Tuesday May 14

Today I am sitting on a bench in a grassy square yard lined with yellow-green bushes and trees, shading half of the yard. I am guessing that the temperature is 74 degrees, maybe 76 Fahrenheit. It is perfect weather. Birds call behind me and a crow is cawing insistently to my right. There is a building being built on the center so the noises of hammering and banging on tin are vivid to my hearing. A few people are walking in the distance providing muffled voices. My goodness, that crow is so persistent! Basically though, I am alone and it is something I have needed for the last two days.

I am in Kenya, Africa. It is so hard to believe. We are in Ruiru which is a small town and we are staying at a quiet retreat center owned by BTL (Bible Translation and Literacy). We are here for two weeks because Hank is taking part in a training seminar for IT people called IT Connect. I am here to visit Kenya as we ponder the possibility of our moving here.  We have been considering this possible move for over one year now and I am in hopes that God will write it on a wall this week or next.  That would be too easy though.

Our flight to Atlanta, GA was very short, being no more than an hour total. Our flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam was one I will not soon forget. I do not know my airplanes but this one had 3 rows. The rows on each side of the plane consisted of 2 seats each. The row in the middle consisted of 4 seats of which Hank and I had the exact middle two. As soon as I sat down, I began praying that God would help me through this flight. I needed to control my thinking about it being so claustrophobic-ally tight in there. My knees touched the seat in front of me and my shoulders rubbed those beside me. For a few moments this would not be a problem but contemplating the next 8 hours like this made me dread this flight. My love of flying was quickly disappearing.

Hank was being so patient with me and helped me with everything I needed and I was feeling very needy.  :-)  Looking back now, I’m sure there were rather comical moments for anyone watching me try to function in that wee bit of space on the plane.

Hank’s highlight of the flight was when I shocked myself with my TENS unit. I wear this little machine that connects to my back muscles and provides shock stimulation so that I am better able to move around and receive a bit of relief from the back pain that I have been dealing with recently.  Because those airplane restrooms are so inhumanly little (I think Twiggy designed them), I somehow disconnected one of the leads from the patch which left the connector open to anything it touched and I did not know this until a bit later.

(As I sit here and write, various things catch my attention and I will record them in parentheses). (Now a rooster calls out and combined with the crow and various other birds, it is beginning to sound like quite a musical selection of nature. And now there goes 2 little boys.....8 years old perhaps, making noises that even a mother could not translate. They have water wings on their arms so I know that they are headed towards the centers’ pool. I do love watching children. These 2 little guys are in a world of their own.)

So, I returned to my seat and returned the little box to the normal power range and feeling nothing......I proceeded to up the power thinking that I just couldn't yet feel it.  Wiggling around I thought that would help but instead, I got a terribly hot jolt to the upper portion of my torso which made my entire body jump drastically and my brain do a little jig. Somehow I managed to turn it off.  Not sure what had just happened, I reluctantly turned it back on and increased the power again but still nothing happened.  So searching one end of the lead to the other end, I found that it had disconnected and had been touching the metal portion of my chair which is why my entire body had been shocked.  I'm surprised that Hank and the other passenger beside me did not feel this too!

Without thinking, I proceeded to attach the lead to the patch on my back and forgetting that I had increased the power, I gave myself another hair-raising, hair-perming body jolt when the two connected.  Receiving the double strength of that power sent me another surge that this time brought tears to my eyes and a bewildered sensation to my brain.  As Hank gave me a questioning look and I'm sure the passenger behind me wondering why I was jumping like a rabbit in my seat, I quickly took the entire machine off and just decided to deal with the pain. At that moment in time, it just wasn't as bad as the shock I had just received. A hard lesson learned!
Arriving at the BTL conference center, after about 30 hours of travel...

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