Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kwaheri, Mzee!

It must be my scraggly and ever-whitening hair... In any case, I was twice addressed as "Mzee," or "Old One," yesterday. Fortunately, that is a term of honor in Kenya, as in: "Mzee, my mother/father won't listen to me, but he'll listen to you because of your age. Please tell him he needs surgery."

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.)


kate said...

Please tell my fellow Sagittarius that for her, and for all that she is to you, I would be happy to celebrate early.


Nancy Rowe said...

Oh I am so glad to find another post. Dianne, Asante Sana for all you have done and will continue to do. What a blessing. Mungu Awabarikie on your travels. We will miss you while visiting, but I am sure we will hear of the love and respect the Kenyans have for the myzee was it? Blessings to you, Nancy Rowe, your WI friend.

Dianne, Dee, Mom, Granny said...

The cross-stitched sampler on my living room wall reads "A true friend is a gift from God." What a blessing it is to be able to count my children among those true friends! Asante sana, much love, and Happy Early Birthday, Kate!

Nadia.. said...

Just like Nancy - i was so happy when i logged on now to see another post of yours... Even from your little corner of the world Dianne you have managed to penetrate my little soul in South Africa!... Wheneva i would cram study on campus i would take a break once in a while and come read your block (my lack of commentary might not prove it) - regardless u have moved and inspired me...So much so that i've send copies of your starfish story (a post of long long long time ago) to my loved ones. Thank you for the realisation that we God does not require of us to perform miracles but just purley to do his work and spread Her love.
I love the pictures - you have really aquired a beautiful tan mzungu!

Love always
Sista Nadia