Friday, April 1, 2016

“I hope you're proud of yourself for the times you've said "yes," when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to someone else.” ― Fred Rogers

The very good news is that Edina is back and is healthy to the max, smiling and laughing.  The doctors are calling it a miracle, I am calling it the power of prayer around the world—which is a miracle to lots of people.  The grounds got a little grungy while she was out because the other guys just don’t share her eye and dedication.  The place looks beautiful again. 
     Sadly, after being with us for almost eleven years, we had to terminate Juliana this week.  Things have been bad since last December when we tried to get Charlini into a good boarding school and Juliana, who first agreed, then refused and went crazy.  She screamed insults and curse words at her brother, an Anglican priest who was helping us and then screamed and yelled at us, calling us names.  We gave her a week off and told her if she came back to work, we would pay for Charleni’s day school fees but would give Juliana new duties working outside only.  She came back and signed an agreement which said she understood and accepted her new duties and knew that if she violated the terms, she would be terminated.  We put that agreement on file with the labor board.  In the meantime, she has been getting advice from what we call her “bush lawyers” who have been telling her she can force us to pay her millions if she makes us fire her and doesn’t just quit.  So, she began violating the terms of the agreement, not showing up for work, leaving during the day, and yelling and physically threatening Karen (which upset Karen a lot).  Shaban is good friends with the chief of the labor board and so the labor board wrote the letter that we gave her to sign when we terminated her.  Her “bush lawyers” think she can go to the labor board and they (who have complimented me on my humanity for all I do for our workers) will force me to pay her ten to twenty million shillings.  Her bush lawyers don’t know about the signed agreement that was already with the labor board or that the labor board helped write her termination letter so there were no loopholes.  She has pulled Charlini out of school and gotten a refund (already spent) and changed Charlini's name since she was named after me.  She is now named “Grace” after her mother which is really more appropriate, but we have not seen her since last December.  We will not contest and will even help Juliana get what is coming to her from social security which amounts to about a year’s wages, but that money is hers and that is fine.  Her son the drug dealer and her daughter the prostitute are still living with her, so we don’t think that money will last very long.  We gave her six months pay as a humanitarian gift—the law only requires one month’s pay.  It is a sad end to what was a good relationship, but I think she is slipping into dementia which has already taken over her mother and sister.  We have no hope of influencing any decisions regarding her granddaughter.  We have taken such good care of that little girl from the day she was born, but our hearts get broken a lot here, and we knew it would be so when we came.  That doesn’t make it any less painful or easier to accept.  Those “bush lawyers” promised great wealth to previous workers like Samson, Paul, and Amos, and all three got nothing.  Samson took us to the labor board, but we had a signed agreement with him, so he got nothing.  Paul and Amos have both been back begging for their old jobs, but they made their choices.  
     Bwana Masele came by to tell us that he would have to quit teaching at the end of May because of his advanced age and health.  He has been helping us and teaching since we first arrived here and was surprised and delighted to find out that we were going to pay him every month as if he were teaching for as long as he lives.  In addition, we gave him some money to help him move to his new house, so he left here asking God to bless us over and over again.  We told him he was too late, God has already blessed us over and over again.  We treat everyone as kindly as we can and bless them as God has blessed us.  Of course, there will be people who try to deceive us, but the good far outnumber the bad, and so far the courts and government here have been on our side every time in every case.  We love it here.  We love the people and we love our mission.  We will continue to serve God and His church and His children as long as we draw breath.  
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