My first week in Africa!

9 Commentsby   |  06.12.11  |  Kenya

In some ways I feel like I’ve been here for years, in other ways I feel like its been a day, but here we are at the end of the first week and I feel like I have so much to share! On Wednesday (June 8) we travelled by mutatu (van) to Rongo, a rural town on the very edge of the west side of Kenya. Although the drive was estimated to be about 5 hours, it ended up lasting about 8, including a stop for lunch. Right when we reached Rongo we went to Sam’s Place and visited with the orphans. They. Are. So. Precious!!!! I literally love every single one of them so much!! On Thursday, we prepared for KDPL (Kenyan Deaf Prayer Leadership), a conference that Sam’s Place was hosting for all the deaf people of Kenya. Bonnie, Savannah, and I were responsible for the children of the deaf adults, as well as the Sam’s Place orphans. Before dinner we helped the orphans wash their clothes. It was so fun to help them with their chores! The soap they use here is multi-purpose, used for washing dishes, clothes, and bodies, and is very strengint so that was different using your hands to rub the clothes together in a water basin. Later that night Bonnie and I had an incident in our room. While talking to Mitchell, Bonnie realized a MASSIVE gecko was right above my head. For the next 30 minutes, Bonnie and I sat curled in the corner screaming while Mitchell chased the gecko out of our room…only to find ANOTHER one!! No worries, Mitchell chased that one out too. On Friday, we arrived at Sam’s Place at 8am and began to set up for our lessons and activities. Around noon, we wondered into Simeon’s (the director of Sam’s Place) kitchen where his wife was cooking lunch. We offered our assistance and the next thing I know we’re making somosas (the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten…they remind me of egg rolls) and chibati bread! It was fascinating watching and learning how to cook in Kenya; they put hot pans on the floor and use their hands to mix vegetables and to flip bread in the pan. After lunch, children began to arrive, resulting in the start of a very long day of teaching. This ended up being very difficult because we had children that signed, spoke Swahili, and very few that understood English. When teaching, coloring, and reading books (that we brought, which they absolutely LOVED), we went outside and Bonnie, Savannah, Mitchell (a student that is a member at Willis Church of Christ), and I slowly, yet successfully, taught the children outside games such as Red Rover, Duck Duck Goose, London Bridge, Red Light Green Light, and Little Sally Walker. It was an interesting realization that almost all games require sounds of some sort so we had to modify the games to meet the needs of the deaf children. Saturday was a lot like Friday, teaching and playing with the kids. Let’s just say that we fell right asleep every night!! Today, Sunday, is the last day of KDPL, ending with church, which resulted in 7 baptisms!! 7!! God is so good!

It amazes me how different Kenya is than America. It’s completely normal to walk by cows, goats, and chickens anywhere and everywhere. Everyone wears mismatched, wholly clothes and rarely wear shoes. The roads are generally dirt and extremely rough. And the children, they are so so so sweet! They love hugs and hand holding and smiles. They act as if they’ve never had personal attention. Oh, and they LOVE pictures!! It is almost dangerous to take out your camera because they’ll swarm and try to grab it but when you tell them to get together for a picture, they run into place and stand statue still; but they won’t smile! You have to point at your teeth over and over again and some get it and some just look confused! They also LOVE Bonnie, Savannah, and my hair and skin. They’ll pet and pull at our hair in amazement and compare their hands to ours. One of the children put my hand against a white van and theirs against the tire and laughed and laughed. During KDPL, we all felt like celebrities. All the people there, almost 150, waited in lines to take pictures with us and no matter where or what we were doing, people would walk up and take pictures of us, even in the middle of church! But so far, Kenya has been amazing and I can’t wait to spend the next 7 weeks at Sam’s Place living out God’s word! AWA (Africa Wins Again).


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