Just want to say at the beginning that no matter what has happened to us, what is happening to us, or what will happen to us--we are very happy here doing what God has called the three of us to do. We wouldn't be happy anywhere else because we have found what some people seek all their lives and never find--the place where they belong. These people are our people and we are theirs and no disease, injury, or hurt will change that.
I am feeling better and so is Karen, but that is not to say we are feeling good or well—that will come in a few weeks. In the meantime, as Robert Frost once wrote, “But (we) have promises to keep, and miles to go before (we) sleep.” We are hosting at least ten Methodist bishops next week who will be here for a three-day meeting. That means planning the menu, buying the food, making sure the propane tanks are full, preparing the rooms, and making sure everything is in good working order. We have a beautiful place here with lots and lots of flowers. This is normally a good thing, but it also means we attract a lot of bees and right now we have a hive in one of the guest cottages. This has happened before and we have had to kill them, but this time, Karen had two bee hives built and Shaban and the bee man are trying to lure them away from the guest cottage and into the boxes we built. The first human arrivals won’t be until next Tuesday, so it may be close. We have also lost power to the other guest cottage and the roots of a tree have broken a water line to the cottage. Welcome to our world. Nothing works right all the time or stays in good order partly because we don’t get quality parts here. All the rejects that aren’t good enough for the U.S. or Europe get sent here. When we had groups coming from the U.S. every year (it’s been four years since we’ve had one), they always brought plumbing parts, electrical stuff, and good tools. Now, we do the best we can with what we have. At the moment, we don’t feel good and lots of stuff needs fixing, but we will get it done because that’s what we promised and we keep our promises. We also got two packages yesterday, one from New York and one from South Carolina. It’s always a bit like Christmas when we get packages. One had tee shirts for all of the staff and dog treats among other things. The other had a good kitchen knife and some stuff we had ordered last summer, so we are happy about that. The staff are all kitted out in their new shirts today. There are several people who send us things every year, people who keep their promises to us. It makes us feel very special indeed. I am known here as a "mtu kweli" or a man of the truth--what I say I will do, I will do whatever the cost or inconvenience to me. My father and Karen's father did the same. It's not always easy or fun, but it is always right and always important, and you can take that to the bank.