Sunday, April 26, 2009

It Happened!

Ruth just sent these pictures of Diana today!

She's legitimately crawling and pulling herself up!

I am so proud and so sad to have missed it.

Just wanted to share these with you as you have been so kind to comment on her and care about her progress. Thought you would be as thrilled as I!

And she was ALSO committed to Open Arms on Thursday. Which is completely miraculous, as she didn't have the completed, required paperwork. Which means there will be no DELVING into her past. Which totally opens the door for Renee and most importantly, means NO ONE ELSE can lay claim to her!!!

As an aside, personally it's been hard for me to be back. The things I was dealing with before are just more back in my face, right now. So, as selfish as I feel when I think of those with so much less than me, if you wouldn't mind lifting my heart up in prayer, I would really appreciate it. I'm in a much better place than when I left, but still stuggling the past few days.

I start a tour today, and then have three in a row, which I am REALLY looking forward to.

I am so grateful for the comments you have left me, as I have shared this journey with you. That you would take the time to read, and then to write words of encouragement, joy, etc has been humbling and uplifting to me. Thank you. I have decided to continue this blog - I think, as Karen commented, that it will be interesting to see the path that comes out of this adventure.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Some Favorite Video Snaps

These are all pretty short, but I did video while I was there. I tried to upload some of these while I was there... I think those periods in my life involved cussing. Diana in the Bath The Village Kids singing "When the Saints" (the third verse is in Swahili and they are singing about when the saints are relaxing) This is Mercy, and this is absolutely unlike her. The gift Diana got in Mombasa - a peanut rattle from the airplave.

Diana, Part 3

Just some random shots of Diana, because I think she's so adorable (and photos download SO DARN QUICKLY here in the US of A!)

Little Smart Girl (in her housecleaning doo rag - covering all her bases...)

Or maybe she'll be a rapper!

Just chillin' (LOVE the foot! She just did that, I did NOT pose her)

She was reaching for her formula spoon toy in the water and stuck her face straight into the bubbles. She didn't even act all that surprised.

Classic Diana look - nose all scrunched up.

Her schooling could probably be paid for through modeling. Doesn't she have the "faraway serious look" down well?

At the airport right before I left. I miss her!

Friday, April 24, 2009

To the States

Well I'm back in the States. I am actually at my friend, Kimberly Bronte's home. She picked me up from Dulles International Wednesday night at 10pm. The flights were fine and uneventful. I flew from Eldoret to Nairobi, had a six hour layover, flew Nairobi to London, had an 11 hour layover and then flew London to Dulles.

I had met this American guy in Eldoret who told me how he sometimes is able to fly first class out of Nairobi, so I decided to try it. As I was checking in, I asked the guy (And it obviously works better if you have someone of the opposite sex... I have NO idea why that is) anyhow, I asked him if they were still running the $100 upgrade to First class special. He said he didn't know but would check and let me know later. About an hour later, he approached me in the terminal and said it was $150 for the upgrade. I let him know how much I appreciated him checking, but I only had $100. He came back an hour later and said he had worked really really hard with his supervisor and had been able to get it down to $100. Yes, folks, I was able to fly first class on that 8 hour flight for $100. So, try it - although I would guess it may only really be effective in blatantly corrupt countries.

(Side note: try NOT to get a seat by a 70 year old drunkard who won't shut up... and then falls asleep in his food - okay - that ALMOST made up from him repeating his stories over and over and...)

I arrived in London to beautiful sunshine at 6am. I was able to check my carry-on and take the Tube into London. It was an absolutely gorgeous, sunshiney day. I chose not to go into any of the sights, but definitely enjoyed viewing them. They are some of my favorite places to see - First stop: St. Paul's Cathedral. Built three times on the same spot, this is the one Christopher Wren built after the fire of London in 1666.

Then a 25 minute walk to the Tower of London and the TOWER BRIDGE! I LOVE this bridge. This and Big Ben are my absolute two favorite things to look at in London. They make my Top Ten beautiful pieces of architecture list in the World ( I don't know what the other 8 are off the top of my head, but these TWO are DEFINITELY on the list)

The Bridge

Me at the Bridge.

