Today was more like a day in The Real Housewives of Kitale rather than a day on the mission field. No judgments. Please. In less than one week our lives will be running non stop, to and fro. Like I’ve said before, things don’t get done like they do in the states. Part of the reason being is that Kenyans don’t have watches. Back to my fabulous day. I woke up and went to Tae-Bo. Yes. Tae-Bo. There is a nice little gym in town and Kimberly has been going for a few years. I went several times last year and did some aerobics classes. Today I kinda felt like I was at Cheer Camp. Punching and kicking to techno 90’s music. I got a good sweat out of it and it energized me for the day. Came home and had a healthy breakfast before heading out to Mattaw to catch the kids at recess. They LOVE soccer! Question, why is America the only place in the world that doesn’t call it football? I mean soccer was probably around long before the American game of football. Anyway, back to my fabulous day. Pushed Angeline on the swing, hugged on Eunice, said hello to the House Parents and older girls, and we were off to lunch. Had a great lunch with the girls. After lunch Kimberly and I had plans to get massages. There are some credible ladies in town who give 1 hour massages for around $15. So Kimberly goes into the salon and I walk down to the salon a couple doors down. This morning it looked really nice and it was very clean. By the time she was ready for me she told me to get ready and I realized there was NO DOOR!!!! She worked really hard at throwing a sheet over the entry, but there was no way I was getting a massage in a room with no door! I don’t care how clean it was. So, I walked down the hall, told the lady with Kimberly I would be waiting and proceeded to do some shopping. I did have an hour to kill. A couple days ago I went fabric shopping for drapes. I found some really nice fabric I wanted but it was on the other side of town. Since I had the time I walked all the way through town and bought the fabric. So there has been some recent construction going on in this particular part of town and to hide the rubble they have placed a tin wall up to separate it from the street. This lady who sells scarves and draped her scarves over the tin. It is so beautiful! I have said from the first time I saw it, that would make a great picture. So, when I was walking back through town I stopped to buy a scarf for me and 2 for my friends. They were about $1 each. I was able to talk with the lady and she let me take a picture of her scarves. I was back at the salon before Kimberly was finished and got to sit and observe the women. One lady was breast feeding, in the open, no cover. Then there was a group of younger ladies out on the balcony drinking sodas and painting each others toes. I really wanted to just go sit out with them and talk to them. I may discovered a great place to learn Swahili, and love on young Kenyan women. No I am home and making dinner for the Huckabees. They have been such gracious housemates. I will miss there company and kindness.
Below are just a couple pictures from my day. Hope you enjoy!
So much to do, so little time. That seems to be my life the last week or so, and no end in the near future. What have I been doing? I couldn’t really tell ya! Your to-do list doesn’t get completed as easily as in the US. A seemingly simple task could take hours in Kitale. We timed our shopping day yesterday and it officially took us 4 hours. This is actually not that bad considering I live in the sticks and have to drive 45 minutes for groceries back home. So really 4 hours is doing pretty good! Somedays you feel like you’re busy doing nothing, yet in reality you know that you are impacting the people around you.
I will be moving this week!!! This totally refreshes me and gives me something to really look forward to. I have been living out of suitcases for a month, not a lot of fun. I am ready to unpack and have a space to call home. There is so much to do once I can move in. The house needs to be cleaned and painted, I need a couch, a dining table, need to stock the kitchen and get bedrooms ready for visitors and volunteers. WHEW! I am tired just typing it all. I leave next Wednesday for Nairobi! That’s only 1 week. I usually just keep my mind occupied with the task at hand so I don’t have a panic attack thinking of all that I need to do in 7 days. It helps to just go into town and see the street children. This reminds me that there are bigger problems in the world than mine. I have a bed to sleep in every night, which is more than many Kenyan children can say. It’s just a reminder of why I am here.
I know I have been promising pictures for sometime. The problem is I have not had many photo opportunities or remembered to take my camera with me. If you have something you would like to see, comment and I will get a photo posted. This lets me know you’re reading!
We made it to Kitale! It was a really long day of traveling, seeing our house, and making a very long list of what all we needed. Huge update on my housing situation, pencils ready and try to keep up. So, for now I am living with Brittany and Austin Huckabee (www.escapingtoreality.blogspot.com) in what is the team house until the ‘real’ team house is completed. These two houses are on the same compound next to one another. Last year the Huffmans (www.huffmansinkenya.blogspot.com) and I looked at a house we thought would be good. We affectionately named it The Orange House because of the lovely tangerine stucco. That house ended up being rented out, evidently by the UN, but is now available again! This is an answer to prayers. For a short time we thought I may not know where I would be after August 1st. Now it is looking like I will be able to move into The Orange House by the time Aly arrives and the summer begins. Thank you for all your prayers and support!
So since Brittany and Austin are hosting the teams this summer, there has been tons of errands to run in town. Town can get crazy, but when you have a long list of items you need it keeps you focused. We are exhausted! It has been some long days, but we are seeing things come together and it feels good.
We were all able to visit Mattaw today and see the staff and children!! It was so good to be back and hug all the ones I grew to love so much. The property is looking amazing!!! There is new school rooms, a chicken coop, a baby calf, and House 3 is nearing completion! I am so excited about all the great things in store for the summer.
