I’ve been living in KENYA for ONE MONTH as of today. What in the world (!!!!!!) Thanks to the persistent reminder of a certain few (hello, to my grandparents) I am finally posting an update. Hopefully I won’t be blogging at this rate, all year.
Cliff notes: I’m doing GREAT. Now you can rest assured tonight 😉
My days at Tenwek Hospital have been rich, full, colorful, cultural, so much newness. How do I capture this on the world wide web?! Lots of “firsts” as you can imagine. First month on the job (welcoming, hosting, coordinating, connecting visitors that come to short-term volunteer at Tenwek).
First time going out into the Bomet community with Solomon Rope, a Kenyan Physical Therapist, who delivers wheelchairs to people in rural areas with special needs or disabilities.
First time to Kericho (nearest big city, about 1.5 hrs away) where I found BACON at a grocery store yay yay yay. First time I met Jane in the Bomet marketplace and bought bananas from her fruit stand.
First time joining Threads of Hope (a ministry that teaches women sewing skills so they can make a living) for their weekly Bible study (in Kipsigis lol).
First time to ever live ALONE in a studio apartment (can’t say I really miss the 11 roommates from college. jk love you Duncan). My first time to wear long skirts/dresses every day .. including when I go for a run.
First time hosting a prayer gathering for visiting staff. First time attending and falling asleep during the 2.5 hour Sunday church service at Bethesda Africa Gospel Church (I’ve learned to show up about 35 mins late, my ideal time frame anyways ha).
First time drinking steaming hot cups of chai with Kenyan friends daily.
First time spending all day mudding a hut for a woman named Rachel, who lives alone in a 10ft by 5ft shack.
First time hiking Mount Longonot then spending an hour on the side of the road surrounded by curious Kenyan school kids thanks to a broken down van on the way home.
The first time I walked up to the hospital to welcome my friend Emmanuel’s first baby, Abigail Chibet into the world (HEART EYES <3) Only hours after she was born!!
Not the first time I’ve been confronted by poverty, but humbled afresh by the immense wealth I enjoy as an American. Not the first time I’ve met God, but reminded afresh of the deep and precious spiritual blessings he offers in the simplicity of daily life. Not the first time I’ve felt tired, but perhaps a new level of exhaustion after long, tiring, dirty, frustrating days when I close the blinds and melt into my bed at 8pm (missionary midnight, yo). Not the first time I’ve valued being alone, but a new appreciation for early, quiet(ish) coffee mornings (ptl for the pourover and milk frother I brought from the USofA) spent on the balcony outside of my apartment.
Does this help paint how different and colorful and unique each day is? Is this the kind of content my fans want?!
My role as the Friends of Tenwek ambassador is multifaceted. One job is to be the face of FOT when visitors arrive to serve at Tenwek. That means a welcoming smile, tours of the hospital/compound, connecting people to different volunteer opportunities, being a resource for any questions. So every day looks differently which I love. People come and go all the time (which I don’t so love).
But the Tenwek community is diverse and busy and welcoming; I’ve found new friendships with long term missionaries, new opportunities to participate in God’s kingdom, new ways to engage with Kenyan people and culture.
And if you’ve made it this far, you get to learn that Chamgei means Hello! in Kipsigis. Seiseri for now!!