3 for 1 Update
Posted on April 24, 2013
Who doesn’t love 3 for 1, right?
I apologize for not writing an update for the last 3 months. It seems I have forgotten all about writing to tell you things. Again, sorry.
I will try my best to give you the highlights of the last 3 months. It’s gonna be a long update, you may as well cozy up with your favorite beverage, kick back, relax, and enjoy.
February was hot and dry. I wasn’t prepared for the rain to just stop falling and not come back for a whole month. The grass turned brown, the cows got crabby, everyone seemed to be moving at snail’s pace because of the heat. I think it’s the heat that caused me to forget to remember things. One of the highlights for me in February was teaching at church about how much God loves us and how there is absolutely, positively nothing that can separate us from His love for us. Here in Eburru they focus so much on God’s judgement they forget to think about how much He loves us. It’s always a gift for me to be able to talk about God’s love and remember how high and wide and deep is the love the Father has given us. I think maybe the reason I love talking about God’s love so much is because I need the reminder for myself. Sometimes it’s just good to sit in love and breathe.
Other than that, I spent a lot of time at the school, watching the cows and playing with the kids. Kids are amazing. They are so resilient, so kind, so full of life…it’s really good for my soul to be around them all the time. There are some kids who stay at the school that simply fill my heart with joy every time I see them. I wish I could express how great it is for me to be loved by and get to love on these kids.
March was election month. At least that’s what it felt like. The weeks leading up to the election were filled with anticipation and apprehension. Everyone was wondering what the elections would be like and if there would be violence again. Politicians spent untold amounts of money doing a “peace campaign” telling their followers to let the courts decide any disputes and not to turn violent. The kids were sent home from school, all over the country, for a week surrounding the election simply because no one knew what would happen. As it turns out, the elections were incredibly peaceful and seemed to run fairly smoothly. I took Kanyi and a couple teachers from the school to their polling place to see what the process is like. It’s very fascinating. For the presidential candidates they had a ballot with pictures on it, for everyone who couldn’t read they could still know who they were voting for, fairly important in a country with a very high illiteracy rate. Then each section of candidates also had their own ballot, governors, county council, etc. etc. Each ballot was a different color paper, and inside the polling place were different colored boxes corresponding to each ballot. If you didn’t put your ballot in the right colored box the vote was deemed disqualified and not counted. All in all a very fascinating process, and a very different process than what we have in the US. In fact, they couldn’t believe our process when I was explaining it to them. The hardest thing for them to get their minds around was having just one ballot with everything on it. After the results of the election were announced, in Eburru there was a big celebration because they all wanted Uhuru to win. For the most part everyone votes along tribal lines in Kenya, and since Uhuru is Kikuyu and Eburru is mostly Kikuyu they were very happy. People were wondering though if violence would break out once Odinga challenged the results, but again peace reigned. People were so relieved it was a peaceful process and they are now ready to move forward with a new government and put the election violence of 2007 behind them. There is still the looming case in the ICC against Uhuru and Ruto, but for the most part it seems Kenya is moving forward.
The other big thing in March was coming back to CO. Such a huge gift to be able to see so many friends and family, and to be able to get some much needed rest and “heart” conversations. People here don’t live life on a “heart” level…meaning they don’t think about what they are feeling or what their triggers or issues are, they just live life. For the most part that is incredibly refreshing for me because I spend a whole lot less time thinking about myself and a whole lot more time thinking about the folks around me, but every once in a while it’s good to be able to process what I am thinking and feeling with folks who “get it.” It was also pretty amazing to take warm showers, drive on smooth roads, have endless food choices—that were prepared for me, have electricity that always worked, and getting to watch basketball was awesome…even though the outcome is not what I wanted I still loved being able to sit and watch. And, I was introduced to Duck Dynasty, which is really just pure TV gold :-).
