert

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The servers enjoying a bit of down time

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A certain server getting tired of his father following him around. David had the hardest room full of Juniors and Seniors.

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Enjoying the leftover mousse

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Happy RVA and Kijabe Hospital staff enjoying a nice meal

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My favorite chef and waiter

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Proud sponsors

Next year we get to be diners instead of servers! I am looking forward to being on the other side.

Chess at RVA

I appreciate the teachers and staff at RVA that encourage the kids in the normal things of life.  Peter looks hopeful in this picture as he takes on the highly regarded Mr. Tilly. A mountain of victory worth trying to summit.