I must say that we are so encouraged by the amazing friends and family we have been blessed with and because of technology we do not feel as far away as the miles on the map would suggest. So many of you have sent emails, posted comments, mailed us goodies, asked what you can do, thought of us, and prayed for us that we are overwhelmed (and I promise as soon as I dig myself out of the hole I will write back :). I seriously cried (Ok, no surprises there) about how supportive so many people have been as we deal with some stresses lately. You really have no idea how much it means. We also know that while we are having a rough patch right now everyone one of you are dealing with your own, just as difficult life stresses so we feel especially blessed that people take time to love on us. Although there are dangers everywhere and part of our fallen nature is to be sick, to struggle, to deal with hardships without your support network you can feel overwhelmed. We took this for granted when we lived close to family and friends. No matter where you live there are no guarantees of health, safety, security and any assurance we think we may of those things can easily fall away. Too often we can feel cheated or doomed. Even living here a short time I realize the people of Africa know a lot of suffering and hardships, it is a daily reality and in my Western reality sometimes it seems more of a shock, something unfair or undeserved, something which should be eradicated quickly or dealt with. Of course there are benefits to both cultural outlooks (ie. in the West we take preventative care and health more seriously and here they rally around someone in the family who is suffering). The tragedy for me in living in my Western mindset is that I can easily feel life, or God “owes” me something, that I deserve or have earned something. This robs me of the opportunity I have everyday to chose to be grateful, to chose joy even when things are not going as planned. I really think anyone that can say God does not have a sense of humor need only to look at our family. Two anal time-oriented planners move to Africa! Ah, the irony! I am again reminded that God cares more about our character than our comfort but I am grateful that in the midst of everything he blesses us with friends, Asante sana to you all!
It is also really good that Anni has friends. She loves inviting her friends in and has made me so proud to be her Mama lately. When she gets a treat she almost always says “share with rafiki” and marches herself outside to find her friend and share her loot. Although she has plenty of “mine” moments she is learning to have a kind and generous spirit, to realize that not everyone has what she has and she can chose to share. The video below is her and her friend* running amok in the house and it makes me smile. I was doing my language homework and they were cracking me up prancing past the door. Annikah wanted to share the spider rings and dress up clothes she got from Jess and Stan (thank guys!!) and it was hilarious to watch them play. We also spend a lot of time reading books which gives tons of opportunity for cultural learning for all of us. Annikah tried to explain snow to her friend…it was funny! My inspiration for this post is to say thank you to God for bringing so many awesome souls into my and my family’s life and to thank you all for loving us. Your challenge: tell someone you take for granted thank you today…..it really is good to have friends………..
*some people have asked what her friends name is and I do not know how to spell it, her parents are illiterate and since it is not a common Kiswahili word (like her sister Zawadee meaning gift) we have no idea…my best stab at it is Mgoray.
post script……Jason is still pretty sick, yesterday it was awful, he was so weak he texted me from the bedroom b/c he could not yell into the kitchen..poor guy! He missed school today to try to rest so hopefully he will feel better soon. Anni has bounced back completely and it back to making me chase her around to keep up. As an added ridiculous thing she does lately..she is wearing her swimsuit in the above picture not because she was swimming as a swimsuit would commonly indicate but because she likes to wear it, inside, outside, to the Duka (small store) pretty much clinching our status as stupid Wazungus (Mzungu in plural becomes Wazungus….and who says I am not learning anything in language school?)