Oh! Wait! there I am!

Tower of London - SERIOUSLY bad things went on here - lots of death and whatnot.

Although it certainly looks peaceful now.

Oh! There's ME!

Big Ben... I love my friend, Big Ben.

One of the things that I really enjoyed about being in London was that I could ask someone something, and they would give me directions or helpful information and not expect me to pay them... this was a refreshing change from the past seven weeks. I use my cell phone as my watch in the States, so I have been seriously lacking in time knowledge the past two months. So, I was wondering what time it was and asked the nice police man the time, right as Big Ben (30 yards away from me) clanged 10:15. I stopped asking so many questions after that.

Walked through Hyde Park to Kensington Park and fed the ducks, pigeons and the swan.

There was not ONE bird in sight when I sat down.

Made a daisy chain.

Wore my daisy chain.

Went back to the airport.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Diana, etc

On my tour of duty as a SAHM, aside from putting her on a really regular schedule (learned from my many friends that have raised cute babies into delightful children) I have been busy in the kitchen:

I have been making homemade baby food because she is 11 months old, and has only been eating cereal and formula. There IS no baby food here. ONLY cereal and formula. Traditional Kenyan babies are breast fed and then given this porridge... and I've heard what goes into it and we are grateful that there has been an option of cereal and formula. It starts with fermented maize. Enough said.

So, this is our baby food. From this:

With this:

To this:

To carrots and rice, apples, peaches, butternut squash and pears. All labeled and dated, of course.

Because I love THIS little munchkin! (And I don't really have a double chin - my face is just squished into hers...)

Eldoret (the town I've been in) has a reputation for the best drinking water in Kenya. Look at that, sparkling out of the tap.

To be fair, it's only been like this twice (that I've noticed) since I've been here. But a little icky, right? And we only use this for bathing, cooking and brushing our teeth, anyhow. We boil it before we use it in our coffee and tea. So, see, nothing to worry about.

And lastly, here's our little Sunscreen 50 Baby in the pool in MomBASSa.

She's so darn cute!

With Ruth. Who I will miss almost as much as Diana!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Village Children

I am posting a photo of EVERY one of the 25 children currently at the Village. They are sponsored (except for the two biological children of Daniel and Lydia) - it is $50/month to sponsor a child, and with 550 children (just in the town of Eldoret) still abandoned from last year's political skirmishes , there is very much a need. The goal of Open Arms is to build ten houses, eventually, so they can take in many more children.

Praise, age 9 (biological son of House Parents Kamelli and Stella)

Melody, age 6 (biolgoical daughter of House Parents Kamelli and Stella)

Gloria, age 3 (biological daughter of Kamelli and Stella)

Winnie, age 13

Robert, age 6

Faith, age 9

John, age 4

Abel, age 12 - 14?

Joseph, age 10-12? (biological brother to Abel, previous photo)

Purity, age 8

Victor, age 4

Maurine, age 6

Gad, age 5

Rachel, age 8

Mercy, age 13

Ian, age 6 (not favoritism, just indecision in which photo to choose because he's so darn CUTE!)

Phyllis, age 8

Mercy, age 3

Prudence, age 6

Marion, age 6 (Marion and Prudence are twin sisters and Mercy is their little sister)

Lizzie, age 4 (biological daughter of House Parents Daniel and Lydia)

Kevin, age 1, (biological son of House Parents Daniel and Lydia)

Collins, age 10

Ruth, age 9

We just found out this morning that all of the children are FORMALLY being committed into the care of Open Arms Thursday! Since they have taken in their first child, they have been trying to get this - it's been well over a year. So now no one will be able to "lay claim", and try to get them back to hurt them, etc. Please pray that Diana will ALSO be committed - there is no real paperwork for her because of the whole situation - but if they will have mercy, etc, then that would be a HUGE burden lifted off of everyone.

Also, I leave today, Tuesday, to come back to the States. I can't believe it's been 7 weeks since I left. I can't decide if I should keep blogging on this site or go back to my regular site. Any thoughts?