• ashirk@gmail.com
  • Kijabe, Kenya
Day 14

Day 14

We’re two weeks in to three weeks, but it feels more like two weeks into the rest of our lives.

I feel like it has been years since we left the States, since we were sitting on the plane for 3 hours in Atlanta just waiting to take off. I expected to know what was next when we got here – either to feel that this was  a dream that would not work for our little family or for it to fit like a glove –

The medicine is the hardest I have ever done in my life – but I know it will make me a better doctor. I have to ponder the physics and micro-workings of the body to take advantage of the simplest interventions to make children better.  In Kijabe, I can do more than I expected, but knowing each test I order may equal a week’s wages for a family makes each decision carry ten times the weight I felt before. However, rather than paralyzing me, it has given me more freedom and joy in my work.

I have more trust that the body is fearfully, wonderfully made. Although I will never master it’s intricacies, as I release perfection and embrace the possibility that exists in medicine in Africa, I know that He will work powerfully.

I am watching the doctors that are here and absorbing as much as I possibly can of how they have made this all work – how they are parents with amazing children that see the world as a big place and  speak with strangers with ease. How they have built a world where they create a haven and reach out into uncertainty daily.  How they speak the truth in love and they live Christ daily. It is quite magical to watch.

And my family – my sweet girls and wonderful husband.

My girls are more content than I have ever seen. . .they have asked to go home only once, to watch Doc McStuffins 🙂 . . . Other than that, though, I have watched them thrive, watched their imaginations come to life, watched them make friends with ease. I have watched fearfullness turn into a spirit of adventure. I have seen wonder and joy on their faces daily, and it is humbling. Kenya fits them like a glove.

And David, you’ve heard more of his voice this trip than mine. In Taiwan, I quickly became known a “Dawe de taitai” – David’s wife. I am sure it will happen again He had an ability to bring joy and create friendship where it was unexpected and unusual.  His gift continues.  His role in Africa has always been more nebulous than mine, but I see already how it will be even more powerful. He has friends already that he will be sad to leave. . .he has eased into Kenyan culture and  daily is having small victories in breaking down the barriers that come from being the outsiders in a world where there is so much separation of those that were born here and those who have made it their home. The introvert in me is a bit baffled by it all as I desire to retreat into normality, but he works at it with easy, deliberate effort. Kenya suits him as well.

Yesterday we scaled cliffs (literally – at one point all four of us climbed a 15 foot wall to get out of a gorge) together and the girls bounded ahead, leaping over puddles.  I am in a place of introspection where I barely know the thoughts going through my head. So here we go, week 3. . .more ICU for me, 2 more calls. . .and then a plane back to Atlanta. It doesn’t seem quite enough. But it is a good first step.



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