Today was wonderful. And honestly, there haven't been too many days lately that could be qualified as "wonderful". :)
Today, was a Thomaji day (and I realize that I haven't given you a lot of information about Thomaji - I'll post my original info about Thomaji when I get to Nairobi - it's a real interesting read :) Anyway, I went out with Peter and Kamal (two of my favorite CHW's to go out with) and Sandra, a new girl here, from Canada, who is teaching with Barb at the CHW school. The place in Thomaji we went to is called "Bunj Tolgen" and is the home of the chief (if you know the story) who used really strong words with me at the beginning of our outreaches out there, and pretty much told me he thought I was 'just speaking nice words about coming out to help them, but didn't believe that we would ever come...' So, every time we have gone to Bunj Tolgen over the past three months, I always make a point of letting this Chief know that we have arrived, and will be there to weigh their children for the day.
SO! When we arrived today I got a super warm greeting from that chief, he kept his hand on my shoulder for a good minute after we'd greeted (a warm gesture in Mabaan),
AND he stayed the whole time during our bible and health teaching and weighing process (usually he finds something else to do) AND came over with me to assess a sick lady at the end of all that AND laughed at a joke I made :) Then, when we were leaving, Peter was explaining to him that that was our last day there until after the rains, he was totally understanding and just made a little speach about how happy he was that we'd come to do anything at all, b/c everyone else has ignored the people of Thomaji. I left him with the assurance that even though we would not be able to go out during the rains, I would be thinking of them and praying for them. This man was a big blessing to me day, and I praise the Lord for the encouraging steps forward I see in him, and in 'our' relationship. May he one day know and trust the Lord for himself.
It was also a wonderful day because we were able to start giving out the 500 mosquito nets I purchased (with ministry funds - many thanks to the hundreds of people who have contributed to that). We made many people happy :) I also go to see Mohammed, one of our favorite patients at the Doro clinic - a burn patient we had living with us for almost two months. I had lots of encouraging Mabaan moments (and let me tell you, THOSE are hard to come by these days too!), and was given lots of (undeserved) credit for 'knowing all of Mabaan' by the village ladies who delighted in talking with me and Sandra over coffee. It was a productive day too, we assessed and weighed 73 children, and 10 pregnant ladies, and gave out almost 80 mosquito nets. Let's see... what else... I got to stop, all be it quickly, in Gasmala and see many of the faces that I love so much. We biked back racing the rain the whole way and WON... we got back, wet, but beat the utter DOWN POUR just in time... AGAIN :) I had a wonderful shower in the rain - cold air, and sun-warmed water, while the sunset, that I couldn't see, turned the whole sky the coolest hazy shade of orange... I'm currently drinking my favorite Twinings Strawberry Vanilla Roibos tea, wearing my long lined pants and a sweatshirt :)
It was just a wonderful day to be me :) Which you could have traded me for a few hours to enjoy the bliss and challenge of living in Sudan - until the day when you can visit, you'll just have to live vicariously through this blog :)
I hope that were ever you are reading this from, that it was a good day to be you :)