May 27, 2009

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I think I’ve had a writing block. I’ll try again. I have a squiggly three year old in my lap who wants to “snuggle”. He likes that he is wearing his blue fleecy footed zip up PJ’s with a red fire truck on the front for the first time in many months. It’s cool this morning. Yes, let’s start with the weather. The rainy season has officially (and actually) started now. It was said to start May 15’Th but instead we had five more days of warm sunny weather. The Ethiopians were concerned. We heard whispers of the dreaded word “famine” about the campus as the crops had already been planted and the ground remained dry. Yesterday the storms came. First the strong wind came, whirling about a concoction of branches, trash, and dust; then, the clouds dumped their brimming buckets simultaneously on the mix with the fanfare of thunder and lightning. Then as if exhausted from all that pomp, there was calm. A steady drizzled followed last night. The air is clear and the ground is wet this morning. Hope the rain continues, another famine would be devastating now, with some families already going hungry due to the rising price of food. Also, hope Mark and others are able to make it back from Moogi clinic near the border of Sudan before the batter gets too thick.

Both of our laptops (our connections to the rest of the world) are sick with viruses. Even with good antivirus software, in developing countries, we’ve found one can expect these about as often as one can expect a good case of Traveler’s diarrhea for one’s self. Happily, thus far we haven’t had a gap in intelligent computer savvy volunteers yet; first there was beloved Joel who sadly for Gimbie, had to return to the business of his education, but then a day before Joel left, David arrived, a genius who is at this moment doctoring one of our critically ill laptops. The Lord giveth and He taketh away…..

There are occasions when missionaries have to get over their cultivated sense of decorum. During our time in Nepal, I had to get used to hand washing, then hanging my droopy wet undergarments out on the line across the veranda in full view of all passersby. In Ethiopia, with a three year old, we almost always have clothes on the line in stages of drying. But I thought I was experienced. If I was expecting guests, I would conceal only the undergarments hanging a meter from the front door by deftly moving them under a shirt. But I’ve had to change my tactics. Apparently people do not mind seeing my undergarments. In fact, someone must regard them as a thing of seriously functional value as I do. They have been disappearing. I’ve taken to hanging these valuables up on a line inside the house…and now I’m writing about it. Mission life just might be the real cure for shy persons.

The electricity has been out from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm about every third or fourth day this month. We have learned to shower ourselves and power our conveniences and bake our bread whenever there is electricity. We pray for and baby our ageing hospital generator which holds out to keep the lights on, the oxygen concentrators running and the surgical theater in action at the hospital. We are thankful for our additional water tank which our new pump fills and gets us through at least a day of no power. We have learned to enjoy candlelight at home and the quiet it brings.