In the year 2000, the couple decided to convert the horse stable property into a B & B to accommodate walkers, cyclists, and North Umbria countryside travelers. The result is the lovely Vallum Barn.

I read about the history of this place as I’m toweling off and nursing the first injury of my walking journey, an annoying blister on my right foot.

Makeshift nursing skills make quick work of the blister, and although it doesn’t look pretty, my foot is comfortable and I am able to walk without any further discomfort. I say a little prayer and head out into the village for dinner at the local pub, The Sally.

The pub was only a two minute walk along the quiet street. I am quickly seated with a cold ale and place my order for halibut risotto. I sip my drink and think more about my time in Kenya, trying to reconcile my guilt over breaking such strong ties so abruptly with the people that I came to truly love. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but I was going broke. No matter how much I gave, it just was never enough compared to the needs of so many suffering in the slums.

The sun has almost set as I leave The Sally. The St. Kentigern public church whispers for me to come closer, and as I do a wave of comfort washes over my body. Perhaps I can find the answers I am looking for on the grounds of these old and hallowed places of worship?

A bout of loneliness hits me that night as I stare at the clouds filling the night sky, and carries into the following morning as I watch the sun rise to a new day.

The truth isn’t always easy to accept, but forgiveness can be a powerful tool to help one accept those truths.

I’m sorry that I let people and children of Kenya down, if they are hurting because of my actions or unresponsiveness. Forgiving myself is a step in the right direction in trying to come to terms with my loss of Kenya.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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