Love Day & warlords (Family)

“Love Day” is what Blue’s Clues calls Valentines Day. We have kept it pretty low-key and oriented towards family fun. Last night Kiara asked me if I was going to do what I did last year, which was to cut up 100s of tiny hearts from regular scrap paper and spread them all over the floor. That turned out to be a much greater hit with the kids than their mother. She’s into flowers and chocolate ;-). Maybe next year I’ll do both.

In an ordinary week, the only time I ever get into the car is to go to church on Sunday morning or to make a quick run to the local supermarket (only 5 minutes away, but over a bone-rattling, deteriorating road.) Good chocolate is hard to find here, so yesterday I broke down and drove 20 minutes away to pick up a few chocolates at a French bakery and 2 dozen pink roses (for a whopping $9). That’s true love for you!!! ;-). My gift this morning was a new (used) pair of sports shorts and a snickers bar. That’s the kind of Valentine’s Day I can live with. At least I didn’t make a Valentine’s appointment with the tax guy.

The whole event made me appreciate living in Kenya. Even in one of the most Western malls here, the only evidence of Valentine ’s Day I saw was the packaging at the bakery, a small stall of Valentine’s paraphernalia outside the mall, and extra flowers. Today there’s been a few references on the radio and comments among friends. It’s here, but low-key.

Liam: The girls enjoyed decorating heart-shaped sugar cookies last night, and taking them to school this morning for all the rest of the kids. Due to the late bedtime yesterday, they were a little slow on draw this morning, so Liam (20 months) got impatient and marched off to school on his own. Everything was great until he tripped over the umbrella he had picked up outside our door and fell flat on his face on the sidewalk. (BTW, it’s a totally sunny day here.) Luckily, we live in a great community. One of our neighbors Boungar was rushing to his 8:00 class, picked Liam up, and carried him the rest of the way up to the preschool gate. When they got to the gate, however, Liam decided he would rather go to seminary (likely Greek or Hebrew class) with this hulking Chadian, who is also the father of one of Liam’s favorite playmates. Having watched the whole drama from our kitchen window, I had to go rescue Boungar from the dilemma of having a neighbor’s one-year old clinging to his leg and making him late for class.

Kenya: Last night Christi and I commented to each other how much we are counting on this peace process succeeding. I think like most Kenyans we know, we are refusing to think about what could happen if these talks fail. When we do think about it . . . any day now one of the parties could walk out of the talks, and we would be on our way to civil war? Along these lines, a member of parliament warned his colleagues “Warlords might replace MP’s”

Enough of that!! Get back to pretending to life is totally normal. Seriously, we need to keep praying.

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