Kenya Rafiki Team: Update from Emily (with pictures!)
Perkins did a pretty good job of summing up what we’ve been doing here the past three weeks at Rafiki, so I’ll do my best to share some new tidbits.
GAMES is now done-zo and it came just at the right time…we are all pretty tired and just about out of creative ideas of how to keep 97 kids busy. Highlights have been home-made pinatas, parachutes, Wishbone episodes, one killer treasure hunt, dancy-dance music for the youngest (sample of lyrics: “If you’re wearing pants….stand UP!” and balloon relays. In the course of these games activities we’ve disciplined, lost our voices, face-palmed, and laughed ALOT. It was a great way of getting to know the kids in a more relaxed environment (and learning names before all the community kids return). Tomorrow we will start 5 weeks of being teacher assistants in the classroom. We are all pretty stoaked.
We love getting to know the staff here. We have devos with them every morning and then we get to chat with some of them throughout the day, though they are often busy. Janet, for instance, is our housekeeper, and she is probably the sweetest young woman I’ve ever met. The resident oversees staff (i.e. other Americans) have been great friends to us, having us over for cookouts, movie nights (we recommend Tom Hank’s 1989 horror-comedy “The ‘Burbs”) and hedgehog hunting. A few national staff took us on a walking tour of nearby Mwiki, and it was a really great experience for us all, seeing as though we are on the compound all week except for weekend excursions.
Some highlights from our sightseeing includes the giraffe center where you are this close and feed them pellets with your hands or between your lips (we all basically got french-kissed by a Giraffe…most action any of us will be getting on THIS trip!), shopping at the Masai Market, eating exotic meats at the all you can eat restaurant, The Carnivoire (favorites: ostrich meatball, crocodile, and camel), and oh yeah….a three day safari. NBD. We love experiencing the country, but I think we all agree our time with the kids + staff is what we have enjoyed most.
Probably our biggest challenges have not been with the work we are doing (though it can be tiring/frustrating) but rather living with the same people in the same space for 2 months. We are very open about our conflicts, but it is a daily challenge that we realize will not lessen through our own efforts, but rather through our dependance on the Lord. 1 Corinthians 13 has been the theme verse of our stay here, and we have all realized through these three weeks how hard it truely is to live out those verses of love, especially with people we didn’t choose to live with. I myself have struggled with hearing God’s voice and getting alone time without distraction….living in the same residence makes us all feel like that, I think, so we are going to instate a mandatory quiet hour. Our prayer request is that we will continue to rely on God for sustaining our energy and patience, and that His name would be ever on our lips, instead of snarky comments or words of anger that come from frustration.
That being said, know that we really are loving every minute here, and praise that Lord that he has given us His joy to laugh and smile in every circumstance.
Here’s some pics for your viewing pleasure:
Evo and Team