right at home

This morning I had this hearty half hour of stillness before the day cracked open. My middlest child joined me a bit before six, but for a while there it was just God and quiet and a bright cup of coffee.


PS I love laundry. I love the pinning and the looking up into all that wind and sky. I do not so much love the folding part, but still. We all start somewhere.


Two weeks back Miss L turned nine. Thanks to a couple friends who let me tag along to Nairobi, we were able to snag a few gifts for her — watercolor paints, a journal and a cat umbrella. Nairobi is a tricksy little place: it boasts lots of Americanish stuff, but most of it costs a bazillion dollars and so you must search high and wide to ferret out the few price tags that don’t make your eyeballs walk out on you.

L had a great birthday, and we even pulled life together enough to have cupcakes and crafts under the tree out front. Or back. (I can never figure out what’s supposed to be the front/back/side of our dorm; there is one side that obviously isn’t the front, but the others are pretty equal. I think I shall start referring to them as Fronts #1, 2 and 3, and Not the Front. That’ll clear things up.)

Also: I do not know about these faces she is making. I try to get her talking to me when I snap pictures these days, because then we usually arrive at actual laughter + some exaggerated personality. She is undoubtedly blessed in the Department of Personality.

Yesterday was Multicultural Day here at RVA, which turned out to be a heap of fun. I tried to memorize the succession of nations as the flag bearers marched in, but I think we are familiar with the limitations of my brain. Here’s what I can still cobble together: we have students from Hong Kong, China, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Canada, United States, Brazil, Burundi, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, South Sudan, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya.

Plus the ones I forget.

The place was rumbling when South Korea and USA walked in, but it positively came undone with the arrival of the Kenyan flag and several of our Kenyan students and staff members.

chai tree

The staff rigged up crafts and food and games (ie dart blowing contests, boomerang throwing), but sadly I have no pictures since the majority of my day was dedicated to the fine art of folding twelve million paper cranes.

Tip of the Week: If anyone ever brings up origami, do not idly mention, Oh I know how to do that. This sort of information is best left as classified, that’s all I’m saying.

And we haven’t even discussed Spiritual Emphasis Week, but I shall have to save that guy for another post, as pretty much only my mother is still reading this one. (See? This is why you’re my favorite mom.) But I need to say this, at least: God is redeeming some people here who mean the world to us.

‘Come set our hearts ablaze with hope like wildfire in our very souls.’ Amen. Bwana Asifiwe.

In case you are wondering.

This is our school chai tree. It is a rusting tangle of welded metal, from which students hang their marginally-clean chai mugs to dry. Some things here are just plain strange, and thus we find ourselves right at home.

We miss you.

Come see us.


Author: nic

saved by grace.

13 thoughts

  1. I’m so happy every time I see a post from you. I’m so glad Miss L’s birthday went well! Your pictures are just stunning! Do you happen to have an address we can send you mail at? 🙂


  2. I’m still reading!! Eagerly! I would like to have a chai mug hung on that tree. Mine just sits in the cupboard which now seems entirely too boring. I would love nothing more than coming to visit…get me one plane!!!


  3. I’ve missed you and your posts terribly and therefore made it all the way to the end, and a couple times. Praying for you. Trying to imagine being among people of so many countries and thinking heaven must be a little like that. Love the tree, of course.

    Thank you for praying for us. Your prayers for R are working. Another surgery, tomorrow, for my brother. love you


  4. Nic, I was just thinking of you this week! I somehow got busy and missed your last post and I was going to come looking for you to check on how you were going. I love the chai tree! Happy birthday, L! I hope we hear from you again soon. Big hug to you and your family.


    1. love, we are about two hours from mitaboni, but we were right there back in august–we spent three weeks in orientation at a local college in machakos. i would absolutely treasure the chance to see you, my friend.


  5. So good to hear that all is well!! Happy Birthday to Miss L, hard to believe she is 9! Where does the time go? Love and prayers to you and the family. And I LOVE reading your posts!!


  6. Looks like I’m in the running with your Mama. 🙂

    Okay, L looks SO much like M(1) to me. WHEN did that happen? Or am I slow in these matters?? Her faces – she reminds me so much of Rubes.

    Your clothesline shots are PURE ART. As in, can I steal them and hang them in my mud room? For real.

    And now, I shall accept your offer/proclamation that I can/will come and visit you. Please set up a personal visit between C and any/all South Korean students.

    (CAN YOU IMAGINE???!!!!!! Now I’m feeling faint.)

    I miss you.

    I love you.


  7. Just when I get to the point where I will burst if I don’t have an update from you, you make good on it. I carried your picture around my house the other day for well over an hour. My littlest side kick likes to hold “Nic” in her tiny hands and sometimes you attend tea parties of the imaginary sort. I may have rescued you and the likes of the rest of your crew from the plastic hold of the fisher price microwave.

    Mostly, I prayed that you were well and that God was using you BIG. I miss your everyday, but I am more proud of you than I can assemble into words, so there’s that. You wear God well, friend. Don’t ever forget.



  8. I hate passwords. I’m horrible at it. I miss you too girl. And I’m thinking a trip over with Shannan would be the thing to make happen. 🙂 Love the tree. Happy sweet birthday to your sweetie.


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