11 and counting…

Yesterday Macy and Melissa left *sniffle*

What this means is I now have the whole duplex to myself… it’s quite the strange feeling to have two of us gone.  We’ve been together every day for nearly ten months. I keep expecting to have Melissa walk through the door at home and have  conversations about any and everything on the random. I don’t have anyone to turn the hot water on for me when she goes to bed before I get off… sounds selfish, but I just found it awesome that Melissa never forgot. I think what is the strangest though is thinking about going home… I’m excited, really excited actually, but at the same time, it feels… odd, as though I’m leaving my life.

The only thing I can compare this feeling to is when I left to come here.  When I left home I was vacating my life to go somewhere else and live… now, I’m going back to that life, but both it and I have changed.  I guess you can only understand if you’ve had two different lives in two different places… I’m leaving my new friends to go back to old friends, some who might not even realize I was gone for ten months.  I’m leaving my new home to go back to my old home that has changed in my absence. I’m leaving my new life that I’ve grown into and returning to my old life that I feel does not fit me anymore.  The worst part is, I will be a stranger in my own world.

Alas, I have eleven days before I vacate my life here, instead of sulking and pondering what could go wrong in my head, I shall instead live it up, enjoy my last few days as a dean at Maxwell, and enjoy my last bit of time in the beautiful country of Kenya.

The Hills are alive! With the sound of music.

What do hiking, the Sound of Music, sandbags, and cold have in common? Today in the Ngong Hills

Compared to Longonot, the hike today was awesome (at least for me).  The temperature was cool, even cold at times, windy, and cloud covered.  Our hike was not as long, nor as strenuous.  There was however the 10 kg (22 lb for Americans XD) that weighed down my pack.  Honestly, after today I hate sandbags… infinitely. Next weekend we’re doing the same hike, same weight, but since we’ve done it once already… it should be easier.

The Next Weekend
Well the hike this week was definitely easier, same place and same hike. I actually kept up really well compared to the last week when I seemed to be dying every now and again.  The downside of this week’s hike was the sun. It was out and cursing our existence. Still, overall a great hike.
The Last Prep Hike
I don’t know how far we walked… all I know is it was nearly 6 hours of hiking. We started away from the main base of Ngong,back in the country somewhere.  In the beginning it was all like, oh yay! it’s easy.  We went through a lot of greenery, attempting to follow a mix of cattle trails and human trails, as well as making our own.  When we got down to the river gorge I thought we were getting close… No. the hike following the river (dry) was the longest part of our hike. So sometime in this gorge I get a thorn in my shoe.  I thought it was inside and so I ignored it for quite a while, it wasn’t consistently pricking my foot so I thought I could manage.  Eventually though, I got tired of the pain and took my shoe off to get it out… it was much to my agony and horror to find, after putting my shoe on and walking a few steps that I did not complete my task.  From then on it was a constant annoyance.  As I climbed to where our bus was 2 Corinthians 12:7 kept popping into my head. “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.” I was honestly a little bit pissed at God because after all I did stop and try to get the thorn out so I could hike properly.
At the bus we ate, and I again took off my shoe to fix my problem.  I think the worst part of the entire hike was what came next.  Normally hiking up to the rocks is a good part of the hike, it’s when we are fresh and ready to go… Today our beginning became our end. We struggled and dragged ourselves up the hill (the thorn was still in my shoe) We all made it there and back down, utterly worn out.
It is then that I take a good look at the bottom of my shoe… THE THORN WAS THROUGH MY SOLE. Legit, this stupid thorn worked its way through the bottom of my boot and was pressing against my foot through the bottom of my shoe.  The worst part is I have yet to successfully extract it, and I need these boots for next week…

Day Without a Cloud and yet it Storms

Today was a beautifully sunny day, smiling faces, laughter rippling across the campus. So much noise, just the normal conversations: homework, boys, girls, drama, the long weekend beginning after lunch. But today of all days demonstrates how quickly that warm chatter can turn to cold silence. One of my girls, a high school senior named Neema, was in the hospital due to complications with her sickle cell anemia. We just visited her two days ago, Tuesday on our way back from town. She was sitting up, eating, and laughing with us or at us. This morning after staff worship it was said she’d probably get to leave the hospital soon, she was scheduled to be released Saturday. Spirits were up, smiles were present and we went back to work. Not long after I get a call from Mrs. V… Neema is gone.

I know my heart stilled for a moment, it’s hard to process, and until we gathered everyone together I didn’t shed a tear. Not when I could hear the girls sobbing in the rows in front of me did I cry. It wasn’t until the closing prayer that a tear slipped from beneath my eyelids. This morning was hard on the girls, I saw many crying, some doubled over in silent agony, others wailing in despair. I vividly remember when Corine came in. She was supported between two other girls, she was barely walking, dragging her feet and moaning. It was an eerie and mournful sound.

They guided her to her bed where she lay, still moaning. At times she would move in a way I can only describe as convulsively, her wails would grow louder in pain. I climbed across her, sitting there with her on her bed, softly trying to calm her. It is then that I cried, tears flowed easily from my eyes at the intense pain. Pain that I know all too well was demonstrated before my eyes. I knew that pain, from nearing two years back. All I could do was hold her and rub her back in an attempt to comfort her.

Today was a sad day despite the sun. Neema’s presence will be sorely missed as she was one of the kindest girls I know. I am at least glad she did not die in pain. The doctors say she just went to sleep, they tried to revive her, but it was not to be. Goodnight Neema, may you sleep in peace until the day that Jesus comes back for us all. I am glad to have met you even if it was for a short time.