Lest this blog of ours becomes a little “one-sided,” I thought it best to add my own comments on how we have been settling in at Kijabe! There maybe some slight difference in emphasis, which I feel is important to capture!
We have been here in Kijabe almost a month now. Some days it feels like we have been here for years. Everything seems comfortable, familiar and easy. Other days we wonder how on earth we ever got to this point! Daily life seems insurmountable, every task a mammoth chore, and with that comes the realization that we are completely out of our depth. But then, Grace abounds and we wake up the next morning to a bright and wonderful day in our new home.
The kids love their new school at the Rift Valley Academy. Every Friday night there is an activity for all the younger students. Last Friday night, they went on a hayride around the campus and then roasted marshmallows over a bonfire. On Monday evening, they each teamed up with an older student and went on a “coke date.” My kids had their first large dose of caffeine in Kenya, after which they were sent home to bed! They love their teachers and get to have many play-dates with their new friends. My mother’s heart is quite full – we are so thankful that their transition has been so easy and so filled with fun! The fact that Bosco is here with us has been the biggest blessing. Our family is complete! Bosco walks with us to school everyday, which is only about five minutes from our house…albeit up-hill the whole way! No leash is required and he is quite the popular furry friend amongst the students there.
We are managing Michael’s diabetes as well as can be expected. We found the most wonderful Diabetologist (which I didn’t even know existed until we got here) in Nairobi. He is a young doctor with type 1 Diabetes himself and wears the same pump as Michael. He is on hand to look over Michael’s blood sugar readings (via the internet) and adjust his insulin doses as necessary.
Mike and I are taking daily Kiswahili lessons. This is a job in and of itself. The Kiswahili that I learned from my time in Tanzania (almost a decade ago) is coming back to me slowly but surely. It is fun to go to the market and practice what we have been learning. The market is just down the road in the centre of the village. It comprises of table after table filled with the freshest fruit and vegetables…pineapple, papaya, mango, zucchini, Irish potatoes (!), bell peppers, juicy tomatoes, sugar snap peas…and the list goes on. Our meat comes from the market in Nairobi. We order it in bulk and last night I spent over an hour cleaning up five kilos of chicken! It comes deboned with the odd bit of bone, gizzard, gristle and feathers! It brings a whole new meaning to the term “fresh and organic.”
Driving on the main roads here is a little sketchy! It’s almost as if each vehicle on the road is engaged in a game of truth or dare! Mike has done a wonderful job of navigating the roads into and around Nairobi. I have yet to venture that far in our car. For now, I am sticking to the roads in the village and that is quite enough for now! Mike, on the other hand, is living out a life-long dream of having a 4-wheel drive on mucky, bumpy roads. In an effort to display his “off road” skills last weekend on a day safari in Nairobi National Park, he turned off onto a narrow dirt path that led down to a lake. He wanted to get closer to some giraffes that were drinking by the water, however, in his enthusiasm he misjudged the slope and we found ourselves sliding sideways down the hill towards the crocodile infested water! I decided at that point to take the wheel!
The community of people we have found here is fantastic. Each person has an incredible story of how they came to be here and are literally giving their lives away on a daily basis to serve others…inspiring, challenging and enriching.
Thank you, as always, for standing with us in prayer, and for allowing us this humbling opportunity to serve God’s people in Kenya. Being here has surpassed our wildest dreams.