Sunday was another day that was spent together as a family. Pete was on call at the hospital all weekend, but he only had to actually go in Saturday and Sunday mornings to round on his patients. That took a few hours, but he was home by lunch. In the later afternoon, we took advantage of the perfect weather (wait, every day is perfect weather…75ish and cool in the shade) and went on a journey to the river. We hadn’t yet been to the river, but we had seen it from the backyard of a friend’s house. We filled our Nalgenes, grabbed our hats, and headed out to explore.
No matter where we are, Pete draws elementary/junior high boys. This group walked with us from our house to the road by the river before parting ways. Shortly after, a new group joined.
Honestly, I was a little annoyed at first. I had wanted to go on a walk with only my family. Just the four of us, wandering down to the river, hearing the rush of the water as it moved by the dam. I especially didn’t want to share Pete with anyone. I feel like I share him all week with medicine and the people who need his knowledge and deeply caring spirit. I wanted it to be my turn. Yes, I get him when he comes home in the evening, but we don’t usually have time to go anywhere since it gets dark by 7ish. And then I put my own feelings aside for just a second and realized these boys might not have anyone like my Pete. In the end, they did join us for our stroll. And I was glad they did.
Ella makes friends wherever we are. She has absolutely zero fear. I do keep a close eye on her here because of that, just as I do in the States.
At last we made it to the river. It’s not that it’s a long walk. It isn’t. We just took our sweet time, soaking the in the presence of our new friends.
We could hear the dam from a good distance away. The rushing water cascaded further down the riverbed, ending in a peaceful calm a few hundred yards away.
Here is the other side. We met small groups of people coming across the bridge to go up the path. Probably heading home. I think the path leads up to a small village. I’ve seen the village from our friend’s backyard. It sits between the river and a dirt road. Rumor has it (well, rumor to me, anyway. it’s probably true) that there is a market there on Wednesdays. I’m hoping to make it there with another physician’s wife to look at jewelry.
Hello, cows standing behind Pete. Doesn’t Pete look like he belongs in Africa with that hat? I think it’s great. We each got a new hat before leaving Duluth. I’ll eventually get photos of each of us in our hats. And you can see that we brought our big stroller. We haven’t used it a ton, but it is nice to have on occasion. And it was great in the airports. I mostly carry Sam in our baby sling or Ergo carrier.
This group of girls followed us from the river to our house. They wanted me to take lots of pictures of them, trying to be super cool in every shot. Can’t you tell?
Look at Sammy. They were all focused on getting their photo with him, but all he wanted was his giraffe. Girls swarm to him, begging to hold him and check out his toys. The thing here, though, is that they don’t often ask to hold him. They will simply walk up to me and try to take him from my arms. I’m not a crazy mama bear, but I am pretty protective of my boy. I tend to only let those I already know hold him. Strapped in his stroller, he’s fairly protected.
The walk concluded on our front porch with glasses of water all around. That always seems like a treat. Ice, too. Pete’s friends, the group who came to play tag last Sunday and were back immediately after church this Sunday, ready for Pete to play again, often come by for ice. They love it. And I love sharing it. Ella does too. I let her hold the bowl of frozen cubes for the boys and she says, “There you go, friends! Have ice! It’s cold.” We’re incredibly fortunate to have such great, new friends here. Two months isn’t a long time, but I’m glad it’s long enough to share life with some pretty amazing people, young and old.