On July 7th it was our anniversary. 7 years since we were surrounded by our family and friends to say “I do.” I cannot believe it has been 7 years. Who would think we would have a little girl and be living in Africa? We did not get much a chance to celebrate the occasion as we were in training all day and completely exhausted at night. We hope to go out for a meal in Nairobi during the week of our language course (thanks for the gift to go out JimRho). Although we do not have much time to reflect and be together as a couple during the busy training and language study I feel very close to Jason. In our lives in Chicago many days our lives felt so separate, our spheres so defined, but here; for better or worse, we are in this together. We have different strengths that the other needs. We have weaknesses and God is teaching us not to try to be so self reliant. I am keenly aware that we are experiencing these changes is different ways.
We are also learning how to find ourselves in the midst of so much change. I have found an awesome release in running everyday with a few other women, one who was serving in Sudan for the last year and one who grew up in U.A.E. an is now heading to teach at a school in Kenya, and a an awesome Mom of four who will be serving at a hospital in Kenya. Although we have to be a bit more covered than the clothes I am used to running in we run about 3-4 miles most days and just talk and laugh. It is therapeutic for me. We vary our routes, sometime on the hills (yikes!) and sometimes along the dirt road into town. No matter where we run the sight of Wzungu women running attracts many kids to run alongside of us and scream “how are you?” We even had one woman follow us for probably ¼ of a mile in heels! Running white girls: we are definitely a novelty. Another thing that has helped us is getting into town and buying some hot sauce and curry powder to remedy the bland food situation. Also, can I just say that avocados are ONLY 5 shillings here (about 7 cents) so we have been making a ton of impromptu guacamole (no tortilla chips though). I also love the chai time that we have at least twice a day if not more. The Kenyan tea mixed with milk is fabulous!
We felt less homesick after being invited over to a Kenyan professor and his family’s home for dinner. Jack and Anna and their 2 kids Grace and Emmanuel were so gracious to welcome us into their home. We met Jack in the computer room one night and while he was working on a paper and we were attempting to check email and he insisted that we come over to meet his family. We were not sure what to expect but knew to bring a gift (we got a pineapple from the duka). Annikah while pretty fussy (new teeth) was much happier when she could play with some rafikis. During our time there many neighborhood kids were running in and out of the house and climbing on the furniture (at least my kid is not the only one out of control). Anna served us chapattis, stew, rice, cabbage, and oranges. It was a fabulous break from the African cafeteria food we have enjoyed for the last 3 weeks. While we shared the meal we discussed many things and asked a ton of questions. It also amazes me that everyone in Jack’s family speaks at least two if not three languages, makes me sad that so many of us in the U.S. miss out by only learning English. His wife Anna and I discussed teaching as she teaches in a local school (over 50 kids in one class, I thought 39 was bad in CPS!). Jack showed us his dissertation on his tribe; the Lou people, and how they understand Biblical principles. He received his graduate degree in South Africa and it extremely well read. He hopes to take some time off from teaching soon to do some writing on the Africa church from his perspective. After dinner they asked us if we “take chai?” and it was so yummy. We all prayed together and as we left they insisted that we take some fresh oranges and the remaining chapattis. Their generosity and kindness was much appreciated as we are so far from home.