I had hoped to post something on my one week anniversary of being in Kenya, but the internet was down and well, that’s just something you gotta deal with!
So here I am… 10 days in and managing quite well!
A little about the journey so far:
My brother travelled with me. He makes both a good travel companion and a good pack mule. Thanks, John-Paul! You’re the best! It took us a solid three days to get here, but that included some decent layover time in Amsterdam and Nairobi, so we squeezed in a little sightseeing. All in all it wasn’t a bad trip and we made it with all of our luggage, a miracle in and of itself!
We arrived Friday and hit the ground running. Saturday we went to the market for the first time and did some shopping. The first trip is always a doozy, but we managed (I might’ve ended up with enough fruit for a family of 12). Sunday was a great cultural experience, visiting a local congregation. The dancing and music and children… it was all so enlivening! Monday we worked on some logistical things as far as my housing, touring the campus, that sort of thing. We also went with some long-term missionaries to a beautiful place called Kerio View. It’s an amazing ridge overlooking a valley. Absolutely splendid. And Tuesday, John-Paul went home.
So, from last Wednesday until now, I’ve been figuring out life here without the cushion of family. Honestly, it has not been bad. I’m still in the Guest House on campus while they finish renovations on my little apartment. I went on a 4 hour walking tour of Eldoret with Marcia Anderson, a firecracker of a lady who has lived all over the world and been a missionary almost as long as I’ve been alive. I had my first taste of double interpreting at a church made up of Kenyans, Sudanese, and Americans. I was invited into a Kenyan home for the first time. I’ve had delicious coffee and noshed at local bakeries. I went to a dairy. I’ve learned two words of Swahili. I’ve been to two Missionary Fellowship meetings. I found knitting needles and yarn (thanks to Marcia!). I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve stared in confusion/amazement/shock. I’ve met more people than I’ll possibly ever remember names for.
I’m still figuring out life here and will be for a while. But I do know, with great certainty, that this is where God has me. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from one of my new favorite books:
Faith isn’t about having everything figured out ahead of time; faith is about following the quiet voice of God without having everything figured out ahead of time.
(Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood)
And that about sums up where I am right now.