CTM Kenya Once Again
While the first week was mainly exploration/introduction/orientation, our second week was establishing the routine we will be following. Here’s a quick outline of our general week.
9-11: Cross Change Bible Study – working with interns our age and led by a large Zimbabwean (in terms of muscles) named K, who is rather intimidating but awesome!
12-4: Tumaini (Hope in Swahili) – A school with over 150 kids where we played intense games/teacher break/PE/exercise at recess.
9-1: Cross Change – begin with devotionals and then help the interns with project development. They are an arm of CTM that is assisting recently-graduated students transitioning into the working world. One project is working on creating a sustainable recycling system, while the other is attempting to lower food costs for the poor through direct transportation methods.
2-5: CTM Graduate program – We are working with grad students on preparation for classes.
Repeat of Monday
6:30-9: Jamhuri Bible Study – With Gideon (the CTM director) and friends.
9-1: Tumaini – Another branch of the Tumaini School, with an attached medical center. There we worked with pastor Esau and made home visits to meet and pray with church members. We also worked with teachers to assist in English lessons.
1-5: Paper project – We are working with Celtre to discover an economic way to create recycled paper to sell and use in art projects. Youtube has been our friend on this project.
8-1: Art class in Mathare (another slum) – We lead two classes with young children doing memory verses, singing, art, and strange videos in the background.
We are visiting a different church every week in Nairobi.
So there you have it, the layout; now for the good stuff. Now we are basically Kenyans, except for the skin color, and the way of thinking, and the idea of time, and the access to money, etc, etc, etc. We used to take a long and expensive (~$3) matatu (bus) ride to get to CTM. Now we take a 30 minute walk through the slums with a slight risk of stepping in crap (literally). One time we got stopped by thugs wanting to provide “security” as we walked through the slums (for small compensation of course…). Luckily our friend Jeff who was with us explained that we didn’t need their “assistance” and basically didn’t have any money with us, so they let us be.
On our free day, we joined Kaylie and Shem at City Park, where the monkeys are more numerous/unafraid than the squirrels that plague Seattle (especially when jackfruit/peanuts enter the equation). They had opposable thumbs!!! They would jump our shoulders and heads to get peanuts, though Yockey blended in with his monkey beanie. Like cats, they didn’t like getting their tails touched and would slap our hands away with their opposable thumbs (not the cats)!!! Apparently they don’t like it when you refuse to give them the peanut hiding in your fist and bit Jonathan hard enough to draw blood. Though he may probably die from rabies, it would be the first ever case of rabies from a Vervet Monkey (we could make history!).
The kids are like monkeys and hang from our arms until our backs break, run away from our blinding skin, and run their fingers through our leg hair in awe. At Tumaini last week, Yockey ended up racing Fiedler with flip-flops and ended up biffing it. Hardcore. On the red, rough African dirt. No part of his body remained unscathed. It was epic. But he rolled out of the fall and finished the race. In last place. It was really cool to see the kids immediately apologize and help in dusting him off.
On Saturday, we temporarily separated (that’s right, we were married!) while Jonathan and Yockey traveled to Mathare to teach the art class alone to their surprise. Dan visited the International Christian Fellowship Gathering at Nairobi Pentecostal Church. Later in the afternoon, Jonathan and Yockey joined Fiedler and his friend Clive at a real Kenyan wedding! There was some sweet dancing, music, large circling eagles (Yockey’s fav) and the cake was a letdown. It was sweet.
On Sunday we got to meet some American friends from Chicago/Indianapolis and joined them from a few meals, church, and an epic Kenyan premier league soccer game (which our team Gor Mahia won 1-0). So that brings us to today, sorry for the length, but we actually left out many stories which you will have to ask us about in person. We appreciate your continued prayers, thoughts, and interests in keeping up with this blog. Tune in next week for another update from Kenya CTM.