Thursday, July 3, 2014

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.” — Mother Teresa

It is so good to have Karen back home again.  Thanks to the package that arrived yesterday, our living room and kitchen are both covered with small little things that she (and only she) knows will be used in her teaching seminars before traveling to the preschools we’ve started to be used by the teachers there.  Tiny little cups, buttons, tongue depressors that have been turned into crocodile-looking greater-than and less-than symbols, among tons of other little things.  When John was in Mwanza yesterday, he bought Charlini a little toy stove and pots and pans and cooking implements.  The stove has a little red light that comes on to show that fire is present.  Charlini just loves it and has played with it non-stop.  Karen introduced her to puzzles that a friend gave us, and she is terrific at them.  She even has a little puzzle song she sings while she works.  For six weeks, Karen was gone, John was sleeping until noon, and Charlini was in school, so it was like I was living here alone.  Now, with everybody back and active, school is out so Charlini is here every day, and it is more like living in a Frat house during pledge week.  In the package yesterday was a 41-year-old Pentax SLR (that’s a camera to those of you who only know how to take pictures with your phone)  that belongs to John and he had left behind.  It still had film in it that is being developed.  He and Charlini went on a photo journey around our neighborhood today.  Edina is still out but should be back on Monday.  Charles, who works with Edina is out with malaria, and I am under the weather having contracted parasites somehow.  This is an occupational hazard for all missionaries here because it it impossible to keep your hands clean 100% of the time.  You can just shake hands with someone, forget about it, eat something later and voila.  After nine years though, this has only happened twice before, so we do a pretty good job and they have really good medicine as there are only three main parasites that are common.  The only down side is that the medicine gives everything you eat a copper taste for about three days after.  Most of the people here live with these things all the time because they can’t afford the medicine (about $8.00) to kill them.  Our biosand filters remove them from the water, so it is one thing that we are doing that has immediate benefits.  The parasites aren’t lethal, but they lead to malnutrition, digestive problems, and general ill health.  Having them myself makes me feel better about the biosand filter projects we have done and are working on.  This week, we should finish the mold modifications so that one can go to the Congo and start making the biosand filters there where they are so badly needed.  It is good to have my family together again.
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