Well I just got done with an enjoyable (maybe not) thirteen hour drive from Delaware to Chicago land. I take the southern route through Maryland and West Virginia to avoid the $50 in tolls on the turnpikes in each direction. Takes an extra hour each way but a hundred bucks is a hundred bucks. Looks like I made it through before the blizzard hits later tonight. I am also so thankful the speed limit is not 55 mph anymore. I would still be on the road somewhere falling asleep. Isn't it irritating that the cops sit at the bottom of those large hills? Once you see them you have to hit the brakes, turn off the cruise control and take control of your speed.
I do not have anything to update on Kenya but on the way back to Chicago I was reflecting on an event that happened yesterday in Baltimore that I thought might be of interest. I haven't seen my daughter Melissa for about 9 months or since before my last trip to Kenya. We had a date on Saturday and she wanted to go to the Maryland Science Museum in Baltimore's inner harbor. Many reading this have been to the inner harbor and some of you have not. If possible I would highly recommend a visit.
Anyway we parked the car and worked our way through one of the two malls that face the harbor. As we came out the USS Constellation was directly in front of us. As we turned to walk over to the science museum I noticed a store that I hadn't seen before. The name of the store was called "It's Sugar" and it had very large windows so you could see inside at the mass of people scooping up bags of candy. I pointed it out to Melissa, her eyes popped opened, smiled and said the magic word "Caaaandy". Of course mine already were. I told her we would "PAY" a visit on the way out.
After a few hours at the science museum and an IMAX movie on the African Serengeti it was time to leave. We then commenced to go get a bite to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. Melissa had chix nuggets and I had a burger. It was huge. Of course you can't go to the Cheesecake Factory without a piece of cheese cake. Melissa had Chocolate something and I had Banana Cream. There were so many flavors it was hard to make a decision. It was so so good.
After lunch and half a piece of cheese cake in tow it was time to venture into the sugar pit. As I was wondering around I did not see any prices anywhere. It's not that it really mattered since I was prepared to pay the piper whatever the price to fill up the bags that Melissa was making. I knew I would be seeing my older daughter Kellie later and I knew she liked candy too. So we filled up a couple of bags for her as well. This place had jaw breakers the size of softballs, gummy everythings, twizzlers two feet long, sugar daddy's one foot long, retro candy, every color M &M you can imagine, huge boxes of laffy taffy, jelly bellies, just to name a few. How about a five pound gummy bear or a 3 foot long gummy worm. Here is their website http://www.itsugar.com/ We waited in line, got to the cash register and the lady put two of the five bags on the scale. Melissa could see the total for the two bags and instantly had a startled look on her face. I was stunned as well since there was still some more candy to go. The next batch more then doubled the first batch and let me tell you it would eat up those toll roads and thensome.
You might be asking why I bring this up on my blog of East Africa. As I was in the store my emotions and thoughts were all over the place. As someone that has seen hunger and malnutrition first hand the contrast was more then overwhelming. I will never forget the picture in my mind of the children lined up for rice and beans in Maralal. Or the children looking through the doors and windows of many of the small huts that I have eaten in waiting for their portion if they were to even get one that day. As I passed the inner harbor of Baltimore on my way back to Chicago this morning it struck me again and I was still pondering it hours later. There was nothing that was going to stop me from getting my Melissa whatever she wanted. My only wish is that I could do the same for the other children that don't have the opportunity to enjoy the moment.
Here is one of the pictures that is embedded in my minds eye. The odds of any of these children experiencing the joy my daughter had filling up her bags in a store like that. I think we all know the answer.
School children waiting for their lunch in Maralal
Oh before I forget there was an exhibit at the museum on insects around the world. There were insects to play with and they even had some insects to eat. There was a guy making bug pancakes. Melissa was close to having one but changed her mind. She did however put a cricket in her mouth and spit it eleven feet. Bravo!! I will bet that once Melissa gets to Kenya she will be ready to eat some termites!!
A cup full of termites
God bless and please bless others if you have the opportunity.