Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jambo rafikis!

Well, I arrived and if you are keeping up with my schedule closely you will also notice that I am on my 3rd day of travel in Kenya.  This is the first time I have had the opportunity to blog because internet access here is minimal.  I have sat down to eat a late lunch at the Java House which seems a bit out of place from the orphanage in Kawangware slum I volunteered in today.  There is so much to say I don't even know where to begin!  Upon arrival I was greeted by my taxi driver who drove me to Karen, the town that I will be staying in.  Nairobi was dark upon arrival and rainy.  When I stepped off of the plane I couldn't believe that I actually traveled across the world all by myself.  It actually hit me that I am here...alone! But God really provided and whenever I had a feeling of intimidation I had someone kind to speak with.  Speaking of providing, I forgot to mention on my flight over I had the friendliest girl sit next to me on the flight and by coincidence she was also traveling to Kenya for a mission trip with a group called Village Care.  We had a lot to talk about and it took my mind off of the difficult goodbye from family at the airport.

If I sound like I am all over the place, it is because I am! I am trying to type as fast as I can before I have to catch the next matatu (bus) home!  I must digress though and give a shout out to my sister who came up with the most brilliant idea to write a note to me each day that I was in Kenya! My mom tagged along with the idea and I have a thought for each day!  Some are facts, scripture verses, and just sweet notes to remind me that the reason I might feel homesick is for a certain reason---I am so loved!

So to sum things up quickly: I went to an elephant orphanage, giraffe center, and tribal dance show the other day where I kissed a giraffe and learned really neat facts about elephants like how they are pregnant for 22 months...girls, count your lucky stars!!  I have eaten yummy things with no trouble so far, I am counting my fingers! Tomorrow I leave for safari with my friend I made Jenny and then when I return I will begin my volunteering in Watamu!

Today I volunteered in an orphanage called St. Dorkas.  When asked where the name came from the head mistress stated it was from Acts in the bible.  Dorkas means to give with all of your heart to God, and that is what she and the others are doing.  I could literally write an entire blog tributed to Justina (the lady running the orphanage) and her blind faith!  I had elephant tears in my eyes as I saw how she had done so much with what little she had been given.  

I wish I could write more, but hopefully I will be able to soon!

Nakupenda (I love you),


Saturday, June 25, 2011

so little time, so much to say...

This is it, no turning back now! I am on leg two of my 3 legged journey to Nairobi.  Switzerland is absolutely breathtaking, the landscape here is picture perfect and the airport has this very crisp and sharp architecture.  I am not used to the announcements being said first in another language, but after listening they are boarding...to be continued!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


there are moments in life where you are thrown a curveball.  if i was a baseball player, i would definitely want to avoid these pitches at all cost--they are impossible to hit off of and most of the time end up with one team victorious and the other sitting in a puddle of disappointment.  well, this girl has been thrown a curveball and i refuse for the pitcher of this play to succeed in my demise! 

as many of you know, and if you read previous posts you could find out, i am leaving for africa in exactly 2 days and a handful of hours. the number one thing on anyone's checklist when traveling abroad should be what?  that's right: a passport.  not only that but also a visa. guess what this girl is sitting at home without...you guessed it!  long story short i parted with my passport a month ago, traveling to the kenya embassy in new york; a requirement for my visa; a requirement for my entrance to kenya.

a month later, my visa and passport have yet to arrive.  what many of you are screaming at your computer right now (kind of like you scream at the damsel in distress in the scary movies before she throws herself into the bad guy's hands) is, "are you crazy, call them, do something..."  well, of course, i have. multiple times. they know me by name. 

sitting in the raw moment of uncertainty that plagues me, what i am reminded of is this is pretty much out of my control. what pitch the hitter is dealt is out of their control. my dear friend melanie, who just so happens to be in kenya at this very moment commented on her blog today that God always provides. in everything. period. God will provide. he has guided me to this moment, and he will see me through it. my perspective, my attitude, my response toward this moment of uncertainty that could drive me insane and darken the joy that has been set before me is in my hands.  so i choose to believe and to trust.  

to be continued...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

faith, hope, and love...

 we continually remember before our God and Father your work
produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance
inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
   -- 1 Thessalonians 1:3
i get a verse sent to me everyday through email and this one i held onto for the last couple of days. as many of you may know, i recently finished nursing school and even more recent i took the NCLEX- the main determinant of receiving my nursing license. i can't even explain the relief i felt yesterday when i checked my email, heart pounding and read the word "passed".  its funny how such a few simple letters creating a one syllable word can be so significant and represent so much work, so many long nights consisting of studying and writing care plans, etc etc... 16 months full.  i am overwhelmed with relief and happiness, i feel like i could burst.  with this verse i reflect back on a long 16 months, a work produced by faith, a labor prompted by love, and my endurance inspired by faith...my cup runneth over (yes i forgot to mention in my bio that i am cheeeeesy!)