We have officially been back in Buffalo for two weeks. It took me about a week and a half to get my sleep schedule back in order – that was only frustrating when I’d wake up at 3:00 am, wide awake, and wondered if I should get up for the day or just stay in bed. I just stayed in bed.
Going back to work was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be, I think because of how energized we were (and still are) coming off of this trip. Everything about it was so positive and I am excited to talk to people about it, and to continue to help in whatever way we can. I think we’ve also been really good about letting things go. Within two days back to work we had a conversation about how impatient drivers around us have been and how instead of letting their negative energy get to us, that we have been adamant about letting it go and just keeping ourselves calm. (Side note – not that we aren’t normally calm, but you know how easy it is to get yourself sucked into anger because some other person is riding your tail or mad you didn’t go through a yellow light, and a million of the other reasons people senselessly get angry on the road).
The other thing that has come up, a commonly known phrase, are the “first world problems” that we have encountered. I spent an entire month without my cell phone and have definitely not had it in front of my face as often as I did before the trip, but one day last week, I forgot it and left it at home. So from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm I didn’t have access to my phone, and I’ll tell you, it felt awkward at first. The more I had time to think about it though, the more I realized how reliant people are on their phones, to the immediate communication, and how all of us (including myself) are guilty of being angry because someone didn’t respond almost immediately. Once I realized how silly that was, my lack of phone didn’t enter my mind and I responded to my text messages and voicemails when I got home that night. That is just one example of many, but the bottom line is that we have been good about not letting frivolous things get to us.
Every so often, Matt and I will stop mid-thought and just say how much we miss our Chepnyal home and family. When you spend that long in a place, especially for the purpose of integrating yourself into a community to bring about positive change, you can’t help but get attached. Granted, Matt and I entertain each other a lot while we dine, but it doesn't quite compare to sharing a meal with Sr. Pat, Sr. Sharon, Sr. Mary, Sr. Esther, and the other VLM!
Right now we are discussing ways in which we can help the people of Chepnyal with some of the projects we started while there. We were excited to hear from Sr. Sharon over the weekend who informed us that so far five women from Tamugh approached Sr. Esther about starting a business! So, over the next few weeks we are going to formulate a plan with some concrete goals and see what we can do from Buffalo. We also got in touch with the local Daughters of Charity and are going to meet with them in a few weeks to see if there is any way we can assist them here. We are very excited to continue our ministry and hope our efforts are fruitful...we will keep you posted!
I will leave you with two things...one is the second reading from Mass this past weekend which really got me thinking (James 2:14-18), and the other is an array of photos from the Giraffe Center in Nairobi. (For those of you who may not know, I love giraffes!)
What good is it, my brothers and sisters,
if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
Can that faith save him?
If a brother or sister has nothing to wear
and has no food for the day,
and one of you says to them,
"Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well, "
but you do not give them the necessities of the body,
what good is it?
So also faith of itself,
if it does not have works, is dead.
Indeed someone might say,
"You have faith and I have works."
Demonstrate your faith to me without works,
and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
|That's a Giraffe femur - and it is super heavy!|
|Their jaws are a little bit bigger...|
|Almost learned this lesson the hard way|
|Kelly our Giraffe friend!|