Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another week in Timu

Someone pinch me (gonna have to be Terrill) because I'm on the blog again. Don't know how this happened...but I won't look a gift horse in the mouth. And since I'm on the blog, I wanted to update with a few more photos from the month. It's been an extraordinarily topsy turvy few weeks for us. 

For one thing, we had a visit with the girls' mom, Alice. She is a sweet lady of about 28 yrs who is 8 1/2 months pregnant right now. Although she has a chronic disease, she is glowing with pregnancy, which was nice to see. We take the girls to visit Alice every other month. She is presently living in Kaabong to be near to the hospital for the delivery of her new baby. Lemu used to have a hard time seeing Alice because it would bring up old memories and make her weepy for days (understandably) but she is getting stronger and this visit was the best one yet. No tears. We're trying to help her appreciate every moment she has with Alice and not to cry over what she's lost, but be thankful for what she has (both visits with Alice and a new family). 
During this visit with Alice, we also met her younger sister, Amina. We've now met all three of Alice's sisters and the girls are familiar with their maternal aunties.
Mamas Amber & Alice
Enjoying bfast porridge on the's the little things in life.
I've been having trouble with bees lately. They swarm my avocado seeds that sit on the ledge near my sink, looking for a water source. It wouldn't be such a problem but they come in numbers and bother me while I work. Alas, the seeds had to be moved.
The girls and I planted flowers in a small garden in order to attract butterflies. It worked!
A snail Terrill found on a morning walk.
It started raining this week, but before then, this is how the ground looked in some places.
Produce I brought from Kaabong. Thank the good Lord for the fruits of the earth. Without them, we would be surviving on dry goods. 
An evening fireside chat with daddy.
 Doing preschool activities together. The girls are learning to recognize letters and sound them out.
Playing outside with friends near our firepit. What you don't realize is that they are 'playing church'. The boy on the bike is the pastor's son and he is directing the choir (Lemu in the dress and two other boys). I actually have a video of them singing church songs out there. Janet is the 'mother hen' in the audience who is caring for a baby (a child of our house helper).
 We visited our friend's house in Kaabong and they have a piano. The girls begged to play it, so we sat down and felt the keys. This is a first for them and both were very interested in pianos all weekend after that.
 A wonderful thing happened this week and a sad thing happened. I'll start out with the positive story. The Ik man who had been missing from a hospital (in Matany) where we sent him...has been found. He had abandoned his 10-yr old son at the hospital and was supposedly running away from the police (according to him). Somehow they had gotten a tip that he was a thief and they were investigating him. So he started walking north and got to Kotido (two and a half hours south of Timu). In Kotido he was captured by some Karamojongs and beaten for being an unknown person in their region. People in Karamoja are generally not trustworthy of people from other areas in Karamoja (there are 10 sub-tribes that live in the whole of Karamoja). After a few days, the men handed Teko (our friend) over to some soldiers who supposedly beat the man and kept him in their barracks for two weeks. Then they handed the man over to the police who released the man because nobody was bringing charges against him. So the man is still in Kotido after several weeks and tries to make his way north again. Except, early-onset dementia takes over and he walks east first, getting lost. He is lost like this for several more days before finally making his way to Timu, haggard and hungry. But praise God, the man is alive and home. He has not entered his village yet because the culture dictates that a goat must be sacrificed first. They had done burial rites over the man just last week and were 'forgetting him'. In order to remember him again, they must kill another goat and do more rituals. Until then, the man is staying with a relative not far from home. He has declared that he WILL NOT leave Timu again. And I've instructed the family that they need to watch this man (50-something) at all times because of his tendency to get lost.

Now for my sad news. My very sweet, very dear grandma died. She was 80 yrs old with many health problems. It was a cancer in the stomach that eventually took her to an eternal home. Grandma Donna (in the pink on the right) went quickly after the cancer diagnosis. She was blessed to be surrounded by family before she left...and to die at peace, without pain, in the arms of my grandpa. I was blessed to speak with her on the phone three days before she passed. It was a precious time of saying good-bye and expressing our love. Oh, but the difficulty of losing a loved one while 8000 miles away. I couldn't give her one more hug...smell her sweetness...feel her wrinkly cheek...squeeze her hand...I just didn't have that physical closure. And although I know I'll meet her again on the other side of eternity, it's so hard to let them go on this side. My mom reminds me that each of us in the family carries pieces of grandma with us and she lives on through us. This is true and I want to cherish both the memories of her and the things she's given me. Please pray for my family as we mourn a beloved 'family stone'.


Anonymous said...

Amber, I am praying for you, as sweet Momma to Janet and Lemu... (I love the "ice cream" mix picture!) I'll be praying for passports for them. ...I pray also for your heart in all this "darkness" and death. I know that is difficult. We love you guys!
Love, Janna Currieo

Anonymous said...

Hey Amber, Praying for your heart as you mourn your grandma. I know how much both of your grandmas mean to you! Lots of love to you, Terrill & the girls from the Philippines, Kate

Anonymous said...

Happy 9th Anniversary !!! Hope you and your family are doing well. Love, Eric and Theresa Camil