Friday, April 11, 2014
“A friend is one to whom one may pour out the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that gentle hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” ― George Eliot
The quote above does a pretty good job of describing our friendship with Jimmye Whitfield and with her husband, Bill, when he was alive. It was such a lift to our spirits to have Jimmye in our living room last night sharing old times and taking about the things we all have yet to do. She is the same age as Karen (born within a month of each other) and Bill and Jimmye were married on June 6, 1965, just a day after Karen and I were wed. We share the same passion for Tanzania, its people, and the church that serves them, so we get along very, very well. She is traveling with a friend from Virginia who is named Mangala. Right now they are in Musoma but will be back this evening and will stay till at least Sunday when they are going back to Musoma for a special church service honoring Jimmye for her years of work here. It is always good to have conversations in English, but to be able to share experiences that date back decades and to share friendships with special folks here in Tanzania, too, well, that’s just priceless. Jimmye and Mangala both went out and observed the Montesorri teaching this morning and were very impressed and loved the kids, of course. We had the vet here today and got Sophie spayed so we will only have puppies from Hilde, since the only other males here are Sophie’s father and brother. The vet was very good and will come back tomorrow to give her an antibiotic injection and then will come back in ten days to take the stitches out. Vets making house calls is a cool thing. Other good news is that our residence permits are finally here and we will get them and our passports stamped on Monday. We have been waiting since December of 2012, so this is a big deal, especially since Karen will need the stamp on her passport to get back into the country when she returns from the U.S. Right now, she is making each of our female staff members some culottes from Tanzanian fabric. They have often told her how much they loved the ones that she wore, so she promised to make them some. She is always thinking of others—one of the many reasons I love her.