Friday, October 10, 2008
BACK IN FLORIDA!!
Bob & Ann Tayloe in their doorway just before leaving to take us to the airport. THANK YOU so much for opening up your hearts and homes to us these past weeks. You have been so kind and we love and appreciate you very much!
And thanks to YOU who supported us through giving and who PRAYED for us!! I didn't get sick at all and McKenna was able to press through a cough and function till the last three days. (Remember as you view the photo's that if you DOUBLE-CLICK on the pics you will see amazing detail.)
LEAVING KENYA... FRIDAY OCTOBER 10
At the bottom of Masai Road (which leads to Diguna where we stayed with Bob & Ann) I saw this on the day we were driving to the airport to return to Florida:
All along this road and others, are many many "duka's," little "stores" where people sell absolutely everything imaginable. I saw hardly any panhandling. People really work hard here to make a living:
You can double-click on the image to get a closeup. You can even see her wares in the little plastic jars (looks like candy). I think that there's chicken in that little hanging bag... The duka's are usually simple and homemade like this one.
More pics later...
As I exit the Orlando airport and drive home the differences are immediately noticeable: the streets are amazingly SMOOTH here; our car has no dust on it AND it has air conditioning - and did I mention dust??
I won't miss the dust of Kenya! We were walking up the dirt road to Diguna last week and I'm not kidding - my eyelids had dust under them! You taste it and blow it out your nose. But it just makes me appreciate all the more how Jesus left His shining glory, took on flesh like ours and got dirty and dusty for love. One thing I learned from Kenya: Love gets dirty. Love gets dusty. Love touches grime and sweat. More later.
We had a LONG but good trip back - minus the leg to Orlando...more on that later. McKenna is feeling tired but better now. Either it wasn't malaria or God healed her - well we know that either way God has healed her because she's not flat on her back! From what we were told usually malaria will utterly incapacitate you even for the week after you recover. Thanks so much for your prayers while we were away. We weren't "alone" out there because you were with us through prayer.
I was standing in line in the Kenya airport yesterday thinking, "We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto." As I lean on my suitcase cart, to my left is a little M*slm lady veiled in black from head-to-toe except for eye slits. Her fingers continually move along a strand of brown beads. Her white-bearded husband is dressed in a white robe with a white knitted cap and white sandals - interesting contrast. The flight to Dubai seemed long for some reason but peaceful. The announcements are always made first in Arabic, then in English. The Emirates airline is the best I've ever flown - incredible food and service.
The Dubai airport is busy and lots of people are sitting on the floor here and there. An Indian man barefooted and dressed in a long white robe is sound asleep behind a short glass wall next to the down-escalator. I see Arab men in their white robes and head covering with the black rope tied around their foreheads carrying black briefcases. There are completely black-veiled women, and partially veiled women, and non-veiled women. There are so many interesting characters that it's taking a lot of restraint not to grab my camera. Well - here's a couple of pics:
Me - sleepy at Dubai airport with dinner... heh!
McKenna contemplating something...or nothing...
And for curious minds, I went into the bathroom and saw something um different... Below you can see what I saw. You can hear some women in the background speaking Arabic.
What do you think?
SATURDAY IN NEW YORK
I love New York! Well not really, but everything seems so normal here! Like the first Hispanic voice on the loudspeaker that I've heard in a month.
My eyes are burning. Sleep never arrived on the flight from Dubai to NY. Curiously, I've noticed that if I close my eyes for a brief moment my brain immediately takes me to the deep dream state. I've been awake for 26 hours at this point - I've GOT to keep my eyes open!
We got through imigration quickly and the customs officials never even opened our bags. The JFK NY airport was pretty quiet compared to Dubai. We have about 4 hours to wait for our flight to Orlando. Get a bite to eat. McKenna is on her phone and I sit staring zoning out and waiting for our flight departure time...stay awake.
The flight from NY to Orlando was the LONGEST leg of our journey home. Seriously it was the longest 2-hour flight I've ever had because my chair was continually kicked and my ears continually assaulted by a 4-yr. old girl named Emma behind me even though I had ear plugs in plus was sitting forward to relieve myself of her continual battering. Her mother behind me was trying to reward Emma the whole trip: "Emma, do you want some more M&M's honey? Don't kick the lady's chair honey, she's going to get angry. Emma, buckle your seatbelt or I'm going to tell the lady. Emma, what is it you want?" Emma is screaming, screeching and kicking the whole flight - I'm not exaggerating. Interestingly, at Mitumba slum city we'd had a room FULL of 90+ Kenyan children who were better behaved. I'll post pictures later. I suppose if you believe in evolution which claims we are no different from animals, you treat your child like a dog instead of like a human being.
While we were at the Orlando baggage claim area waiting for our bags I told Patrick and McKenna that the screaming-kicking-thing behind me had reminded me of an old Twighlight Zone episode where there was this little boy who would stick people in the corn field if they made him angry. His mother was terrified of him: "Honey, I didn't mean anything by that. D...don't get angry..." Everybody was so afraid of making him angry, and back in the 60's when this episode was made it was ridiculous to think that a child would have so much power over adults...welcome to the Twighlight Zone folks.
SUNDAY MORNING OCTOBER 12 IN FLORIDA
It's Sunday morning in Florida (7:00 a.m.) and I feel like I'm already back to this time zone. Had been up 38 hours straight by the time I got to sleep around 8:00 p.m. last night. I was pretty punchy trying to carry on a conversation with Patrick and he finally put me to bed. It's SO GOOD to be home again!
Well, as I'm about to get offline and wake Patrick up I'm thinking of Elizabeth, the wife of Pastor Robbie of Living Waters church; she has dusty feet. Elizabeth is such an inspiration to me. She visits the Christian Masai women each week to care for them (I'll be posting pics). I remember having asked her what her impression was of the USA when she'd visited there with her husband Robbie. She answered in her soft heavy Kenyan accent, "The streets are so smooth - and nobody walks on them." She also mentioned that she had felt sorry for the women because they were so disproportionate (breast-implants). She also had noticed that, "...many people have to carry tiny dogs around with them." Having just visited the poorest women I've ever seen who live in mud/dung huts I have to say that I felt a bit ashamed to think of all the money my countrymen spend on tiny dogs.
Check out the pics so far in the next posts! More coming!