Saturday, March 15, 2014

A week of goodbyes and hellos

by Joi

Our dental dynamos left about 10 days ago after a very successful month long mission, training our nurses in the clinic to be dentists! We had a beautiful graduation ceremony with the students and a host of friends and supporters and we enjoyed another one of Nancy's cakes! We will really miss Dee and Janet. They were such a gift to us and to the community here. Thank you for sacrificing your time and resources to be here. You contributed greatly. And you washed more than your fair share of dishes!!!

This past week we said quaheri (good bye) to David, Jana and Blake who were a wonderful and lively addition to our little family here. We will miss them greatly. David and Jana both contributed daily to the work at our clinic as well as participated in many deep and meaningful conversations about medicine, life, health, healing and what they feel their calling is for the future. Thank you David and Jana, for EVERYTHING. You have made our time her richer! And thanks also for all the dishwashing you did! (Can you tell that's a dreaded task here??)

David, Jana, and Blake
T. dropping of Villanueavas at the airstrip

We also said goodbye to some sweet friends from the US who were already volunteering in Kenya and just happened to squeeze in a little visit to our village. (It is not easy to get here any anyone who comes for a visit is really appreciated!) The Boeves volunteer at Kijabe hospital, he is an orthapedic surgeon and she is a hospital chaplain and does a powerful work of praying with patients and ministering to their souls. Their encouragement and wisdom was treasured by all and we are so thankful for the little time we had together. Of course, they washed dishes too!!

The same day we said goodbye to the Villanuevas we said hello to a team of Duke University Nursing students, their professor and one physician! They are here for one week as a part of their RN global health curriculum and they have been wonderful teachers AND learners. We have enjoyed watching their eyes open to new and different ways of viewing the world. They have been kind and very tolerant of little T. and W., who are both vying for their attention constantly in their respective ways.

Earlier this week we had the opportunity to go on a home visit to check on a 5 day old baby that was born to one of the City of Hope gate guards and his wife. They are the VERY proud parents of a huge (by Tanzanian standards) 8 pound little boy. He was coughing in the night and his parents were concerned. Dr. Ty, 3 nursing students and Dr. Natasha (from Johns Hopkins) paid the family a visit. We enjoyed their hospitality greatly and were served cokes and fantas. A real treat!

the proud new parents
Big T and Dr. Natasha examine the newborn together

We also enjoyed a lively outdoor bonfire and dance party with the kids from the children's home. They tried to give big T. and Nancy some dancing lessons and I think they actually were catching on! When I watch these kids dance I find myself thinking “HOW do they MOVE like that???” and even the littlest fella has the sweetest moves. W. is starting to mimic the girls dancing and she is very eager to learn their ways. I really wish I could post a video for you.

Bonfire Dance Party

Diana has started her official art classes at the school and is really enjoying teaching the children about colors and shapes and being creative. She has found that their creativity is not really nurtured at all, and they do a lot of rote memory work and straight copying off the board. They enjoyed drawing her portrait this week. She gives them tons of praise and encouragement.

Some culinary firsts: I made pumpkin pie from a pumpkin (never tried that before!) and received my first Indian food cooking lesson from one of the very kind Duke nurses. We made a simple dal and it was delicious.

cooking class
w. with the pumpkin that became our pie
pumpkin pie

Nancy has reigned as the baking queen, managing to make cakes, breads and cookies that are always amazing. She also provides us with homemade yogurt AND homemade cheese! She is amazing.

the lovely Nancy

Progress is being made on the construction of our house. Rumor has it that the next village over is racing to be the first in the area to have a two story building. If our house is done first, we win. I didn't know it was a contest. I guess it's just about keeping up the with Joneses even way out here in the African bush!

T. and the new house

Thanks for the continued prayers and wishes of support and encouragement. We couldn't do this without the love and support of so many back home!

1 comment:

  1. Great update and photos! So neat to see all the people who come and go through your time there. Way to go on the pumpkin pie and Indian cooking. You'll have to repeat that when you get home, would love to try it.