This is our last full day at Msalato Theological College and the Bp. Stanway Primary School where Jessie has left part of her tender heart. We aren’t quite finished there as we are going at 8 a.m. to have breakfast with some of the teachers. The students will not be there tomorrow. They have just finished exams and the teachers will be grading them. Also, between you and me, I think they can’t let Jessie go without one more look at her. You might say they love her, although Kilian’s baby (he’s the academic master) wailed every time she looked at Jessie and me -two white haired muzungus. Win some, lose some.

It was also our last day in chapel with the college students and the teaching staff. Like last year we were asked to say a few words which we could barely do because of the lumps in our throats. It is much harder to say “goodbye” than “hello.” We were thanked over and over more generously than we deserved. Sandy has said that we are incarnational – that we cared enough to come back. There were many hugs at the door after chapel and equally as many tears. We have felt so insecure teaching English and yet, at the end our last class the young women responded by giving little speeches in English – they who barely said two words in class. In particular, one young girl, a Muslim looked grim and glum in every class. She is quite bright and I figured that she was bored to death with our feeble attempt at teaching English grammar. Lo and behold, Lilian stood up and said it pained her that we were leaving. Of course, we choked up. It’s that kind of experience. We are not tired physically, but emotionally and mentally we or at least I am “whupped.”

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As Jessie said in her last entry we both have a lot of processing to do about our 14 hour journey to Manyoni, Itigi,and the Rift Valley -the welcome, the food, the singing and dancing, and the gifts that were given to us, just two ordinary, aging women. Just wait until you see the pictures. It was such a long day and night that we did not go to 7 a.m church the next day but slept in and read, talked some about the experience and mostly, I cried. Jessie kept pushing me: “What are you feeling.” I sat for long periods of time by myself unable to answer her questions. Finally I said something about feeling so connected to the people and we both agreed it had been a holy day. God, who often eludes me seemed so near. I kid you not, I feel closer to God here than anywhere I have ever been and yet it seems like a God-forsaken place.

We hear “Hodie” and “Karibu” many times a day. Hodie: “knock-knock, may I come in?” Karibu: ‘Welcome.”

The dusty footpaths that we have walked daily will recede from our memory, or will they? Certainly, we bring home many stories; so much fills our hearts.

Be patient with us when we get home. Tectonic events take some time, maybe a lifetime.

We will be home late Friday night. Love to all who have followed our journey and who have prayed for us.

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