Just for fun (and because I miss everyone, everywhere), I have comprised some"miss lists." They are works in progress, of course:
"Kenyana" That I Miss in the U.S.
Patients and friends
Sights: smiling faces; kids chasing/chomping termites; mamas balancing baskets on their heads and babies on their backs; lush green forests, cascading bougainvillea, hevetia peruviana (lemon-yellow “trumpet trees"), sunsets blazing through the windows
Sounds: Emmah singing as she works, peepers peeping, cockroaches skittering, hadada ibis squawking, mosquitoes whining (outside my bed net, thank you very much), monkeys bickering in the trees, rains teeming/“laughter on the roof” -- and Gary-isms, like "DC the egg."
Smells: frangipani/plumeria in the daytime, charcoal/Jiko cooking fires in the evening
Tastes: Weetabix, Stony, Tusker, fresh avocados & tomatoes & mangoes & papayas, Emmah’s nurturing meals
Feels: perfect 75-degree sunshine every day
"Americana" That I Miss in Maseno
Family and friends
Electricity and water (especially in the hospital)
Thermometers, pulse oximeters, routine meds
Safe public transport
Friends ask, "So what's it like to re-enter?" I'm not sure how to answer that question since I am not really re-entering: I expect to return to Maseno in early December. But I am reminded of a missionary friend who said, after a visit to the U.S., "I feel like I don't fit anywhere anymore." Perhaps things will change, but I actually feel quite the opposite -- and I am grateful to the people in every corner of the world who make me feel that way. Is this a glimmer of grace, a taste of being "in, but not of, the world"?
Thanks be to God.