Saturday, June 21, 2008


This week I went to the local hospital with some of my coworkers. I was nervous...I didn't know what to expect walking into this hospital. I spent the visitors' hour talking with patients, hearing their stories--lonely, desperate stories--and praying with them. I was surprised so many of them were so open, so happy to have someone to talk to. I spent most of my time with a young woman named Senty. She didn’t speak English, but she seemed happy to have someone sit with her. I prayed with her, and then I knelt next to her bed and held her hand for a while. After a few minutes, she sat up and motioned for me to rub her leg. I spent some time massaging her leg and one of her hands. I was happy she asked, and amazed at her trust. Her expression softened...she relaxed. I don't know much about Senty's story, only that she is very young and very sick. But the twenty minutes I spent with her were special to me. Ngiyabonga, beautiful lady.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Without this pack on, I'm like a [bleeping] mountain goat!

ou may have already read Mike's blog, but I wanted to post a few pictures about our hiking trip, too. Kim and Mike and Jed and I hiked for 30 km, spending two nights in Blyde River Canyon last weekend. We had SUCH a great time! The weather was warm during the day and very cool at night. (It's winter, so the days are short now...the sun sets around 6pm.) Each night we hiked to a camp, and each camp had space for about 30 people, although we happened to be the only ones staying when we were there. When we got there, there was firewood waiting for us, as well as running water (sort of) and pots for cooking. What else can I tell you? Mike deserves a special mention, I suppose, because his pack was heaviest. (He carried the wine, but it worked out, because he drank most of it, too. Come to think of it, that's probably why he drank the most of it.) Kim gets the award for most generous, for lending me her down vest to fend off the cold one night. She also gets the award for most sunburned, since she forgot her hat and her sunglasses. Jed was the most chipper in the mornings, probably because he was the first to bed every night. (We struggled to keep him up until 8pm.) Here are a few pictures...

Camp on Day 1

Out on the trail on Day 2

Yellow footprints like this one marked our path.

Kim and Mike and Jed on Day 3, after we took a
breath or two to admire the waterfall behind us.

We celebrated our finish by soaking our sore toes in the cold river water. Jed splashed us in the instant before he shot this pic.

It's been quite an adjustment to have such a quiet apartment these days. We're looking forward to blowing up the air mattress again in two weeks when Mom and Dad and Jon arrive!