Things that bring me joy:
During our ride to church, hearing big tall Jonathan boom out from the top of the land rover "BON JOUR" in his Texas-twanged French. His attempt at singing Nangere hymns is equally entertaining. All he has down is the "dummmm" that many of the words end in. It sounds like " ahhhhhh dummm ahh ahhhh ahhhhh dummmmm". It brings spontaneous smiles to my face.
Having little, big bellied Vivian toddle over to me calling "Ro-chell, Ro-chell" in her high squeaky voice as she returns a purple bucket and water bottle I'd forgotten on the mat. She totters unsteadily as she holds them out. I thank her profusely and sweep her up into my lap. She throws back her head and gazes up at me with the biggest smile imaginable as her little hands pat my cheeks. "Do you know I love you" I say in English. She giggles. "I love you! I love you! I love you!" I say in a funny voice. She giggles each time. It sounds musical and like pure happiness. I plant a quick kiss on her forehead and she squeals with delight as she puts both hands over the spot. I clap my hands and hold them out. This is our favorite game. She claps her hands together several times and then lays them on mine. I like seeing her little hands against my big ones.
Watching the kids in my family play with their shadows, cast on the hut wall after dark by a lone flashlight. They strike heroic poses and call each time for me to see. I do my old stand-by charade of a rabbit with a dog who chases and eats the rabbit. Then I pretend my shadow dog is chasing their shadow. Emma calls for me to look at his shadow which spans the entire height of the hut. When he reaches up his hand the shadow disappears off the top of the hut into the night. "Look!" he says "I'm so big I'm touching the sky!"
The date bars Tammy Parker shares with me. So yummy! I go to get one out of the bag she gave me and just now notice it is a Village Market bag. For some inexplicable reason this gives me happiness.
When Adam, the brother of a pediatric patient, hurries up to tell me hello at the beginning of a new day of work. We do our special handshake where our fingers snap at the end. The first time we don't get a good enough snap. I back up and hold out my hand again. He smiles. We get a good loud snap this time. He's my buddy.
The time I was ask to retrieve the blood pressure cuff from another ward. When I walked through the door Salomon was waiting for me. He jumped out from around the corner. He chuckled at my jump and little scream. "Twa la" I said as I shook my finger (translates "hey you there!"). Undeterred I commenced my search for the BP cuff, but only found a pediatric one. "ohhh tro petite" I bemoaned. "oui, tro petite" he agreed, but looked far too pleased. Smiling broadly he brought the cuff out from behind his back. "Hey , how did you know!" I crowed as I grabbed it from him and ran back to maternity. He only smiled. Still can't figure out how he knew I was there for the BP cuff. I'm thankful for nursing friends and the smiles they bring.
I can't remember all the things that have given me joy here, but there are many.
Dear God, please never let me forget to smile.