Things in our humble abode have been more akin to a hospital than a happy home of late. We all get very ill and spent many cold winter days curled up in bed with stomach aches and fevers. Michael was hurt the worst by this illness, and despite his fortitude in dealing with it, Raphael was also quite ill. How Raphael managed to do his patrols while he was still so sick is beyond my comprehension. I have spent many evenings discussing the power of the mind with Raphael and how to focus his energy, and I believe he is also mastering this technique as well. I believe that he was able to channel his inner rage to battle the sickness and keep his body somewhat fit, despite all its protests to rest. He kept a truly remarkable schedule for over two weeks while the rest of us struggled to get out of bed, let alone patrol for dangers.
No one else seems aware of how ill Raphael was, mainly due to how sick each was in their own right. But I noticed… Raphael became sick to his stomach far more than any of the rest of us, but he continued to push himself forward. I began to fear for his safety, but he suddenly took a turn for the better and was left with but a cold. I cannot say that his choice to push his body so when it obviously needed rest was wise, but perhaps through this ordeal he will have learned a valuable lesson about his ability to control his body with his mind, and in turn, learn to control and subdue his anger. Raphael is a most noble person, and it troubles me to know that he suffers so with internal misgivings. But he is learning and growing. Some day he will quell the fires within himself, and then he will truly know peace and contentment… but I still mourn that his path must be so difficult.
Due to our illness, I have not seen as much of Casey, April and Shadow as I would like. I had been babysitting Shadow quite often while Casey was away at his work, but once we got sick we thought it best if our friends visited as little as possible, especially Shadow, as he is young and has less defenses against sickness. Casey had to take an extra job to pay another babysitter while we were ill, but of late things are getting back to normal, and Casey plans to quit his other work soon. He is making very good money these days and says that he hopes to have enough to buy himself a home in about 5 years. He tells us that if he can find a large enough space that we will be welcome to live with him, but I do not think the guys will want to leave the sewer. For all the troubles that we have here, it is our home. Casey is working extremely hard to provide Shadow with a good home, and although she wishes to see him more often than she does, I am sure that she will understand when she grows older.
I have begun training April in the arts of Shinobi on the days when she is not studying katana with Master Splinter. April is very athletic and a fast study, so she picks up techniques quickly. It has been great fun working with her, although she has too little time to spare due to her jobs. Sometimes I hear the boys complaining that I have stolen their friend from them since April spends most of her time in the sewer with me now, but I know that they are joking.
April has mentioned that she may want to start a self-defense school in a few years, once Master Splinter and I give her the blessing to do so. Ninjitsu training is a lifetime of work and she began late, but if she continues to improve as rapidly as she has until now she will be ready very soon indeed. She spars weekly with Leonardo and he is most impressed with her progress. April has expressed the desire to patrol with us at night, and while Master Splinter believes she still needs months of practice, I think she is ready. April is most skilled with her weapon, so if she is disarmed she will be at a disadvantage, but the best practice is against a true foe and I think she is fit to meet the challenge. She has her own vendetta against the Foot because they burned her antique shop, and so she too has her own fires to quell. But I will bow to Master Splinter’s wisdom and allow him to make the ultimate decision as to when she is best prepared.
Master Splinter and I have begun to scout areas of the lower sewers in search of safe havens if we should need them. Donatello still protests this plan, but Master Splinter is determined that we will find secondary shelter. I agree with our Sensei that this is needed. Donatello believes that we are showing lack of faith in his security devices, but it is no that at all. We have every confidence in his abilities, but we also have respect for the devious nature of our enemies, so we must be prepared for potential disaster. We have already set up two temprorary shelters and we plan to find at least two others before we are content. I also enjoy spending this time learning the confusing sewer paths and also lessons from Master Splinter. He is a wise scholar and he has much to teach, and I am eager to learn. The ways of this country are so very different than that of my Chinese heritage, and the Master helps me adjust.
Well, I am afraid that I must get busy. April will be here soon and so I must begin preparing for our new lesson. I hope that you are well!