Here are a few numbers to help represent the time that I spent with my 5 children in the U.S. this summer.
over 3,500 miles driven
over 8,500 miles flown
over $1,000 raised in cash and goods for Kenyan’s in need
4 states visited
5 airports utilized, in 3 countries
5 pediatric check-ups, 1 immunization, 15 total inches grown (5 by 1 child)
6 dental cleanings, 2 cavities filled, 3 dentist offices visited
3 teeth lost, in 2 weeks, by 1 child
3 cousins met, each born while we were in Kenya
1 youth mission trip, 1 week Boy Scout camp
4 kids, each 1 week at summer camp
5 days at the beach, 3 days at the lake, 2 days playing in a river, pool visits uncounted
1 day at Sea World, 1 day at Kennedy Space Center, 1 day at Stone Mountain
at least 19 BFFs visited
10 homes overnighted in
immeasurable support and encouragement
a minimum of one visit to each: The Varsity, Weaver D’s, Papa Johns, Dominos, Little Caesar’s, Chick-fil-A, Krispy Kreme, Dairy Queen, Taco Bell, McDonalds, Publix Deli, Kroger Deli, Chili’s, Mediterranean Grill, Hurricanes, Auntie Catfish, D.J.’s Deck, La Tropicana, Taqueria Tsunami, Australian Bakery Café, Willie Rae’s, Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes, Douceur de France, Ben and Jerry’s, Subway, Starbucks, (and cousin Sylvia’s kitchen)
pounds gained, unreported, (see above)
I have been home in Kenya for almost three weeks now. It has taken me that long to unpack, rearrange my wallet (dollars out, shillings in), and to begin to enjoy the memories from our time in the US this summer. Our time there was fun, restful, and needed more than I realized. We were uplifted in body and spirit. Our friends and family prayed with us, laughed with us, laughed at us, encouraged us, listened to us, and treated us as if we had never been away. I had fewer fights with my sister than I had anticipated and more disagreements with those curious about our life in Kenya than I had imagined.
Then we returned to our home in Kenya. The weather was wonderful, the flowers beautiful, and the zebra still line the road. Finally, our neighbors made the return so much easier. They decorated the front door, filled the house with roses, left dinner in the refrigerator, and refreshed the cupboard with groceries.
I am appreciative and humbled. This time would never has been possible without the help of many. People kept my children, drove us, helped us pack, transported our luggage, paid for us, entertained us, hosted us, raised funds for Kenyans, fed us, supplied us with items we no longer own, and just made us feel good. I haven’t been that relaxed in more than a year. I continue to feel the uplift. I can never thank everyone enough.