I can’t believe it’s only been a week since we’ve arrived here in Kenya. It’s felt like closer to 3 for sure although I’m certain that will change once we get into a routine. The first week has been an adjustment to say the least. When we first got here we stayed in an AIM guest house where we were able to meet lots of interesting people working all over Africa. Trisha and Bob are from one of the Carolinas and were headed up north to the deserts to be among the Rendille peoples for 3 months. They were literally one of the most vibrant couples I’ve ever met and when I’m married 50 years I hope to be half as awesome as they are (I hope to be 1/2 as awesome now). I also had the privilege of getting to know a woman named Jenny, who was a doctor with Pioneers who’d left South Sudan after her project was destroyed in the conflict there. Some incredibly inspiring people and divine conversations within those 3 days there.
Now that we’re moved in and settled we’re definitely realizing what it means to be on “Kenya time.” For those of you who don’t know, African (generally speaking) culture runs on event based time. Meaning it doesn’t matter if you’re 2 hours late because the event will a) still be going on and b) you’re here now.
So the last few days have been spent waiting for various offices and people to decide what our schedule looks like and what we’re to be doing. Then when it seemed like we finally had some direction we waited in an office for 2 hours, then waited outside for 2 hours, then had lunch at 1:30 and then told we would make a plan next week. This is soooo unlike North American culture where time is money and not to be “wasted”. So Hannah and I are getting a lesson in patience and relaxation (as there’s no point getting stressed or frustrated because this is just the way things go).
It is beautiful to see though, how this culture values relationship and people. You may be 2 hours late but I can safely assume it’s because you ran into a few friends and stopped to have a good catch up with them. At home I’d rush past you making my excuses in some trite fashion.
Other things I’m adjusting to: jet lag (apparently it’s a day for every hour you change so I’ve got a few more yet), being wanded down every mall or store I enter (since those sad days in September), sleeping with a mosquito net every night (it’s pretty laborious to tuck it in but it affords a certain coziness), and not having mom’s Chinese food… I really miss noodle soup.
Anyways, I’ll post a walk through video next of our house.
Til we meet again.