I will post pictures soon. What good is a blog if there aren’t any good photos right?!
I have spent 4 interesting nights in Nairobi and tomorrow morning we head to Kitale. It will be really nice to settle in to what will be home for the next 2 1/2 months. So far, Hampton House has been home. I decided to delay travel to Kitale and stay in Nairobi with the Huffmans. The Huckabee’s arrived last night and we had a full day in town stocking up on goodies from Nakumat. Nakumat is a great store that has all the imported and nice brands of groceries and goodies that you can’t get in Kitale. It has been so great to spend time as a team and really bond. I am looking forward to what God is going to do this summer!
Because I decided to stay a few extra nights the guest house was fully booked. Luckily the Huffmans consider me family enough to let me stay in their room! Tomorrow we will all travel to Kitale by a private shuttle. All 5 adults, 2 kids, 12 or so suitcases/crates, and about 10 Nakumat bags. As my friend KImberly says,we are headed out like a herd of turtles in molasses.
Thank you all for your support and prayers!!! All my bags arrived safely and in tact. I am so grateful and blessed.
To begin this post I am going to give a little background. To put it simply, I am a single woman. Unattached. Alone. Don’t say I’m not. I know Jesus is with me, but physically speaking and not spiritually, I’m alone. Independent. Free. Not dating. Unmarried. There are days this can bother me and days I am grateful for it. Sometimes I just feel like third wheel, in some cases fifth wheel. It gets weird when I am with my friends and maybe the only other single person there is a guy. Awkward. I can get down on this fact and then Jesus just blesses my socks off! The night I was leaving Kenya I flew out with the Huffmans, party of 4. Kimberly and I were just talking about how it’s just me. I am technically traveling alone, with my friends. We just had a good laugh about how it’s JUST me and I step up to the counter to hand over my passport and boarding pass. The man looks at it and responds, “It’s just you?” Yes. Just me. Kimberly and I continue to laugh about it and go ahead and board the plane. I am sitting next to another family of 3 and a row ahead of the Huffmans. Just as I got buckled in the attendant approached me and asked, “Ma’am are you traveling alone this evening?”. I thought I may scream and laugh at the same time. I said that I was also traveling with my friends and pointed to them behind me. He politely said that they would like to give the family next to me an entire row since they were traveling with a baby and would I like to move up to business class. Would I? Heck yes!!! I jumped up, turned around, and said to Kimberly, “It’s just me!!!!!” I was able to have an entire row to my self, larger seats, better headphones, and a good nights rest. Jesus really blessed me.
Fast forward to Wednesday afternoon. I have 3 huge bags checked in, one of which I was praying would not pop open and purge all my belongings. I was kinda THAT girl at the airport. This time traveling alone. From Dallas to Nairobi all by my big-girl self. Scary? Not so much, just interesting. So I am sitting waiting for my plane to board and I get paged over the intercom. Great, my checked luggage broke. I walk up to the counter and the man asks for my boarding pass. I hand it over and without saying a word, hands me a new one. I had not even looked at the first one. He just says, here you go. I paused for a moment wondering what just happened and then the words just flew right out of my mouth, “Is this an upgrade?”. He simply smiled and nodded yes. I was in astonishment. Really? For me?! Not 10 minutes earlier I was wondering if I was ever going to be able to travel with a partner. I even pondered, is this my last experience alone? Mostly due to the fact that I need someone to help carry all my stuff. I had a row of one single seat. Of course it was right next to the emergency exit, but it was business class!!!! I sat down and quickly realized I would not have gotten that seat had I not been traveling alone. I also know Abba wanted me to know he was right there with me the whole time I’d be traveling and I had no need to fret or worry. Side note, Aly couldn’t make the flight to London due to a health issue. Please pray for her. It’s nothing super serious, but painful. She is really ready to return to Kenya. She will be flying in on June 1st and I will be there to pick her up. Because I was going to be traveling that whole long way by myself I really believe God was giving me a sign and a blessing. Not because I needed it, but because He loves me. That’s all. Just because.
I mentioned my friend Aly a couple posts back. I wanted to give her a proper introduction.
Aly will be my roommate in Kitale! I met her last year while we were both living in Kenya. She has an amazing story of how God clearly led her to be in Kitale. I love how Jesus has everything under control, and all we have to do is have faith and say yes. Well, we both were praying for this year and things just fell into place! She is going to be my travel buddy to Nairobi, my companion running around town, and my friend to laugh with when all you need is a friend to listen. Aly is from Massachusetts and has a huge heart for Bible teaching. I am so blessed to share life with her.
I leave tomorrow to fly to Dallas/Ft. Worth! I have to say, it’s bittersweet. I am so blessed to have such great family around me. From my grandparents, of which ALL 4 live within 2 minutes of my house, to my cousins who are as close as siblings. I will greatly miss my nieces and nephew. They grow up so fast! Luckily there is the Internet and Facebook. On Wednesday I will fly out of Texas and meet Aly in London. Please pray that we meet up quickly and I ease through London Heathrow Aly arrives 3 hours before I do, and I only have 1 hour to rush through the airport.
If I don’t have a chance to post before I leave, catch you on the flip side!