Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Yesterday afternoon, A. Sarah and I took off on a walk to Kiwoko.  We talked and laughed as we walked.  We were headed to town to pick up some ingredients for the big dinner we were preparing.  I kept looking over our shoulder... hoping to see a Boda Boda (motorcycle).  Walking is nice and most practical. But when you are walking with someone who is 9 months pregnant and the sun is shining high in the sky..... a Boda Boda seems like the better option.  And so when I saw the shadow of a Boda Boda against the horizon, I spoke last minute words to A. Sarah.  "I'll meet you in Kiwoko"  She wanted to share the ride.... but I laughed.  A 9-month pregnant lady and myself on the back of a Boda Boda sprinting into town avoiding bumps and holes along the way was a stretch for me.  I pulled out my Luganda and asked the man to return for me.  And I kept walking watching A. Sarah disappear off into the distance.   And I kept walking.  Apparently my Luganda failed or the man got distracted because he never came back for me.  It was no worries for me.  It was just nice to walk along and absorb my surroundings.  There were many to greet.  Yes, out of formality.  But for many of the kids, they were just wanting to greet the white person walking towards town.  Some questioned my strength.  Some just greeted and laughed as they passed.  And some just looked.  I kept walking.  And  eventually the hustle and bustle of Kiwoko was on the horizon. After a quick look, I found A.  Sarah. She had waited patiently for me.  We quickly met up with A. Rebecca at her shop.  Two pregnant moms both due within weeks of each other.   And in the process of their greetings... their bellies bumped....and we laughed.  The babies within were sure to be Age-mates, Play-mates, and quite possibly would one day be classmates. We walked through town buying pork from the butcher, looking for Matooke, and in the end making sure we had a cold drink (aka Coca Cola for yours truly) to celebrate our hard work.  And before we knew it, we were finished.  We hopped Boda Bodas back home.   The evening was FULL of fun times.  The clinic staff joined together for an evening of cooking and eating.  We laughed, we talked, and we laughed some more.  We spent time encouraging two staff that were leaving and embracing two new staff who have joined our team recently.  And we said goodnight... 

This morning, Auntie Sarah found me as I was heading over to the admin building for a meeting.  She told me she was in labor and after she said a bit more, I told her she needed to get to the hospital.  From what she was sharing, it appeared the time had come.   It was a moment of anticipation and excitement…

A few hours later, we received the news we were absolutely not expecting.  The baby had not made it.  We were stunned.  I was stunned.  The emotion of loss quickly found me.  I struggled to digest the news.  Hadn’t A. Sarah and I just talked in excitement the day earlier on our walk about the impending birth of her third child?  And now he was gone.  Yes, he.  A little 3 kg boy. 

Deborah and I reached the hospital shortly after 1 PM.

We greeted the father.  We greeted the mother.  And we remained. 

We were taken into a room where the body of their boy lay.   He was precious.  And as we left that room, A. Deborah and I just embraced.  There were very few words. 

And so we sat.  And we were present.  And the tears came. 

And to be honest, I don’t have many more words to share.  I feel the tears seeping through.  Tears of empathy and sadness. Tears of a season of goodness and hardness.  Today as I walked through the maternity ward, I was flooded with so many memories already formed during my time here.  It was only 16 months ago that A. Rebecca (mentioned above) gave birth to sweet baby Frank who later went home to heaven.  Then there was the gift of being with A. Jalia as she welcomed her little Hannah into the world.  And a short time later…. Being present with Caleb and Alair as baby Nora made her debut.  Ah the memories.  And today, another one was formed.  Holding the hand of a sister as she begins the unanticipated journey of grief and deeper trust in her God.  God’s got this and I cling to that with everything within me.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

The story continues... with an unexpected turn.

Hello! It's about 20 minutes shy of 10 PM and I wanted to share a bit about today.  

Really, when it comes down to it... today was An amazing day... amidst all the tension in Nairobi today we got some pretty amazing news for A. Ketty.  The very short stick of the story is that Ketty's tumor/mass has reduced by 50%.  Yep, 50% since she began treatment.  The news we received today had a very different tune than the news we had received on Thursday.  VERY different... and VERY warmly RECEIVED.  

pretty amazing actually.  Her plan has changed a bit.... instead of going back to Kampala at the end of this week, she is slated to be here for a minimum of 2 more weeks.  During that time, she will be given radiation treatments five times a week along with weekly chemotherapy.  Once this phase is done, she is slated to receive combo-chemo.  

It's pretty exciting... pretty amazing... and we are just celebrating! 

Thank you Jesus for your presence.... you were very much present with us Thursday as we digested hard news and was also very much present today as we received some pretty amazing news.  Thank you. 

I am sure there will be more later.... but for tonight... I wanted to share the amazing news with you all.  

For now, we keep walking in faith.  The story is NOT finished.  That is for sure.  How it ends, we do not know... but what we do know.... is that we do not walk alone.  And for that I am thankful.  And so we keep walking.... 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The saliva of a giraffe.... and giggles!

Just chilling.... 
I can't say that kissing a giraffe was on my bucket list.  But today, I kissed one.  Several times to be exact.  And well, it was a memory for sure! A. Ketty and I laughed for a very long time.... and then we would just start laughing again. We were told that the saliva of a giraffe is basically very clean... and later we were told that the saliva of a giraffe has healing qualities.  Upon hearing that, Ketty was ready to go back tomorrow and kiss the giraffe again.  Oh the giggles we had today...  The depth of our laughter was medicine FOR SURE! The saliva of the giraffe... well, I would say NOT so much! 

Thankful for the friendship God has given us. 

This giraffe simply wants to greet A. Ketty (aka give her a kiss) and Ketty is NOT sure... at ALL! 

Can't say I was so up for it either..... 

But in the end... the giraffe and I locked lips.  
And A. Ketty allowed the giraffe to give a kiss.... 

And before you knew it Pat and A. Ketty had warmed up to being kissed by a giraffe... 

Who could resist?

My absolute favorite picture of the day.... 

And so that was today.  A day to just laugh and be.   And to embrace the day that He has given us.  Oh... it was a day full of laughter... 

I'll post an update on how Ketty is doing... but today it's all about laughing, giraffes, and well, more laughter!