CTM Kenya – Wazungu Watatu (The Three White Guys)
In the last 10 days we have transitioned from the beginning phases of our adventure to a more comfortable level of familiarity with our regular schedule. Even though some routine has been established, every day is a different experience which poses new challenges and excitements.
As we approach our halfway point, it’s hard to believe how quickly the days have been flying by. We feel like we’ve been here for months, and most Kenyans assume we have been. As we catch matatus to town, hop over sewage in the slums, and dodge in and out of traffic in Nairobi, we like to think survival here is really an enjoyable experience. Since we landed, we have become much more familiar with our surroundings and environment, but we are still reminded every day of how much we have to learn. Also, we are beginning to see development in our various service opportunities.
Our Bible study with the Cross Change interns has been a great way to spend time in the Word learning about God and exchanging idea with our Kenyan peers. Our main contact/mentor Gideon Ochieng, the CTM director, frequently joins us to offer insightful wisdom that we really take to heart. So far we have read Judges and begun a comparative study of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes (reading these books simultaneously will blow your mind)! If you would like to read our reflections on Judges and read more about CTM, please visit the CTM blog at ________. The business projects are coming along, proposals are being drafted, and soon enough Cross Change will have functional business ventures to manage.
Another main service opportunity has been teaching children at Tumaini School. We are still trying to figure out exactly how the school system works, but in the chaos have really enjoyed spending time with the kids to teach, learn, and play. Jonathan has learned that he is inept at teaching second graders, but Yockey loves the dynamic challenge and finds himself connecting on their level. Fiedler has found that it can be difficult to teach how to tell time when most kids rarely see analog clocks and is also trying to figure out how to teach kids about the districts of Kenya when he is clueless on the topic. Yockey decided to have an impromptu teaching about mammals and how they are characterized by eyes and a mouth, which everyone knows, right? Interestingly, during the Social Studies lesson, we learned that more kids knew the name of the President of the US (Obama) than the President of Kenya (Kibaki). This goes to show how popular our commander in chief is over here.
Last week Dan Fiedler and Dan Yockey started taking Swahili lessons for two hours every weekday in downtown Nairobi. However, as of now, Yockey has decided that it would be more rewarding to craft souvenir mud balls out of Kenya dirt, so he has discontinued his language study. Thursday, there was a substitute teacher who is easily the most attractive Kenyan we have encountered since arriving here. With any luck, our regular teacher will become too busy with his other work and the sub will be the permanent replacement.
We usually eat dinner around 8:00 at our host house, and then spend the evening passing our time writing emails, watching Mexican soap operas, playing cards, and watching movies. Another favorite pass time has been turning all the lights off and attempting to hunt down all the mosquitoes in the room with a flash light and smashing them on the walls without tripping over the furniture. We got some strange looks from our host mom, but it was a great team building exercise.
Since we enjoyed the monkey park so much during our first visit, last weekend was defined by revisiting it twice with American friends. On Friday we met up with the Rafiki Dep Team at Village Market (Tourist/European/American hub) to do some souvenir bartering and then introduced them to the monkeys. After many pictures, screams, and laughs, we parted ways, only to meet up with two other American friends from the Seattle area on Saturday to visit the park again. Also, we discovered that the Nairobi Hilton is a good place visit if we want clean bathrooms with toilet paper and hand soap.
As we said is the beginning, out time here is flying by. On Saturday, we will reach the half way point of 28 days since leaving Seattle. It is hard to believe that we have experienced so much in only a month, while at the same time hard to believe that an entire month has already gone by. We’re doing our best to appreciate every minute we have in Africa because we know that it will be over sooner than we want. As always, thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers, and we hope that our blog has provided you with an accurate glimpse into our experiences in Kenya. Until next time…