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a heart for africa

“Normal” Things From Our Days in Kenya

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 | 3 comments

On this blog, the team has captured so many of the momentous events during our time in Kenya.  Now that I’ve been home for a week, one of the aspects of life in Kenya that I miss are the more mundane things.

  • Whether in the morning or the evening, we turn the knobs to take a shower not knowing what we’ll get that day.  We may get a strong, hot shower, a cold shower, or no water at all.  Since we ended many days covered in dirt and sweat, any water was welcomed.  
  • The toilets weren’t always up to the challenges we imposed and some team members were too embarrassed to ask for help until they could no longer hide the ‘situation.’  (Names have intentionally been withheld to protect the embarrassed.)
  • Before breakfast each day, we had a quiet time with a song and prayers to make sure we were centered and fully present for the Lord had intended for us that day.
  • During breakfast, we had a line for the buffet and another for the eggs.  Choosing which line to go in first and preserving your place in line was often an artform.  Doing it wrong may mean missing out on eggs or something scarce from the buffet line.
  • Chapati is a round flat bread and a staple of many Kenyan meals.  It’s eaten rolled up like a tortilla.  The team found many creative ways to eat a chapati: nutella, jam/jelly, stuffed with cabbage (“Kenyan egg roll”), stuffed with anything else, with chili sauce.
Chapati and cabbage

Chapati and cabbage

 

  • In Masii, we stayed on the third floor of a building.  The first two floors are occupied by various businesses and offices (including the offices for Tumaini and Masii Christian Chapel).  The building is a hollow rectangle with an open courtyard.  From the third floor, we can look down and see the two bottom floors.  During the daytime, the moment we stepped out of our rooms, we were greeted by children on the second floor saying “hi” (or something of the sort) and following our every move.
  • Whenever we walked around town, there were undoubtedly a group of children there to greet us.  Many walked with us wherever we were going.  Others shouted joyfully, “How’re you?” to which the proper reply is “I’m fine.”    We were treated like “rock stars,” which was awkward but seemed to bring the children a lot of joy.
A group greeting us outside the gate of the hotel.

A group greeting us outside the gate of the hotel.

 

  • For whatever reason, the kids love stickers.  It didn’t really matter what kind.  They often swarmed around us when we started with the stickers.  By the time we were through, faces, arms and hands would be covered.
Stickers!

Stickers!

Swarmed for stickers

Swarmed for stickers

 

  • The weather was perfect is almost every way.  Several days, the high was in the upper 70s.  It wasn’t particularly hot but the sun felt more piercing.
  • The lanes on the road are merely suggestions.  Like many parts of the world, you drive on the right side of the road…that, too, appears to be a suggestion.
  • Our driver’s name is Joseph.  With him, roads are optional.  Cows and vegetation: beware.
  • We ended most days with dinner and a Bible study.  Though we were often physically, and emotionally, exhausted, the study forced us to focus back on our purpose: radical obedience to His calling.
  • For those who were still conscious, the night ended with cards games and/or the Internet café.

The emotional and mundane things we faced, each in their own ways, helped to create a close-knit team.

Miss you all!

Rick

I’ve been blessed with a loving (and lovely!) wife, a son (Luke, 10), and daughter (Bella, 5).
Since coming to Valley over two years ago, our walk has grown to leaps. We delight in serving the Lord and His people, whether through peacemaking, caring children, or serving the downtrodden locally and abroad.