I see a man crawling on his hands and knees with sandals on his hands to protect him from the nastiness over which he crawls. I see a man on most days in town sitting on the sidewalk, face, legs, arms disfigured with a cup jingling money between his feet. At the end of the day he is wheeled off in a wheelchair by some guy. A woman with disfigured legs crawls across the street. Her hair is nicely done. I’m afraid a car won’t see her and run her over. I heard on the radio that some Tanzanians are promising cripples a better life in Kenya. They then put them on a Kenyan street to beg for money then take the money they received. Slavery. Eight year old boys come to me asking me for money in their tattered clothes. What do I do?
You know, there’s an awful lot of bad stuff in this world. But there’s a whole lot of good stuff. And that good stuff comes from God. Here are a few. Watching high school guys happily iron their friends’ pants and shirts. Having little three year old girl be terrified of the white man at the matatu station, but her getting over her fear and coming closer each day and waving hi then running back to her mom. Sitting and talking about whatever for two hours with a bunch of curious young guys. Being entertained by ten little kids sing and dance with toothless smiles. Talking to your loving family. Looking up at the stars, realizing how small you are, but knowing that you are not insignificant because there is more to it than just bright lights spread out over billions of miles of darkness.
The chairman and the school director, Francis and Catherine, took the top two students and the most improved in each class from primary on up to Lake Elementaita for lunch and fun. It rained, so the outdoor stuff didn’t quite happen. But the lunch was really good. It’s good that the students got a chance to get out and see some nice stuff. It’s beautiful at the lodge too. We got dropped off at the highway and it began to rain. Sprinkles at first then the downpour. That’s not even the bad part. Maneuvering around the mud without slipping is a challenge. I nearly fell on my butt but caught myself with my hand in the mud. Next thing you know we are all running, jumping over big mud puddles, sloshing through the road. Good times.
Yesterday was a celebration for the students graduating from kindergarten and prayer for the class eight students about to take the KCPE. These are important exams. The thing lasted 4.5 hours, complete with singing and dancing, cutting and feeding students cake, preaching in Swahili with the sound system too loud coupled with rain hammering down on the tin roof, and many other speakers. I’ve grown somewhat accustomed to getting called upon to either pray or introduce myself and say a word of some sort. I used to be terrified. Now I’m only a bit scared. I try to tell myself to be ready. If I sound stupid, then oh well. Life is good.