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15 September 2010 – The Counterbalance

The kids started school Monday, a little later than the rest because of the discomfiture of the recent events. But they were fired up. Decked out in their very smart Mutungoni Academy uniforms, they looked a lot like future leaders or astronauts, or whatever it is that young kids with the future spread out before them like the hope of Israel look like. Even the old people were enlivened. I nearly peed my pants when the school bus wheeled onto the property at 7:30 am sharp. They came back about 4pm, some announcing that they were “in dance,” some “in scouts” and so were shaking around in a traditional reel and practicing “Right turn” and “Left turn” something like about face. They declared that there was a trip next Monday and that they were all going. A couple included the cost in their declaration and looked at me a little tentatively. I declared right back that we would dig holes on the property until we found the treasure so there would be no problem at all. They already know I’m full of it.


My camera was stolen with the other stuff, so I’m working with a camera phone. It’s not a great marriage. But here’s the best photo record we have to offer of “Fast Times at Mutungoni Academy, pt 1.”



For the young scholars, and in continuing memory of Daniel,




  1. Dennis Shepherd says

    Hello Dave,
    Jan and I were shocked and deeply saddened for the loss of Danial. Our prayers have been for his wife and children. What a tragedy. Yet, God protected the other staff and children. That was a blessing. I am certain He will give you the wisdom and strength to continue your work there. The photos were wonderful. Feels like we are there. Thank you for your faithful service to the people and especially the children in Africa. It has been a long road for you to reach this point in your life. God will continue to bless your efforts. He always does.
    Dennis and Jan

  2. david says

    Hi Dennis and Jan,

    I’m thankful for your concern and your kind words and for the long history we share. God has been very good to us every step…lots of them…on this way.

    In a sense you are here, not just seeing the photos, but through your prayers, the foundation of all that gets done here. Lots of love to all the famiy, and great to hear from you.


  3. Chris L says

    If we needed good news, God knows how all of you have needed it.

    I know you didn’t invent the above post—but even had you tried, not even you are clever enough to come up with something as good as these faces…and the sight of that bus rounding the corner.

    I know that almost everybody here has better manners than Monte and myself, but if M. will allow me to speak for him, too, let me forewarn you that you’ll receive a much warmer homecoming welcome from the two of us if you stash a couple freeze-dried bags of Joyce’s dinner with you.

    It’s as heartening to see Christine and Rose and Naomi and Gilbert’s faces as it is to see the kids’—and that’s saying alot.

    Thank you, brother—thank all of you.


  4. Bob says

    Hooowee! Save me some of that dinner & may Mikey’s teeth grow back in soon…Love…Bob
    p.s. make sure you read previous post.

  5. Pat says

    Hello David,
    Now that’s a meal in Kenya I’ll be looking forward to on my next visit! How wonderful for Joyce to have a place to work so close to her home. She is quite gifted it looks like from the fixings. Please give her and everyone my best regards and continuing prayerful support! Ths pics of the children are so beautiful! They look happy and I’m so excited to see how well everything is blending together. You’re in our prayers and thoughts each day as our our growing RROP family in Kenya. Stay safe and travel safely, soon I trust.
    Hugs and Love,

  6. Martin says

    These photos are daybreak after a long, hard night. Thanks.


    p.s. if you brought us home some of Joyce’s Sufuria Special, Chris would be lucky to get a faint sniff before I inhaled it all.

  7. david says


    You’re right. A dose of the elixir was needed all around, and administered by the Giver of all good things. We took our medicine.

    Joyce is busy looking for a place to open her concept restaurant. Milan and Abu Dhabi are the front runners. I’ll make sure there’s plenty to go around this trip back so that you and Martin can eat peaceably, and so I might get the red carpet treatment.

    All here send their love,


  8. david says

    Hi Bob,

    Mikey may be working on losing more before the new crop come in, but he’s got a few grinders in the back to take care of Joyce’s food.

    Read the last post. Thanks. You and Patti were on the front line of the breaking news and righted my ship throughout. Many thanks to you both.

    Back soon for a G&T. Love,


  9. david says

    Dear Pat,

    All here will be very happy when you sit down to dinner with them again. And Joyce’s cooking is quite a draw. Until then, we dine together at the table of the Lord, all of us, everyday. Your prayers and support lifting us up and renewing hope and determination.

    Everyone here sends their greetings and love. Too many to name, but you know them…every one. Love from this family to yours,


  10. david says

    Dear Martin,

    This dawn came “rosy fingered” and welcome. Your heart is most often here, and you’ve put your money where your heart is. We’ve seen a few daybreaks in Nairobi, but none with this one’s reparative tonic.

    Your small pals say howdy.


  11. Paula Machado says

    Dear David,
    Bless you and all the beautiful folks, both tall and small, at Red Rhino for ‘rolling up your sleeves’ and sharing love: an expression of the soul: the ultimate gift.

    Ahhh… those faces, those captions! My giggles. ..this heart melts whenever I witness a “day in the life of”. Your site enriches MY life too, by the way..

    In Grace,
    PS Sending peace to Daniel’s wife and family

  12. david says

    Dear Paula,

    The only thing better than melted butter is a melted heart. Yours is tender and alive to these little bandits. Your prayers and good intentions keep us headed in the right direction, hopefully full speed ahead.

    From all of us and Daniel’s family, bless you.


  13. Jeanette Marquez says

    To the Children
    Little Ones, I so enjoy seeing your beautiful faces.
    Study hard, work hard and play hard.
    You have a family at Presentation Parish
    that prays for you, welcomes news
    of your happiness, your hard work
    and understands some of your struggles.
    Please pray for us too because I am certain
    God the Father tips His ears close to your
    lips when you speak to Him.
    God Bless and remember to smile often.
    A smile is a prayer that needs no words
    and which is usually answered immediately by another smile.
    Love and hugs

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