It's too bad we can't drive, because this guy is ready to go!
The past ten days or so have been pretty quiet on the Facebook/blog from our side because Fred and I were on the road, although going different directions. We went the first leg together, then he headed off to Kigali, Rwanda for a follow-up training in trauma and grief counseling. He was certified as a facilitator for counseling by the American Bible Society. He went to the first part of this training back in February when we were waiting for our little guy to arrive, and this trip happened at Wesley's half-birthday. We spent the day on the road to Dodoma, where Wesley and I were going to attend a Lahash retreat.
After a relaxing three days of Dodoma sun (and breeze--it's the cold time of year), good fellowship with the Angotes and Will Campbell, fabulous food, meditation on justice, mercy and hope, and afternoon naps, I feel energized and renewed for a new season of work. Actually, the work started right away, as I had a meeting with Mama Askofu Muhagachi, the director of GHMD, about the ways that the Higher Education Program will benefit the students in her program. Although more information will be coming in future months, one of the first candidates for a university scholarship from Lahash will be someone I have sponsored for the past five years, Baraka Kibiro. He's starting his national exams, which are comparable to SATs in America, in a few weeks.
Wesley and I spent a couple of extra days in Dodoma for meetings, shopping and watching episodes of "New Girl" (It's Jess!) on Will's computer. From Dodoma, we went on to the town of Shinyanga, which is the location of a potential new Lahash partner, Path of Hope. I reviewed some exciting proposals with the director of Path of Hope, and Wesley exhibited the best of his charms and tricks for her. The director, Mama Askofu Nyakyema, and I have a lot in common, although we're a generation apart, not least of which is that we're American women married to Luo men. She's like a stand-in grandma, and Wesley had fun practicing eating grown-up food with her.
We all got home yesterday after good trips, and we are happy to be together again. Wesley has been showing Fred how well and how much he can eat, how he "walks" (taking steps while being supported upright), how ticklish he's become, his almost-breaking-through tooth buds and how he's learning a little independence. He doesn't have to be held every single moment and he has even become friendly with new people! Fred and Wesley have been together almost every moment since we met up yesterday, making noises and faces at each other.
We are buying plane tickets this week, and hope to be arriving back in the States in 17 days! Watch this blog for more information about our timeframe and events to hear about our work in East Africa.