Back and Ready

May 23, 2007 at 7:40 pm (Summer, Trip 2007)

Hello Everyone!
Thank you so much for your e-mails and love and support!! The internet is not very consistent here and it has been expensive and difficult to get on. We just got back from the safari. It was quite a difference from what we were used to here in Nairobi. At first it felt weird because it was a resort like hotel in the middle of untouched habitat. It seemed surreal, especially after being in the orphanages. Going on the game drives was my favorite part, by far. I sat on top of the car and let the wind blow through me, hugging the world. We saw elephants VERY close, cheetahs, lions, (simba) zebra, giraffe, wildebeests, monkeys, and lots more. The sunsets were incredible and it was so quiet! I found myself feeling homesick for all of you and all of the kids here. We went to the Maasi villages and sang with the children and danced with them. I didn’t feel right taking pictures in a culture so sacred, it seemed disconnected. A little girl came and sat in my lap and made me feel at ease. Children have a way of doing that.

The past few days we have experienced the bartering part of the culture. The markets we went to were overwhelming at times, with men surrounding us trying to sell us all kinds of things. Soon we realized that it is part of the culture and once I was able to laugh about it instead of feel upset we were able to get some good deals and have fun. Sometimes I wish that we could stop looking at the goods and look at each others faces. I was able to talk with some of the artists and that made the experience much more whole and enjoyable.

summer-with-little-girls.gif We went to Nyumbani on Saturday and Sunday and got to connect with the kids through music. It was really amazing to see. We brought out all the guitars and cameras and let them have fun. They knew more about my camera than I did. As we settled in, I witnessed music therapy in all its glory. I’ve never seen so many different ways to use music for healing at one place and time. Little kids were singing silly learning songs, while others were rapping or dancing to beat tracks. Some were writing songs, and some were learning to play guitar. One of the older boys wrote a rap part to “We Are One” and an older girl learned to play the chords, and we are going to record it in the next couple of days. It was such a powerful bonding experience, and it happened so naturally. It was wonderful being able to say that we’ll see them soon and see their faces light up. It’s going to be so difficult to say goodbye. Don’t be surprised to have some new additions to the family.

This weekend was when we really got to settle in at Nyumbani. The kids are such lights. They have so much to teach us about lifted spirits and faith. They sing God’s praises with no shoes and no parents and a disease they didn’t ask for. But what I am realizing is that we don’t need to feel guilty about our “privilege” because we can’t see the whole picture, and where we have material goods they have joy in their hearts. We don’t know why things happen the way they do. We can only trust that they happen for a great plan and do our best to contribute to love, kindness and healing. And music does it so effectively. I am seeing now more than ever why I chose the field I did, or rather, why God chose it for me. I think this trip is expanding much more than we had imagined.

I love you all so much and will do my best to keep you up on the new precious moments.


  1. Jane said,

    Summer …

    This was wonderful! The funny thing about being “chosen” is this: you need to accept. Without it, the “choosing” doesn’t really amount to much because nothing happens without the “accepting”.

    You are absolutely right. There is not point to feeling guilty about having privilege. It’s there. So just factor it in. It isn’t a sin. It becomes unpalatable only when it doesn’t have any context. The privilege is yours because you’re given much more to do with. So do!

    It’s like growing up beautiful. Is it your fault that others are “homely” .. even “ugly”? But your beauty can be a source of joy … and your talents can be a source of hope and redemption. And your privelege can become someone’s ladder to greater heights. So revel in it!

    And you ARE beautiful! And you can BAKE! How awesome is that?

    I hear you having fun ….. that’s the ultimate in healing power!


  2. Mary Anne said,

    I just love hearing about everything… And I can’t wait till you can describe it all over again to me in person! Love you!

  3. John Ellis said,


    Sounds like an incredible experinece. Savor every moment. We love you. I know your talents and generous love for all things will be a wonderful gift to the people you meet as you travel.


  4. Catherine Bourdeau said,

    Please hug all those beautiful children for me and send my love through you to them. You, Summer, are the LIGHT. I’m so proud of you and love you so much! Sing you heart out, dear Noodle! See you in the Northwest sometime soon. Sending you love! xoxoxo

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