Sunday, November 20, 2011

Counting Down

Away we go, into the wild blue yonder (not more wild than is good for us, we hope), in just a couple days hours.  Here is one of the things I’ve been thinking about in the last few weeks while I’ve been doing pretty much everything under the sun but writing: this is a gorgeous, gorgeous part of the world we live in here.  I found myself laughing, marveling, at the ridiculous magnificence of a Wallingford street late Friday afternoon. The sun, dancing with the thunderclouds, had spotlighted a towering golden ash in the distance; immediately outside my car, maples of crimson and burnt orange shivered in gusts of frigid air, their leaves spinning slowly down to carpet the sidewalks in royal splendor. For once in my life, I drove slower than the speed limit, gawking like I’d never seen plants. I love this season.

Here is another one: the human body is [naughty expletive beginning in F] AMAZING.  Take our skin, for example.  It’s porous, but solid.  It’s stretchy, yet it keeps its shape, and it can do that through a surprisingly large range of sizes.  Or our eyes, which enable us to experience the rich colors of nature (nature, too—awesome, right?). I’m just so impressed by us humans.  I mean, we are shockingly capable things.  Life ROCKS.

And here is another thing humans do: we connect with each other.  On Thursday evening, Ian and I had dinner with several members of a Kenyan family, one member of whom I’d met twice before, although she was not at dinner because I’ve met her in Idaho, when I’ve been visiting K&A. On my most recent trip to Jerome Creek, I reminded K&A that Ian and I would be going to Kenya, and as we were going to be traveling in the outrageous comfort of British Airways’ Club World, we could check more bags than we would need, and would A&D (D and his family being long-time friends of the R’s, D and Dr Jason having worked together harvesting wheat in their youths) like to send anything with us back to family in Kenya?

Well, they were thrilled with the offer, and A&D in Idaho collected up a duffle and sent it to Seattle with K&A who came in Wednesday to see K’s mother.  But then, A’s sister in Federal Way also had some things to send back home, and would we please come to dinner and meet them and collect their duffle, too.  And so we had an excellent home-cooked meal and met three generations (the youngest is an adorable, active, and whip-smart 4-year-old who can already count to ten in three languages).  Upon arrival in Nairobi late Tuesday night (overnight tonight to London, overnight in London, over day Tuesday to Nairobi) we will be met by the wife of one of the dinner attendees who will take the extra duffles off our hands and then we’re off to Giraffe Manor.  But a couple days later, we’ll be staying in Nairobi with yet another family member, and next Saturday there is going to be a huge family party at the home of the fourth generation (or maybe the first)—Ian and I are invited to the family’s “thanksgiving” get together at the grandparents’ house!  

We are overwhelmed by the friendliness of these folks, and can’t wait to be back in Africa.

1 comment:

joel said...

Thanks for this going away gift. I'll be watching for updates, no matter how brief.
Have a wonderful time.