I packed up my desk today. I tried to just keep busy and not really think about what I was doing - I had to fight off the leaky eyes as I worked.
Today was my last Sunday devotion time with the girls (sadness!) I had them over for lunch, and we read together and I prayed with them about the things they are concerned about in their lives. I had some small girlie gifts for them, and we ended the afternoon with chai and chocolate cake! I SO wish I had more time with these ladies - I've really grown to love them!
From left to right:
1. Chai and chocolate cake! 2. Christine, Mulky, Guma'do
3. Josephine, Catherine 4. Safi, Sanellah, Justina
5. Grace, Nuria 6. Mr Goat says, "Can I have some?"
Who needs a compost bin? Just toss your leftovers outside and between the ants, squirrels, and goats, they'll be taken care of in no time! But man, oh man, those goats need to learn to share! The scuffles and the snorting and the growling and the bleating... it's hilarious!
Two more of Eddie and Rachel's kiddos joined me today when the plane came in from Nairobi - they were headed home after the term at boarding school down country. Ja-el, Uriah, and Acacia were fabulous helpers - helping with dinner AND doing the dishes. Have you ever seen such a spectacular dish pile? It was all being held up by........ a potato peeler. I was not at all convinced of the structural integrity of this amazing confabulation, so we disassembled it before it came crashing down on the concrete floor in the middle of the night, giving everyone within a two kilometer radius a massive heart attack. But props to the Anderson kids for amazing spacial awareness and balance skills!
It was nice to spend some time with Anna, too, a German missionary who does children's ministry and training throughout the North.
There was an Area Church Council meeting here in Korr this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, so national church leaders and missionaries from all over the North cane through. Eddie brought his daughter Acacia down from Kalacha with him, and she stayed at my house - it was fun to hang out with her! She even helped work on some wedding surprises (and we had some fun, too!). I also opened up my way-overstocked pantry to some of my friends for some discount grocery shopping. I'll be giving/selling off most of what's here, because there isn't anyone planned to come stay for a long time. It was fun - Hillary's Nakumatt, Korr Location! :)
The lightning storm tonight was amazing! Huge flashes of light shot across the sky and I had to go out and take some photos. I shot until my battery died - mercifully, as it was really late and I totally should have been sleeping! I just missed some amazing bolts three times - so sad! But I like this one. It was totally spectacular to just sit there and watch nature's light show. God has created some incredibly beautiful things!
I came around to look for Mama Jane, the school matron, and found her in the middle of a spa treatment! Her granddaughter (?) had a stone and a hand full of Toss (laundry detergent) and she was getting a pedicure! Now if only I knew about the Korr Spa sooner!
There was a spectacular dust storm that rolled through town today. I watched it come over the horizon, lit up against the black clouds, turning the sky orange, and even blocking out the big black hill just a few hundred meters from my house. And then, just like that, it was gone again. The desert is so amazing!
Low, heavy clouds this morning blocked out most of the sun rise. It smelled of rain, but the rain never fell and the clouds cleared up throughout the day. Please keep praying for good rains in Northern Kenya. People are getting sicker and some are dying from things that would otherwise not be that serious, animals are dying, and raids are happening as people compete for water and try to replace their dying animals. Pray, too, for living water among the people of Northern Kenya.
Today was the second to last Bible class, so I wanted to do a game as a review. There were four teams, and for each question, whoever had the card for their team had to come up and ring the bell if they thought they had the answer. They're not really used to games, so it was sheer chaos - shouting, complaining about who was first, arguing over answers... but they LOVED it. The forty minutes felt like two hours, but it was a good review and we had fun (even if one student slammed his shin on a desk... whoops, sorry!). "Madame, we should play this every class!"
Oh dear heavens........ NO! I'd go CRAZY! hahaha
I wanted to help the Form One class with sentence structure, so I took samples from their writing, typed them up on the computer, and brought in the school's TV screen so the kids could see the edits in real time. They worked really hard, and were mesmerized by the technology. It was a good motivator, and I think they learned a lot!
