I can’t believe it! I only have 4 months left here. When I was preparing to come, a year seemed like a fairly decent length of time and now the last 2 months have flashed before my eyes and I’m well over halfway. I’m feeling like 4 months isn’t enough time and I wish I had more but thanks to Canadian tax laws I’ll have to head home. Life has definitely routined out here especially after a very busy July running around Kenya and Tanzania on exciting trips and adventures. Life is now back to work and about orienting the comers, supporting those still here and debriefing the goers. I thought I’d give a sampling of some of these lucky people who get to spend time with me haha!
Meet Katherine, from Rochester, NY. She’s been here about 2 months now and has another 4 to go. She is working with an elementary and pre school in Kibera called Ghetto Light. She is such a calming and steadfast spirit to be around. She plays the flute and brought an extra one in case one of the kids was interested in learning!
Once again, meet Stephen (I think he’s appeared on the blog a couple times), a teacher from the UK who is working with the Rendille tribe in Korr, Kenya (literally in the middle of no where). He has been there for a year and has extended an extra 4 months. It’s been awesome getting to hang out with him whenever he’s in Nairobi during school breaks and hear about all the stuff that’s happening up country. I can’t remember whether I’ve shared this video on the blog before, but check it out!
This is Ruth, a nurse from the UK working at Kijabe Hospital’s palliative care unit and the HIV clinic. Our birthdays are 3 days apart and she’s been a dear friend over her last 4 months here. I don’t know what I’d do without her!
There’s many more I could tell you about (the married couple from Australia, a retiree from the US, a recent uni grad from BC, a med student from South Africa, a couple of young guys from Brazil etc.) but it’s amazing to see all these different people from all over the world who have each had a unique journey getting here.
It’s interesting doing my job facilitating these folks when I myself am someone who needed it, if that makes sense. So many of their questions are ones that I had and now that I’m behind the scenes I realize how much work goes into getting people where they need to go. All this has led me to some interesting reflections over the last 8 months.
1) How much am I growing? It’s interesting to compare the mentalities between people who are here for 2 months, 6 months and a year plus. I came in with the mentality that I was moving here. I’m completely uprooting my life, I quit my job etc. to come live here. It wasn’t a summer trip or something in between other commitments and events, I am not going back to anything. So I knew that God was likely not going to move in the intense way that He often does for people who are here a short time. When I was in Uganda, it literally was BAM! every day, in your face, here’s a massive lesson that you’re learning. This time around I am learning, slowly, to be more receptive to lessons that come with less pomp and circumstance. How am I being molded daily and what can I learn every single day?
2) How much do I “need” to struggle? The last month especially made me question and doubt myself quite a bit. Between people visiting and a lot of STers on the ground, I had a blast. Was I doing anything wrong? Not at all but somehow I felt like being on the field shouldn’t be so fun (although I didn’t feel guilty about having fun at camp and that was ministry) and especially when people at home are financially supporting me. The trouble is that I have an administrative position, which doesn’t require so much overt physical sacrifice as say, someone living in the middle of a tribal area with no electricity or running water. I’ve really had to own that each person plays a different part in the body. Without me organizing flights or calculating budgets or being there when something goes wrong, that person can’t do what they do.
3) Can I live here full time? Coming into the year I knew that I was testing the waters for being here indefinitely. Now there are some serious opportunities for doing exactly that and I feel pushed and pulled in both directions. Sometimes when I’m considering my life now it sounds cheesy but I feel absolutely, this is home. That being said, sometimes I can’t wait to go back and be in Vancouver again. I mean I love the mountains and the city and my church (oh I miss thee, Reality). I’ve been discussing this idea with a number of my close friends both here in Kenya and at home in the West and what life would look like here. Despite all the discussion, thought and prayer, I think one of them is right (Jeremiah, you can have the shout out and credit this time); I need to go home first before I can really, without looking back, commit to life indefinitely out here.
So those are my thoughts just in case you were wondering if all I did was see animals and lay on beaches haha!
Although sometimes you see animals while on the beach… and that’s pretty spectacular 😉