The end of Week 2.
We had a major thunderstorm last night, giving some well needed rain. It also makes some roads difficult to travel over. The air is sweet and warm this morning, still not cool though.
The Hurds are in Nairobi for 10 days, so their very old, very sweet dog, Titan, has set up residence in our covered shop area. Jay and Marcy (the cats) are NOT impressed with his protection. Poor Titan couldn’t chase them even if he wanted to.
You know the Murphy’s Law thing? Well, come to find out it applies to missionaries too. Jerry and Breanna left on Thursday for Nairobi. An emergent flight request came up Wednesday night for Joel to take on Thursday. Jerry prepped Joel with all he would need to know about where he was flying into, and Breanna gave me a detailed map of where everything is in town, numbers to call, and all I should need for the next 10 days. Joel takes off, Hurds leave for Nairobi, and all is well. I have Eunice, my incredibly wonderful house-help who comes daily from 2-5; John, who is painting the doors; and Peter and David, who are cleaning up the landscaping.
I see my first monitor lizard (a baby) next to the backyard sink where I do laundry. I think he was more scared of me than I of him. I hadn’t researched them yet to know if they were trouble, so I keep the back door closed and wait until John came back from lunch. He assures me that they are harmless, but gets the little guy moving on his way. Man, can they run fast! That in itself is kind of creepy. So thankful that God allowed me to start small with these new, exotic creatures.
At 5:00, all the workers are packing up for the day, I give them their wages for the day (the gardeners and John receive 300 ksh/day – about $3.50; and Eunice is 100 ksh/hr – more about her later), and Joel calls from his satellite phone. This isn’t a good sign. It means he doesn’t have cell coverage from where he’s calling. Yep, he’s calling from Juba, South Sudan. He had a tight schedule to get everything done, and had a few delays during the day. He wouldn’t make it home tonight. All is well, he just ran out of time to make it back to Loki safely. Perfect. The night the Hurds leave is Joel’s first over-nighter. Breanna texts the Bishop’s number if I need anything.
The kids and I do well, continuing on in our routine. I’m always praying, but I add an extra prayer this evening. I pray that Jesus himself would take Joel’s place tonight as head of this home, and husband to me.
I get the joy of doing the evening house sweep for unwanted creepy-crawlies (uggg!) and find a centipede in Ian’s room. Centipedes pinch and have an awful bite, millipedes do not. The little critter is able to run under the baseboard, so I spray Doom under the baseboard, but I have a bed-mate all the same (Ian refuses to sleep in his room not knowing if the centipede is dead). So thankful Joel usually has that job! He’s taken care of a couple of wolf spiders (big and ugly, the size of a woman’s palm, but don’t have a poisonous bite), and beetles of all shapes and sizes.
The night is uneventful, and Flight-Following texts from Nairobi to let me know that Capt King should be arriving in Loki at 9:25am. Yaaah!
The house is pretty much unpacked, and I think our sofa, loveseat, and coffee-table will be coming on the next Caravan flight. Maybe next Monday, but not sure. That just leaves the dressers to come out and we’re settled. Wow. Feeling God’s protection through this transition. When I think of all that has happened and the peace that we’ve had … wow.
Renee: continues to thrive here. She’s diving into school, and seems happy. She’s got 2 tests this week, 1 is on Canada. Her teacher is really hoping she does well (smiley face!)
Ian: saw baby scorpions this week. He handled it well, considering scorpions were a major fear for him. He misses Isaiah terribly even though he has only been gone 2 days.
Renee, Ian, Grace and Isaiah are starting to build a tree fort. Fun! …and a lot of hard work. Love it!
Joel: killed his first spitting cobra (a baby, but it still counts. Baby cobras grow into adult cobras.). I think that’s all that’s been sighted on the property is baby ones. Joel is getting into the flow of procedures in Loki (scheduling, price quotes, flight planning, landing strips). AND (in his spare time – ha!) he continues to direct the outside workers and tackle house projects. Please pray for him. He’s got a lot going on.
LaReina: Joel got the washing machine hooked up and running! Joy, joy, JOY! I don’t know how the woman of old did hand-washing all the clothes. It takes SO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY!
I drove the old, standard truck into town on Saturday. I only stalled it twice. Thank goodness there’s not really traffic to care. And reverse is super hard to find, so I started just parking parallel to the road so I wouldn’t need reverse. The town kids are so excited to see Mzungas (white people) that they swarm the vehicle when it’s parked. Not fun when you’re trying to get the truck in reverse AND not run over a kid. That wouldn’t find favor with the locals. Oh, I’m gonna LOVE our truck when it gets up to Loki!
The story about Eunice: Eunice is the sister to Breanna’s house-help. She has 5 children that she cares for on her own since their dad left them for another family. I started to be shocked, but then thought, “Oh, that happens in America all the time.” My heart saddened because she’s absolutely delightful. Our wages pay for food and school fees. She also makes bead necklaces in town in the mornings.
There were 3 ladies that have a good track record in Loki, and are known to be good workers, reliable and punctual. The third lady (Christine) has part time work, but she will be coming Monday morning to hopefully make tortillas and maybe some breakfast muffins. All 3 ladies are single moms with many children to feed and school.
Joel will try to get back into S Sudan to 2 runways that were rained out last week. Christine comes over to hopefully bake. The rumor is that she has done some baking for other missionaries. We have daily baked bread that is delivered every day by Martin (he comes by on his pedal bicycle and rings his bell, so quaint and fun! I feel like I’m in a ‘50s sitcom!), so if she can make tortillas and muffins weekly, that eases my cooking workload and can focus on teaching.
Joel has the South Sudan Run that goes from Loki to Arua stopping at all the mission stations in South Sudan along the way. He stays overnight in Arua then returns the next day again stopping at stations back to Loki. AIM AIR does this run every 2 weeks to support these stations.
I need to investigate the pharmacies in town to see if they can order in the malaria meds we’re on (and how much it’ll cost). They have the cheapest kind (Doxycylone), but Malarone is the best long term.
I would love to venture into the beading store, see what they have, and meet the ladies.
We really need to brush up on/learn more Kiswahili. Everyone in Nairobi spoke English. This is not the case in Loki. The shop owners speak English, but the Bishop needed to come over to translate to the workers the other day.
It’s good to keep learning, right? And stretch comfort zones? I can feel God’s smile upon me. Yes, it’s good to learn. It’s good to stretch. He’ll make sure I don’t stretch to the point of breaking.