Juli and I began the day as we did yesterday – with a walk. This time we awoke even earlier and partook of the sun rising as we started our journey. On the way back, we ran. (Juli is very strategic – she walks when its mostly uphill and runs back on a mostly downhill. I would like to think that we could have ran the whole time, except I know my lungs are not used to the 6,000 feet elevation. My stubbornness probably would have caused me to persevere, but we’ll leave that challenge for another day. The approximately two-mile run, however, felt very good.) I was glad that on our way back, we did not meet any of the Kenyan runners. We saw them on our walk yesterday and despite the fact that they had already been running for an hour and a half, they maintained a brisk pace. One of the men from the community was the pacesetter in the Boston marathon. Juli says that they often invite her to run with them; sometimes grabbing her hand and coaxing her along. I hate to think how my running would have been shamed if they were to have joined us.
After our walk, Juli received the good news that one of her sheep had given birth to twins last night. This is one of the interesting things about this area. Despite the prevalence of disease and death there are signs of life everywhere. Children and young animals can be seen wherever you go. When Juli went into town for a management meeting today, I took a walk around the village. It was a national holiday today so things were very low-key. On my walk, children would literally come running from the houses down to the road to greet me. Being a foreigner, you grow to appreciate the audacity of children. They have no fear about approaching you and do so without hesitation. The children and the elders help make a strange place feel more comfortable.
Although my walk yielded some good pictures of the community, I took my other camera which will unfortunately not connect to Juli’s laptop. So the visuals will have to wait. Those who know me will be pleased to know that despite being by myself in an unfamiliar place, I did not get lost. The walk took about two hours and it was a great experience.
Before my walk, I was reading in Proverbs 19 which opens with “better is a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.” Being in a place which knows much poverty helps bring the truth of these words to light. When there is little outside trappings to separate people, a person’s character becomes even more significant. This morning, before they left to go to the management meeting, David had a family come to his home to seek his intervention. It is not an uncommon occurrence. Those who are known to be trustworthy are sought out, their advice followed, and their influence bountiful. This is how the affairs of the community are managed.