And now here it is, almost the end of April. What a whirlwind tour I’ve been on since returning to Kenya. I spent the first day and a half in Nairobi so I could pick up my alien resident card. It’s basically just a Kenyan id, but now everywhere I go I get the resident rate instead of the mzungu rate. So, so good to be a resident :-) After Nairobi I was in Eburru for 3 days and then I headed to Nakuru to see Kanyi and my friend Mary Wanjuguna. Kanyi is no longer in Eburru because he is going to mechanic school in Nakuru, which is great for him, but sad for all of us who miss him being here in Eburru. Mary is my friend who used to have Neema Cafe in Eburru center and she now lives in Nakuru as well. It was so great to see both of them. I went to Kabazi to spend time with Kanyi’s family, and I can’t really explain how great it is to be there. Kabazi is beautiful, and Kanyi’s family is amazing. They are so kind and loving and welcoming to me every time I go see them, their home feels like a place of rest for me.
I was planning on spending just one night in Kabazi, but the rains changed that plan. We got to Kabazi Wednesday night and got stuck in the mud going to Kanyi’s house. So, Simon spent the night in the road in the mud because there was no way to get out. Thursday morning we waited until about 10:00 to let the roads dry a little bit and we went and got Simon unstuck pretty easily. We left him at the place they park matatus, and then started walking back to Kanyi’s house. Along the way I wanted to go see the river that flows through Kabazi so we took a small detour. Turns out it’s good we did because after the river we were walking back to Kanyi’s house and we met a boy, Joel, who had cut his hand really badly with his panga (machete). Apparently he was cutting tree branches and missed the branch but got his hand. We got his hand cleaned up a little bit and wrapped in a handkerchief and then we headed back to Simon to take Joel to the clinic in town. We got to the clinic and the doctor there told Joel he needed to go to get x-rays in a nearby town called Bahati. We took Joel to the x-ray place and then headed back to Kabazi. My plan was to leave Kabazi around 3pm, but by the time we got back to Kanyi’s from taking Joel to get x-rays the rain had already started and I decided it was best to stay another night rather than try to get out of Kabazi in the rain and risk getting stuck again. I’m glad I did stay because we were walking later in the evening and we saw Joel, he was bandaged up and showed us the x-ray, he had cut one of his fingers clear to the bone, not a good situation for him, but I’m real glad I was able to help him get to the doctor so he could get some treatment. After another fun night in Kabazi I headed back to Eburru on Friday.
While I was in Nakuru Pastor Steve called me and told me about a car he found in Kijabe. Most of you know while I was in CO I sold my car so that I could buy a new car here in Kenya. Simon has been amazing, and I really do love driving him around, but he has been prohibitively expensive to drive and I needed a new transportation solution. When Pastor Steve came and picked me up in Nairobi we went to a few dealerships (called bazaars here) to look for a Toyota RAV 4 or Nissan X-Trail. The cheapest one we found was a 2001 RAV 4 for 1.2 million Kenya shillings. That translates to $14, 325 US. Needless to say, a little out of my price range. Cars here in Kenya are really, really expensive. I was starting to get discouraged thinking there would be no way for me to get a car. But then PS called me in Nakuru about a 1991 Toyota Surf (4 Runner) that was in my price range. Surfs are my favorite type of car I’ve seen here. So, yesterday I went and looked at it and it is AWESOME. The body is in great shape, just messed up enough for me to not care if the Eburru road messes it up more, but just nice enough to be super comfortable. It has power windows, locks, mirrors, air conditioning, a radio, and a sunroof. Best part? Most of the stuff works!! I feel like I am upgrading to the land of luxury, Simon doesn’t have any of that stuff, and most of the time what Simon does have doesn’t work. It also has great suspension-very important for the Eburru road- and a new engine, which is important to know because it means it will last a lot longer. I feel so blessed and lucky and am overwhelmed with thankfulness at God’s provision for me and my transportation needs. I can’t wait to take the car for a road trip!
That’s the update for you, all 3 months’ worth. Right now school is on break so I’m anxiously awaiting the students’ return so I can say hi to all of them. I’m so glad to be back here, and am continually reminded this is the place God wants me to be.