It’s been Small Wildlife Month at Chez Owens, first with a tree frog in our bananas, then a mouse racing fat and terrified around the kitchen counter.
Now thousands of flying ants have descended upon campus, plague-like, fluttering out brief lives before doffing their oversized wings and seizing belly-up on the floor. Our guys left the dorm windows open last night to the tune of five hundred small visitors, which ended in a late-night snack of fried and buttered ants. Because, naturally.
(Discarded ant wings)
In other news, I have not been able to exercise for like three days now, as my knee is inflamed or annoyed or something-or-othered, but the highlight of this story is I managed to tell my coworker about it in Swahili. Monday, I was running down there on Barn’s trail, and I fell and now I have pain in my knee. You have no idea how delighted I was to find I have the vocabulary to say this unfortunate thing.
On the less-delighted side, not exercising makes me itchy and restless and I am more or less grumping around the house right now. It’s really too bad you’re all not here to enjoy it.
Friday Kenya Kids Can was invited to attend an academic celebration, and PEOPLE. That thing was so much fun.
They sat us front and center, guests of honor at this first-ever Longonot awards ceremony, and with all the stops pulled out: balloons, poetry, song calling, cascades of faux flowers. Hundreds of students packed the courtyard, whooping as their schools were announced and trophies bestowed. Highest performer. Best in the district.
It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to dance.
I’m guessing that not that many years back, when hunger numbed even our brightest minds and student performance lay frail and unmoving, it was hard to scrape up something to celebrate. But Friday the applause thrummed deep and those beautiful, capable kiddos bobbed and whirled and leapt like they’re made of so much light.
Mark was given the chance to speak, and he said it well, what he always says, what Steve always said before him: It’s not me. This is so much bigger than me; I’m standing here representing a whole bunch of people all over this earth who love God and love you and who find quiet joy in knowing you’re eating and learning. People who believe you have bright things to offer this world, and who’ll shoulder mountains aside to see that happen.
You should’ve seen these students dance, and this one gal in particular with her chin angled, eyes blazing, so proud to be Maasai and beautiful and strong and educated and ready. So absolutely ready.
I don’t know about everybody else, but the way I saw it, all that cheering and stomping aimed a straight shot to heaven. They were peals of glory thundered back to our Creator, rising hot from our dust to the One who is the Bread of Life, who meets our soul-hunger with nothing less than Himself.
I’ll be the first to tell you that not every day sings this bright. Some days feel flat and ordinary, or downright challenging, but in all the betweens God keeps our faith alive and trembling. He keeps us close. He keeps us.
And all the while He shows up true and infinitely sweet.