If you read my post about splashes of cold water I ended it wondering whether my next unexpected story would change my life like a tidal wave… who knew I was foreshadowing something that I didn’t even know would happen?
An opportunity has come up for me to be at the AIM Eastern Region office helping PJ out in the short term department. This job entails a bunch of administrative and finance work and also being part of orientating new short termers coming in. AIM defines anyone here for a year or less to be short term. I am so PUMPED about this change. I think it combines my two of my strongest skills, making people feel comfortable/welcome and planning and organizing stuff. I’ve already started part time which means I’ll be at school only 2-3 days a week. This isn’t a typical assignment that AIM would have a short termer fill but for whatever reason it’s working out really well for everyone involved.
Some of you might be thinking, “You can’t just leave Hannah and the students!” but we’ve discussed it and really there’s way more positives to it than negatives. The timing couldn’t be better with where each of us are at with school and our current situation and we are really happy. Did I mention I’m excited? It’s amazing how God just puts all the pieces in places and times everything so perfectly. If this had happened a month ago I don’t think we would have been ready for this separation or able to see all the benefits.
The last few weeks we also had to get over the shock of saying goodbye to almost all of the wazungu (Western) friends we’ve made here. Our usual weekend companions Beth and Cristina left in a flurry of tears and packing at the 11th hour (literally 30 minutes before departure for the airport).
We also said goodbye to Bob and Trisha, whom we’ve been with since Day 1 orientation in Kenya. We all went for lunch and to Amani Ya Juu and got to see the factory and meet some of the women who make the crafts. It’s a great organization and when you buy things there it comes with a tag letting you know the name and country of origin of the lady who handmade your item. One of the ladies in charge was actually the mama that Hannah stayed with during her last time in Kenya! Of course we did some shopping… something Hannah and I are really good at.
On an encouraging note, this week during my second orientation of some new short termers (wasting no time here) I was asked how long I’d been in Kenya and I told them to guess and they said two years! I guess my adaptation to life here is coming along swimmingly since I’ve been here just about three months. Also, during a visit to the Maasai Market on my friend Jeremiah’s last day (yet another goodbye) some of the merchants approached me and asked if I was a resident! Locals thinking you live here is a good sign of successful cultural negotiation. I also got to practice my kiswahili kidogo (a little bit) by bargaining and repelling persistent vendors and actually carried on a couple of simple conversations. They also thought Jeremiah, who had been here two months, was my visitor. Not that it’s any indication of who has superior language and culture adaptation skills…
So life has basically done a 180 here… a lot of my life has changed in the past 2 weeks as if a tidal wave came and wiped it out and completely altered the landscape. But it’s just a reminder that we really don’t know what our future holds and usually nothing goes according to plan. In Matthew 6 we’re instructed not to “worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Now to deal with all the change in my life we’re off to Uganda to visit the project I worked 4 years ago and to white water raft the Nile. So there really will be waves hitting me, literally.