Saying Our Thank You Fors

October 15, 2007

Before Rocky left, she hid things around the house and left notes for the kids. She also left a jar filled with “thank you fors.”

At our dinner table, instead of grace, we say our “thank you fors.” We do this every night. Each of us simply takes turns saying what we are thankful for that day. Rocky left a jar filled with her thank you fors for us to read while she was in Africa. So, she’s been with us at the dinner table each night. I know this is her blog, but I couldn’t resist sharing this.

This one was picked out of the jar the other night:

Rocky’s Thank You Fors

We’re thankful she is too.

A Different Me

October 14, 2007

With a title like that I’m sure you think this post is going to be inspiring.

I’m sure you think it’s going to be about how I have changed in so many ways, my new outlook on life, about the true necessities of life and how my heart has opened more than I could have ever dreamed it would be opened. But the truth is, it’s not about that this time.

I just smell.

Really, I do. It’s been almost two days since I last bathed. The crazy thing is, it just feels normal now.

If you knew me, really, really knew me, you would have bet this would never happen. Ever.

I have been known to take three showers in one day. In the states, I always shower before I go to bed. Always. That’s not the story here.

Since arriving at St. Monica’s, I have not bathed before bed… not once. I could if I wanted to, it would be freezing shower water. There is no hot water here, remember.

So, after the morning chores, I get a bucket of hot water to bathe myself. I call this the bucket bath. I am so grateful for this bucket bath! I don’t think I could ever get used to cold showers. I am truly spoiled.

The girls shower at 5:30 in the cold morning with extremely cold water every school day. I am in awe. I am going to look into solar powered water heater so they can have hot water and not cost the orphanage upkeep.

So back to the different me. I stink and I just don’t care.

It’s funny how quickly my priorities changed. My clothes are dirty. I smell. And the girls still want to cuddle up and be loved.

They have the right priorities, don’t you think?

Letting It Go

October 13, 2007

I couldn’t hold it in any longer.

Luckily, Auntie Lizi, the head mother, gave me the freedom and space to just cry this evening. I expressed to her my sadness for leaving and just how much I loved them all. She agreed with me when I told her that I could not go face the girls right now, because they would know that I had been crying.

So, I had a good cry.

Then I wiped the tears off my face and headed to the dining room area. The dining room area is a multipurpose room. For example, they eat all of their meals there, they dance there and then last night they had mass there. It’s a true multipurpose room.

I guess one of the last volunteers bought them a very old television set. It gets three channels, usually the news or some time of soap opera that is dubbed in English. We watched two this evening, one from Telemundo and the other a Chinese soap opera of some sort. It is quite entertaining and the girls seem to love it.

I was able to get through my evening because my Winnie hopped on to my lap and we snuggled on the plastic lawn chairs for close to two hours. She fell asleep in my arms and all was right in my Kenyan world.

It’s amazing how tough she is on the outside, but when you get right down to it, all she wants is to be loved. I can do that for her. I feel blessed that she has allowed me into her heart and has trusted me with it.

I hope she understands that she has my heart too.

A Mother’s Love

October 8, 2007

I believe that the power of touch is amazing.

Girls at St. Monica’s Orphanage in KenyaThese girls, my girls, long for it. The women here told us that no past volunteers have loved and accepted them like we have. I believe it is because we are Mothers.

A Mother’s love is powerful.
These girls crave it.

Juli and I can’t stand alone for too long before children surround us, just to be near us, to wrap their arms around us and hold our hands. This is the easy part of the job. I can do this all day long.

My friends, I hope some of you will join me on my next journey back to Kenya.
I hope you will love these girls just as much as I do.