I’m not even sure what to write as my head and heart are bursting with this ministry. I am overwhelmed after my first day of orientation and finally catching a glimpse at what God may have in store. So many things about today impressed me, and some others took me aback, and others still seemed so comfortable since ministry is
practically in my blood.
A more general update, I’ve had some breakthroughs! I SLEPT WITH MY BLANKET MORE THAN HALF ON LAST NIGHT. (and by half, I mean it covered my feet AND part of my legs. I’m not great with math, sorry. But when you’re lying there, that feels like half your body..?) You seriously can’t understand how much this means to me, as I have been perpetually hot for the last.. oh, 145 hours or so, and I love snuggling into my duvet every night back home. I killed my first giant moth, thank you very much. I have officially memorized ALL five keys that it takes me to get in and out of my house. (2 for the gate, and then there are two doors to get into my house, plus one for a padlock, but I keep it on another keyring cause I’m a cheater yo.) I finally braved a green orange. I couldn’t wrap my head around an orange that was green up until yesterday when Noni convinced me to close my eyes while I ate it. They taste the same, even though my brain implants a limey aftertaste. They call orange-oranges “g-mo”s here, as in “genetically modified”. Interesting eh? I got my phone sorted! (Only took 5 tries..) And I have, as of last night, eaten “ugali”, which is a popular, traditional Kenyan side dish. I haven’t wrapped my mind around it yet. It’s like.. “maize flour” (which is a type of corn, but not our kind of corn, since that’s too expensive. They’re essentially the same, but I guess maize is cheaper to grow or easier to access…. Honestly I got a little lost in translating the accent for a minute and dazed in and out for a bit haha.) + boiling water. The end. It tastes like nothing. Seriously, if air was a solid, this would be it hahah. It does have a weird after taste, though.. and I don’t care tooooo much for the texture, but I made it through the meal, so that counts for something! My host Aunt, Mama Nase (side note, apparently older women are Mama + first born child’s name.. I haven’t figured out if this is always or just with my family) made a traditional meal for me last night, as she loves to cook. She is determined to teach me several different meals, which I don’t mind, since I also love the kitchen! If I can I may even make her some pierogies, just to do my Gramma proud. Their kitchens are super tiny here though, and I’m not sure I can do the dough and everything on such a small counter. (I’ll keep you posted.) I also survived my first truly rainy day here, and let me tell you, it was a lot of rain. Like 7 solid hours. Aka, mud. is. everywhere. I almost slipped several times amidst my puddle jumping venture. Oh right! And last one, I took my first matatu today, which is like, a tiny bus, and I seriously spent the whole five minutes on it trying not to hate it haha! They are squishy, sweaty, play loud music, and the driver hit on me the whole time. Haha. I flashed him my purity ring as I got off. Yep, most brilliant advice I got was having a “fake wedding ring.” I get “I love you, I need you,” and other such endearments fairly frequently. My office is only a 30 minute walk or so, the church itself is about the same, and then the schools I teach at are along the way.. and I get the feeling that I will be walking as much as possible.
And what can I even say about this internship? Whew. Well first of all, there is a LOT of work to be done. So it looks as though I’ll be keeping extremely busy, and I’ll just let those details come as the experiences do. I wanted to share one thing that really impressed me, one that was a little subpar, and then one thing that made me feel at home. Seriously, I could write a novel about it, so it may seem like I’m short changing you, but honestly, I’m just looking out for ya.
Bad news first right? So subpar deal of the day:
There were several things that were poorly communicated and thus misunderstood, or they were not communicated at all. Exhibit A: not that I personally was planning on dating or anything haha, but there is an.. expectation..? against relationships while participating in the internship. So if you have a significant other, you cannot get engaged while you are in Kinara, and if you are engaged already, you cannot marry until you have completed the program. Though, apparently they don’t really take people that are already committed to a relationship. None of the interns knew this until today, which was a minor oversight in my books, but I could tell it was gonna be a deal to some of my peers ha. “Remain as you are” is the tagline I caught.
Followed by some good news!
Well, maybe a couple things, so first, I hit it off really well with the other interns (fun fact, over a 100 applicants, only 20 or so interns make it), except a few of them, whom I was sitting too far away from to really gain an accurate impression. This is a huge relief for me, since I remember my “new kid” days all too well, and I really don’t want to relive them. The number one thing that was just unbelievably impressive to me though? The rather aggressive stance of non-tolerance for gossip. Seriously, we must have spent over an hour reviewing their policies for how to handle conflict biblically, how spreading gossip cannot and will not be tolerated (like seriously, they fire you. the end.), and why it is crucial for organizations to have an open door policy, etc, etc. It was so beautiful I almost cried. As someone who is a survivor of ministries murdered by slander, I couldn’t stop my heart from singing with joy.
And a homeboy thing:
My schedule will be like my parents’ at home, which is what I’m used to, and comfortable with. I work Tuesday through Sunday, with Mondays off. This is super nice because it coincides with my mum and dad’s days off, so I can Skype them every Monday (: yayyy ministry families!
My advisor took me to help me get my phone sorted out today (so glad that’s over, I’m not great with technicalities.) and then treated me to some frozen yogurt, which is maybe the most Western thing I’ve done since my arrival, and it was kind of nice. She has been exceptional throughout the transition of my move here, helping my mom and I juggle all the details and then making sure I settle in okay. She is lovely. We bonded today over a mutual love of “How to Train Your Dragon,” (juuuust my favourite movie of all time) “Finding Nemo,” and “Frozen.” We have several other things in common, most importantly, Christ, and I am enjoying our blossoming friendship.
Once again, so grateful for this opportunity and hopeful for this internship and all I am going to learn! Thanks for reading this, supporting me, and loving me. I miss you all oodles and oodles. xo.
much love & many blessings,
a car across from our gate that i just find really fun. yay. (:
the lovely Noni in her new school uniform!
meet the green orange.
ya, was NOT kidding about all the keys.
sweet school girl walking home! (pre rains. this was yesterday)
post rains. puddles for dayz. and rainbowy light.
and last but not least, this little pathway is one of my favourites. it feels slightly secret gardenish to me, and always makes me hum “why georgia.”