I have hugged my children. What an amazing feeling! Yes, we made it safe and sound, about 3 hours late and missing 4 of our bags. But we are here, and my team has completely forgotten their fears of kidnapping and robbery and being shot. We spent the day at the orphanage yesterday, had a party at Sunday school with the oldest girls, played with NLL babies, had a fish lunch, met the boys, and headed back to our guesthouse for a racuous dancing and singing party. This morning, we loaded into two open top tap-taps and drove 2 hours of dusty roads to the clinic in Cazale. We will be here for another 3 days, caring for about 400 patients a day.
How can I sum up the feeling of hugging my kids for the first time in 3 months? Unbelievable, even when some of them are pretending to be shy or acting as if they don't care that I'm here. They do care, I know that. And some are so openly excited that they come running to hug me. 2 of them saw me, and immediately went down the hill behind one of the school buildings knowing that I would follow them and that way they could have a more private "Hello". And then to go back to the orphanage and just sit with the girls, hearing all that has been happening with them since I left and updating them about my American life. And to go the boys house and be able to wrestle with Monsanto and TiJude, to give Stev a zoklo, to see John Peter's huge smile, to watch Jefthe and Jacques wow my team with their English, to scold Job for not studying, to have Bernadin give me one of his huge hugs...Priceless. As if I never left. On a less cheerful note, Emmanuel and Jessica were little schmucks and wouldn't talk to me or let me hug them or anything. Nothing like a moody teenager. I love having my team here, but I hate not having time to sit down with my kids and figure out what is wrong with them. Oh well.
Well, we're off to have a tour of the clinic now. I will try to write a more detailed update later today or tomorrow. Please keep praying for us, that our suitcases will get here, that we won't get exhausted, and that hearts will be touched. I love you all and miss being able to talk to you. And yes, I am working on the email problem!