Women run their hands through my hair in amazement, men nod deferentially, and last week three kids ditched the bundles of kindling on their own heads so they could run and tousle mine. Since the local beauty "saloon" stylists are intimidated by mzungu hair, I'm quite the white-haired wonder by now.
I'm also a mixture of anxiety and excitement -- admittedly a year older and perhaps a day or two wiser at the close of my first mission term here in Maseno. Heartfelt welcomes and equally heartfelt goodbyes are genuine blessings in Kenya. It's not easy to say "kwaheri" to so many wonderful people this week, uncertain if/when I'll return. But I am also eager to see family and friends in the U.S. and to give my six grandchildren very big hugs!
Linet says I need to be back in Maseno by December 13th, her 26th birthday. Now there's a goal! If my youngest daughter is willing to celebrate her 40th two days early, maybe it's even a possibility. My flip-flops are flapping...
Meanwhile, we continue to pray, from and for this and every corner of the world: for food and water, for integrity and leadership, for joy and compassion, for grace and gratitude, for peace in our time. (Linet and I created our own version of "Praying Hands," above.)