Every morning, I wake up to the neighboring roosters crowing. It’s usually somewhere around 5:30 or 6am. I usually think “If I had a gun…” and then go back to sleep for another hour. I wake up remarkably easier here than I do at home. I’m not sure what that’s about, or how long it will last, but I suppose it’s good for now! I get up and get ready for my day, putting my mosquito net up and getting mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically ready for the day! I have the blessing of not having to cook so much, but having a happy nose and a happy tummy daily from the family that I am staying with! They make things like homemade cinnamon rolls, waffles, pancakes…it’s really ridiculous (in a GREAT way).
My mornings are so fun because I call Joshua, the faithful, as I like to refer to him, and meet him at the main gate in his tuk tuk! I have grown to really love my morning and evening rides with Joshua from my place to Obunga and back again. He is so full of wisdom, such a sincere heart and a humble spirit that gives thanks to God! Today, when I freaked out because my flash drive had not made it with me to obunga but stayed in the computer at the cyber cafe, He said “It’s ok bwana, we just pray and go get it back. don’t worry.” He is becoming a staple in my life that I will greatly miss when my time here is done!
On the way to Obunga, sometimes we pick up allison, and we pass the markets where hundred are laying out their products for the day, and construction workers (fundi’s is their name here) are carrying products on makeshift wagons that they are pulling through the streets. Other people I pass are welders, furniture makers, seamstress shops, kinyozi’s which are barber shops, and countless children walking in their school uniforms. Life in Kisumu is busy and bustling from morning to night. One of the things that blows my mind is the driving. Not only is it on the other side of the road and car, but there are people walking, boda-boda’s (bike taxi’s), piki pike’s (motorcycle taxi’s), tuk tuk’s, matatu’s (van taxi’s), cars, and people pulling carts. That is too many forms of transportation on one road for me! They all go different speeds and there aren’t really lanes, and there are tons of round abouts. I would, no doubt, crash in 5 seconds!
Once I get to Obunga, I walk in, hop over the “poopy ditch” as we call it, passing random ducks, dogs, goats, cows, and coo coo’s (aka chicken’s), cross the bridge and into the Ndoto compound, where I am usually greeted by some little muffins in the Akili preparatory preschool who are outside catching grass hoppers on their morning break. Sometimes, I get to join in some of their P.E. class stretches, watch them race across the yard and back, and have their morning snack which is usually chai tea and a mandazi (sort of like a donut but maybe better). What a way to start the work day, huh?!
Then comes the office…the wonderful Ndoto office! I get to see those smiling faces of the best coworkers a gal could ever ask for. These are my partners in ministry. They (Michael, Edwin, Omondi, Erick, Allison and Susan) inspire, encourage, challenge and bless my life more than words can describe! We talk about the Lord and His goodness on a daily basis and our staff meetings can be anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on how our staff devotional goes! It’s like I work with a room full of pastors because they say the most profound things about the Lord. They are changing my life in a really good way! Working with them doesn’t feel like “work”, but like I get to hang out with friends and dream about God’s kingdom all day!
They teach me how to eat samosas and green grams and give me swahili lessons over lunch, and in return, I teach them spanish…because it’s the only thing I can offer! haha So, if you ever meet some Kenyan’s who can rattle off a good Como Estas? I probably taught them. ha There is this beautiful relationship between us that I teach them things I know and they teach me things they know and we are all one one team, not one lifted higher than the other, but all serving each other and encouraging one another. It’s a beautiful picture of what the Lord calls us to do as believers. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen this done well…but it is being done that way in the Ndoto office!
I get to see Kevo and Akoth, two kids from Akili prep that I adore and love and have known for several years! They are precious tender hearted kids that I believe the Lord has big plans for! I also get to spend time with the boys that live in our dorm next to the office. They are such joys in my life…having lost their parents, they have become a precious family that serves each other and works together to make life happen in that dorm. They don’t do it perfectly by any means, but they have each other’s back. Last, but certainly not least, I get to see Tony. Tony is a sweet young boy who is deaf, and also is one of ndoto’s newest students! He is going to go to a school for the hearing impaired which just brings me to tears! You have no idea how hard it is for a kid with disabilities in this country. It’s almost hopeless!! However, Tony has a bit of a new lease on life! I don’t think he realizes it, but it’s happening. He comes every day and just wants to say hi and wave to me. I’d like to think we have built a special relationship where we kinda get each other. Besides that, I get the joy of seeing some of our girls who are about to leave for university serve lunch to the preschoolers, and university students like Dennis help out wherever and serve the staff and work for the fundi’s that are starting construction on a new project! It’s just a blessing to see this family of ndoto working so hard to love each other well and serve each other with all they have.
In the evenings, I get to come home to this beautiful family of four who serve me delicious meals, and bless me with wonderful fellowship, and episodes of the cosby show on the projector on their wall! How much better does it get?! Oh wait, it does…when I lay my head down at night to rest, I can sometimes hear the lions at the impala park around the corner. 🙂 T.I.A. – This is Africa!
So, I know it’s not a life changing blog, but it’s my life for now… and i quite enjoy it! 😀