Some of you know that Simba, the Hardisons' "lion" of a dog (who is actually a big pussycat), has been their constant companion for eight years. He has warmly greeted many a student and visitor -- just as he has unwittingly intimidated many a toto (child) and askari (guard). Some of you also know that Little Brown, a neighbor's pup, adopted the Hardisons a few years ago when word leaked out in Maseno that the wazungu of St. Philip's were as generous with their "Nice Biscuits" as with their overall Christian hospitality.
No one will ever be able to substitute for Nan and Gerry anywhere, of course. But in their absence, I can at least feed and brush and "love up" Simba and Little Brown. So, in a few days, I will move 3 kilometers to St. Philip's to dog-sit. Since I'd been hoping to go on retreat, as a sort of transition between Kenya and my own home leave in the U.S., it will be a particular pleasure. God ("dog spelled backward," as my kids once reminded me) does work in mysterious ways.
Please pray for the Hardisons' safe travel, quiet respite and merciful return. May we all remember the blessings of Holy Week, dear friends, this Palm Sunday and every day of the year.