Little by little our baskets are filled,  is the rough translation of a Swahili phrase.  As we prepare to spend the next six weeks with our friends in Meru,  we have so many hopes and expectations.  Will we be prepared?  How will we be received?  What will we forget to take,  to do?  Who will we meet?  Who will we miss? Will our meetings be fruitful?  Will anything change or improve because we have asked the questions or listened to the answers?

Is this so different from any other year?  Do we always have hopes and expectations?  Some years bring more than I could ever wish for,  exceed my expectations. Other years I am glad that I did not know what they would bring for I would have been fearful.  Yet, here we are on the cusp of new possibilities,  with so many hopes and a few dreams.  We will only realize the hopes and dreams with patience and a day at a time.  As my Swahili translator says,  little by little.  So little by little I tackle my mental lists,  little by little we enter into the unknown, carrying the connections of all of you who support us, encourage us and wait for us to return.

So now,  should I pay my  January bills, do another load of laundry, finish putting Christmas away, write a position paper,  summarize a partnership, make a shopping list, clear off my desk?  Yes,  one of those so that kidogo, kidogo hujaza kibaba.