IncessANT. They're incessANT, I tell you. AbundANT. It's not very advANTageous for me to have to take all that time to keep dealing with them. It's like they just sit there waiting, expectANTly, militANTly, waiting for their next meal. I stuff poison down their holes, but they just transplANT themselves and turn up somewhere else. I have to be ever vigilANT. How do I feel about ants, you ask? They are constANT, defiANT, gallivANTing inhabitANTs of my house and my life. I guarANTee my mANTra is, "KILL. THE. ANTS."
I wiped my table about eight hours before taking this picture. And you thought it was hard to keep up with YOUR dusting..... :) (Mostly, I just tolerate dusty everything, because there's no way to keep on top of it and actually have any semblance of a life. Come smack my couch. I dare you!)
I was speaking at the Sunday night fellowship tonight. The students usually begin with some more traditional dancing and singing, and I SO enjoy it - they are loud, boisterous, and you can really tell that THIS is the 'heart language' of music and dance for them. It's super blurry, but I like it - In this part of the song they turn to one another, shake hands, and bob their knees three times and their head once. Love, love, LOVE it. (I was totally going to join in, but I chickened out! Maybe next time!)
So. Today I chopped off the head of a poisonous snake. Just another day...
This is Bagajo, one of my night guards. He's really fun, and I SO appreciate his efforts to help me understand Rendille!
Since I took this picture, two of his sister-in-laws have died in childbirth, both within a week of one another. One of the babies died, too. Please be praying for Bagajo and his family - I can't even imagine how devastating that must be.
This ball of nastiness has been hanging in a tree in my backyard for weeks. What. the. heck. is. it? After some facebook debating, we've determined it might be a bird's nest, but it's totally nasty-town, and I'm not willing for it to become a home for anything else, so it came down. Yukkers!
The class of 2015!
I took the form four photos today that they needed for their exam registration (that's why they're not smiling). Their secondary leaving exams are HUGE pressure and extremely difficult, covering anything they've learned from all four years of secondary. Keep this kids in prayer as they study and prepare to sit the national exams in end of November/beginning of December.
Another new culinary skill I've learned here? Making yogurt! A friend brought me a small container that I used as a started, and this is the second batch I've made - just save a little bit and use it for the next one, and VOILA! It's ridiculous how happy it makes me to have yogurt. Ri-dic-u-lous! I'm so thankful for a bit of space in Jim and Laura's fridge to keep it! (Although I'm pretty sure I could just eat this whole container in one sitting!) But thick, creamy, delicious home made yogurt! That's pretty cool!
My family has always had a bit of a joke - sometimes when we ask what's for supper, the answer, in a sing-song voice, is "Cooorned beef and cabbage!" Well, guess what I had for dinner tonight??? Cracked me right up - I don't think I ever considered it an actual dish, just a goofy song my family sang!
There are lots of camels around these days. Herd after herd passes behind and in front of my house in the evenings, all night, and very early in the morning, heading to the wells. Many wells are dry, so the ones that do have water are busy day and night. Goats and sheep in the day, camels at night. I learned the reason for this the other day, too - hyena's won't attack the camels, and if they try, the camels give them a good swift kick. Goats and sheep are much more vulnerable. Huh. Ya learn something new every day!
Today was the day of giant bugs! This grasshopper and praying mantis were hanging around outside our classrooms today!
Oh yeah... and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KEVIN!!!
I love you, my man - so happy you were born!
This photo is from when I gave him his birthday present when he was here in Korr. (Gotta get creative with wrapping around here! :) )
So, some days are harder than others for photos. :) When Sydney was doing her homework yesterday, I did some vacuuming and noticed it was not doing a great job. Looking at it, I could see all this hair caught on the roller. After many minutes, I got it all out and the vacuum works much better now.
Today was the day when the children who had been identified for sponsorships and their parents were being interviewed and photographed. You know when you sponsor a child and you get the little information cards with the child's family situation, interests, household chores, etc? All this information comes from these interviews with parent, child, translator, and compassion interviewer.
I can't WAIT for all this information to be processed so I can start encouraging you all to sponsor a child from Korr! :) They hope for everything to be ready to go in April or May.
We had people in Korr who are travelling around the north working on giving wells and the word to communities here. They were going to Kurungu for the afternoon, so I decided it would be fun to tag along, see some friends there, and go somewhere I'd never been. Along the way, we came across these guys - it's moving day! We call U-Haul, Rendille people load up the camels!