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Archive for the ‘Kerio View’ Category

Waking up to reality…

March 1….Later in the day

Maybe I shouldn’t title this post “waking up to reality” since there are many verisons of reality.  Not everything that is a fact (at the present) is necessarily true. However, I have had some real wake up calls, I guess you could say, over the past few days, and my heart has taken on a more sober tone.

I just got back from Kerio View with Caro (from the Netherlands) and Sophie (from Aus/NZ). We ate at a beautiful lodge filled with Kenyan carvings and artwork, with large windows overlooking the Valley. (Diane said it might remind me of the Grand Canyon there—not even close, but still very lovely).

My new friends both have very interesting stories. Caro has been here for over ten years and is married to a Kenyan man. She and her husband manage a non-profit mission, working with local churches and helping the poor with microfinance projects, such as one that was just approved by their board—giving a cow to a poor family, with the stipulation that the family give the first calf to another family in need, and then the next calf given away and so on.

Sophie manages an orphanage that was started by her church. She first came her with a group from her church on December 27, 2007; the very day that the war and massacre broke out here in Eldoret and Nakuru, a nearby town. All the violence was due to tribal differences after the presidential election, which apparently everyone knew was rigged. (In its 35 years of independence from Britain, Kenya has had only 3 presidents, including the current one). I will spare all of you the horrific details of what she and her group experienced, but I will say that I find it simply amazing that she would come back here to live after going through all of that.

After her group got back safely to Australia (a month later) they wanted to do something for the many orphans whose parents were murdered in the uprising. (She said she cried every day for 6 months after getting back to Australia because she felt so guilty to be alive and have somewhere to escape to, when so many others did not). She is only 22 and full of incredible courage and sweetness.

I have heard so many horror stories (of violence and corruption and con-men) since I got here, but I know I needed to hear them. I already feel like a different person than I was a week ago. I need to be sober about what I am doing here, and be very careful and focused only on what the Holy Spirit leads me to do. Virtually all of my sense of adventure has completely dissipated.

After we got back from Kerio View, I decided to take a tuk tuk home by myself. After Caro dropped us off, I realized that I only had 1,000 shilling notes and the tuk tuk only needs 30 shillings. I knew that they would probably try to con me out of more money for my fare (if they even had the change for a bill my size), so I walked through town looking for something that I genuinely needed to buy so I could break my 1,000. (1,000 shillings is a little over $12 USD).

I remember just a few days ago standing on the same corner, all excited, pulling out my camera to take a picture, looking like a total tourist and almost getting robbed. Today, I did what Diane told me: “Walk quickly, with purpose. Look like you know exactly where you are going, even if you don’t!” I walked with purpose, clutching my purse to me and eventually found myself in a crowded, smelly little grocery store where I got gingersnaps, Kenyan tea and some nail polish. (I thought it would be fun to paint the girls toes out at the orphanage).  All the time there was this droning sound in the background that I thought perhaps was a Muslim call to prayer, but then I heard the word “oooom” at the end. I realized that I was in a shop was owned by Indians when a gracious lady in a sari came up and bowed slightly to me. I don’t think they see many muzungus in that shop. (Many of the businesses around here are owned by East Indians, and they are apparently the ones who imported the tuk tuk here from India. I am quite glad for the Indian influence, especially when it comes to the food…chapattis are served at many meals and there are great curries on the menu in every restaurant).

I wanted to take so many pictures walking through the streets, like the animal bodies hanging in the butcher shop window, but after gaining my new street smarts, it was not that hard to resist the temptation. I hopped on a tuk tuk and went home.

I am having major second thoughts about going up to Kakuma refugee camp. My heart, more than anything, is to spend as much time with the orphans as possible. I have already been presented with the opportunity to go to Rwanda, and possibly other neighboring African nations. All of this sounded interesting 3 days ago, but now I am determined to not do ANYTHING unless the Lord leads me to do so. I came here to work with the orphans and SILA, and I am not going to be distracted from that purpose.

Tomorrow, we will start the day with our Swahili lesson and then go out to the orphanage and their school, and then to SILA where I want to attend one of the workers’ meetings. Seeing both classes in action will help me to get a better feel for what kind of stuff they are learning and help me plan my own lessons. I will be posting pictures related to these recent blogs on Facebook. Thanks everyone, for all your comments, prayers and support. I truly appreciate it, and your interest in Kenya. Please keep praying!!

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