Headless Chicken Alert
Presently the phrase, “running around like a chicken with its head cut off” seems to typify too well our life. Certain seasons of life have this texture of frenetic, seemingly erratic activity. It changes our concept of need and rest, helps us to better understand our limitations and our abilities. And often drives you to the edge of sanity.
As you know, Christopher is managing our mission’s clinic. This entails everything from maintaining drug inventory, internal checks and balances, doing payroll, liaising with government officials, attending community meetings on behalf of the clinic, being on-call 24/7 for any emergencies, making general repairs, and planning for its future. Since February he has also been working on the construction of a new clinic site. We hired a contractor to finish the long-time project, but there were certain elements he was not comfortable with. Christopher agreed to do those tasks himself. In the first week of work, he installed a well pump, solar panel to run the pump, water tank and facet among other things. He is completing all of the welding, electrical and plumbing – and that’s just what I understand! I realized a long time ago that I’m not handy. The project is coming together beautifully and we look forward to moving operations in the next two months. Meanwhile, he goes early and stays late trying to stay ahead of the contractor.
The kids and I are managing with seeing less of Christopher by staying busy ourselves. We invite employees’ children over for play dates, attend our preschool once a week, visit friends in the village, planted a garden (we’ll see if my thumb is still black), and ride Carmel’s tricycle in endless circles. We went out to see everyone working in their fields and I even got to help plow a friend’s field. This past week, the girls and I spent a week in Mbale while I worked with a local Christian university’s accounting staff who agreed to assist me in transitioning our accounting to Quickbooks. Presently it is in excel, and although that gives me much flexibility it is cumbersome and not entirely in line with internationally accepted accounting practices. Thankfully we had a visitor and teammates to help with the kids and wine supply. Trust me, working late entering data necessitates a glass of wine! The project is not nearly complete, but the foundation has been laid. I was grateful to return home all of us in one piece (I drove us both directions). Unfortunately, the next day Carmel was diagnosed with a bad case of malaria. She is currently recovering like a champ and is responding well to threats of daily shots if she doesn’t swallow all of her medicine as directed. Zion on the other hand is as happy as ever, eating twice as much as her sister even though she doesn’t yet have teeth and getting into trouble whenever and wherever.
As I write this, Christopher is asleep on the coach, exhausted from days of late nights, weeks of simply too much to do, and months with no extra mental space. I myself am longing for tonight’s rest, yet finding my brain still reeling with the immensity of what comes next. The mayhem is not over. I have not yet found my head. I’m not sure I’ll know what to do with it when I do.