Many of you are not on Facebook, so my apologies for not letting you know I’ve arrived safely in Kenya! The two flights were very uneventful, which I always prefer. I landed Sunday evening to 71 degree weather, yet in the transport to the house the driver had the heat turned on! As they say here, “It is almost winter.” I, on the other hand, couldn’t wait to pull my socks off and grab my sandals.
The jet lag is always hard on my upon arrival. The first two nights I got about 4 hours of sleep and then was awake 6 hours, then got another 2-4 hours of sleep before getting out of bed around 11 or noon. Thankfully I had time at the guest house the first few days in Karen to rest and recover without any demands. My dear friends Frank and Dottie from North Carolina are helping watch over the house right now, so we had a fun reunion. They take good care of me and try to turn me into a “red-neck” – their words. I’ve gotten about as far as saying “ya’ll” and eating fried green tomatoes! Frank hasn’t given up hope on this Yankee yet.
Tuesday was my first venture out to exchange money, pay for my car rental and pick some groceries. It’s so different being here this time around. I’m finding it odd that I know where everything is and how to get things done. Friends are calling and sms’ing to welcome me back. It is an adjustment and feels a bit strange to feel like I’ve come “home”, when I just spent the holidays at “home”.
It’s been fun to reconnect with friends here. Tuesday night we had dinner with a Kenyan family in their home and enjoyed meat samosas and rice pilau. Mmmm… two of my favorites! Wednesday night I went out for a girl’s night with friends from Karen Vineyard Church and enjoyed some Lebanese and good chatting.
Today, Thursday, I woke up after having my first full nights sleep – yay! That was a good sign it was going to be a good day. And it was as my first day back to Amani Ya Juu! Oh, I wish I could have had video’d this reunion. I was first greeted by Maggie in the shop with massive hugs and exclamation. Then she said I MUST go greet at the cafe before I head back to the Pamoja House (the large building we work in). As I stood at the Cafe catching up with friends I started to hear singing. And then Monicah linked arms with me and said, “Come! They are singing for you!” It was so beautiful I got teary. As we turned around the trees towards the Pamoja House, there stood all of the ladies out front and winding up the stairs singing and clapping, in a receiving line of sorts. I felt like it was my wedding day as I made my way up the lining hugging and greeting them all, one by one, while they sang. It was truly fantastic; a moment filled with so much love and thankfulness. And then they asked me to say a word. Oh goodness! Why do I never remember to be prepared for this request when I am here!!! I in-eloquently tried to express my gratitude and how I’ve missed them and how I’m so excited to be back. After some rambling my friend Kajuju asked if there was anything else. I whispered embarrassingly that I didn’t know what else to say. She smiled gently and had Margaret close us in prayer. Thankfully they are the most gracious bunch I know!
After the greeting and reconnecting I ran out quick to sign the lease on my new apartment. That’s right… thanks to all of my gracious supporters, I was able to secure a furnished apartment just minutes away from Amani. I move in Saturday and can’t wait to get settled! Thank you SO much everyone for chipping in to bless me in this way. I am thrilled!
And to top it all off, today is my oldest nephew’s birthday! We get to Skype soon and I can’t wait to see his toothy shy smile. Love you kiddo!
PHEW! What a week and day it has been. God has been abundantly good and gracious. I’m off to Skype and get another full night’s sleep (I hope!).