It’s Tuesday morning in Kenya.
A short while ago I was laying in the dark wondering what time it was. There was no sign of daylight. I reached for my phone and regrettably read 3:58am. “Oh, God. I only slept 5 1/2 hours.” That would make 13 hours sleeps since Saturday morning in Los Angeles. I can already feel the impact of sleep deprivation and I just woke up.
I know I need to sleep, but I can’t seem to calm my mind down.
Thoughts of the things Ashley and I want to do, need to do are invading my mind. Visiting the girls. Shopping. Driving. Looking for land. Visiting Daraja Academy. Visiting the girls who are away at boarding school. Visiting principles at two high schools. More shopping. Five days. Just five days.
My mind wanders to a dark place.
All I can think about are the girls. I think about everything they need. And I’m not talking about the requirements that will be purchased for them this week as a result of your kindness. I’m thinking about simple things like a diet that consists of more than beans, rice and maize. I’m thinking about the counseling that each of them needs.
I go to the dark side as I lay in the pitch black room. I think about stories of rape, and of mother’s suicides. And I think about the stories of parents, both parents, dying from HIV.
I can see the faces of the girls. I can see their smiles. But behind them, when they don’t think I’m watching, I can see their sadness. I’m thinking about their security. They need a place where they are not afraid and perhaps not so alone.
All I want for these girls is the chance for them to be a child.
My heart breaks when I ask myself, the universe, “My God, why am I here? Why have I taken this path? This path is so hard. I live so far away. We have so much to do and so little time. We have so much to do in five days. Will we accomplish it all? Is it even possible? Five days? Oh God, only five days.”
I closed my eyes and just started to breath. I just laid there and listened to my breath and not my panicked voice. I ate some snacks that I had brought, chatted with Jeff, and tried to let it all go.
I looked at the clock again and more than two hours had passed.
My heart rate has slowed and I am not so anxiety ridden. But my eyes are feeling heavy. It’s 6:25 in the morning and I already need a nap. In my exhausted fog, I realize that we have five days to do some amazing things. I will breath and see each of these five days as the gift that they truly are. I know they will go by so very fast, and yes, there is so much that needs to be done. But I know how lucky I am and I am so grateful that I am here.
And we have been blessed with five days to accomplish it all.