Friday, June 24, 2011

De-worming galore!

Greetings! This past week has been wonderful. Our team worked alongside a medical missions team from Texas. We stayed at the church in Kijabe and took a mutatu (bus) into one of the nearby IDP camps every morning. Throughout the week we were able to see over 1000 was incredible! I primarily helped out in the pharmacy tent filling prescriptions and giving instructions on how they should take their medicine. None of us have studied medicine, so it was kind of funny acting like we held any authority in what we were doing. But now we are all pretty much qualified medical big deal. I witnessed a woman pulling out her own tooth one day...that was insane.

My favorite day was when some of us went to a nearby school with one of the doctors and helped give out worm medication. It was so great because I ended up talking with this big group of girls who knew a great deal of English so the communication barrier was practically non-existent. They kept talking about my skin and hair, asking me about home and what it is like there, telling me jokes, etc. One girl told me she was going to marry my Jack, there is a very nice girl named Emily who is eager to come to America some day to meet you. I got a picture of her too, so no worries. 

OH! To all you Wesley day at the IDP camp I heard someone shout my name & it was Henry Prevette! It was the craziest thing running into an IDP Kenya!

I absolutely love my team and am having so much fun experiencing this with all of them. There are days when I feel so overwhelmed with the burdens these people in Kenya experience and it is easy to become frustrated in not knowing how to lift them. But at the same time, the joy that comes from them is something that I cannot wrap my mind around. I am learning so much from their lives and am so extremely grateful for that. 

It is crazy to think that it is almost July...I'm so eager for what the rest of the summer will bring. Starting Monday we will be in "the bush" spending our week with a Maasai tribe and I am so pumped for what we will experience there! 

Kwaheri! (goodbye)

So much love from Kenya,

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Radical Rare (Rah-ray)

(Disclaimer: I haven't any idea how to spell in Swahili...however, I will be using the few words I've learned, regardless) Habariako! What a wonderful week it was in Rare. So much happened & it seemed like our time spent there was so much longer than 7 days. I'm going to try to sum up the parts of our time there that really stuck out to me:

1. Two words: squatty potty. These precious locations have become quite dear to all of our hearts. It consists of a hut and a very, very deep hole. All I'm saying is that I'm thankful my stomach only got upset once while we were isn't prime location for emergencies. The most entertaining part of the squatty was the conversations and celebrations about all of the girls' aiming when we had to is quite difficult at first. But now we're all pretty much professionals. Woot woot!
2. The food we've been eating is SO GOOD! There is a Kenyan staple called Oogali and it is pretty great. Along with that or rice we've been served lots of vegetables and fruits (yay!). I tried passion fruit for the first time and am a big fan. Lots of mango, pineapple, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, very delicious breakfast pastry-type things, and Zesta, which is a type of jam. Red plum is my favorite. We also have hot tea at both breakfast and dinner, which I have come to adore.
3. We walk everywhere & I love it. Hiking in Kenya is something beautiful.
4. We spent time between two villages: Turkana and Maasai. I didn't realize how much of a communication barrier we would experience. Swahili is an extremely beautiful language & hopefully my vocabulary can expand beyond the few basics I've picked up. We had translators come along with us and were able to communicate to all of the people we encountered. My favorite was a man named John. When we came up to his hut, he was busy sharpening and shaping arrows that he had made himself. He told us so many stories about how he uses them to protect his sheep & goats from leopards, hyenas, and lions! Ahh it was so cool! He had such a joy about him and he was so happy to spend time with us and ask about our lives and tell about his. We made many close friends this week and experienced so much kindness and appreciation.
5. The children are out of this world. I'm pretty sure they think we're aliens, but it's awesome. They literally fight to hold your hand, laugh when you try to speak Swahili, find so much interest in arm hair, try to wipe the lightness off of your skin, and have the most beautiful smiles I've ever seen. We spent so much time playing with them, singing with them, etc at the schools and just throughout the villages. A running joke was that they are the "HI HOW ARE YOU FINE!" kids. They run it all together really fast whenever they see us and it's so great. I love them.
6. Something incredible about this week was the rain. Everyone we spent time with made their living through farming and raising goats & sheeps. They all told us how hard the droughts are on their families and being able to provide for them. After the first day of hearing all of this, it rained every day after that. A thankfulness was just radiating through the community and it was incredible to be able to celebrate with them and share in that.
7. I saw so many monkeys!
8. African stars are mind-blowingly beautiful.
9. Our last day in Rare, the boys went out and bought a sheep from a local family and we shared dinner with a couple families from the community. Now, I've never seen an animal from living to was definitely an experience for our team. Our translators, Samuel & Peter, are experts in preparing animals so we all looked on with interest...and a bit of disgust at they did their thing. When we were taking out all of the internal organs, Samuel took the lungs, put them to his mouth, and over & over again blew them up. We were all so shocked, laughing and was crazy. But overall, the experience with the sheep (we named it Lucas) was so cool. We were able to help support a family through purchasing it, we played a part in preparing it, and we were able to share the meal with so many others. Oh, Lucas...

These next couple days we will be traveling to an IDP camp with a medical team from the Kijabe hospital and helping them in any way we can. I'm really excited for that! And then on Thursday we leave again for a week with a different Maasai tribe.

I'm thinking so much about everyone from home...I miss & love all of you. Happy Father's Day (tomorrow) to you, Daddy & Chad! Wish I was there to tell you in person, but here is a hug from Kenya :)

Until next time,

Thursday, June 9, 2011

we're here!

greetings from kijabe! after about two days of travel, we finally stepped foot into beautiful kenya late last night. even though we have been here for less than a day, i am in awe of the beauty of this place and these people. we took a walking tour of kijabe today and saw the town. we walked through a school at one point and there were so many young children out playing. i can't even explain the pure joy in their eyes when they see us. one young boy ran up to me and when i held out my arms to hug him, he jumped into them to have me hold him. he kept grabbing my face and pulling to to his own, smiling so big. he only spoke swahili but it is so cool because two of the girls on our team speak swahili. she asked him what his name was and his name was kevin for all of you back in boone :) for the three minutes i spent with kevin, my heart was filled. if that experience is any clue into the love and joy that will be experienced for the rest of this summer, it is sure going to be a good one. tomorrow we leave to spend a week in the valley with a tribe and i am so excited...we really are just jumping right into this! hopefully i can update soon, but until then i hope all is well back home. lots of love from me to you! oh, ps...i saw zebras today! they were just out there chilling by the side of the road! i love this place.