Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Jambo from Africa! It has officially been one full week of orientation here in Nairobi.  I am sure many of you have been anxiously awaiting my first official blog post from my new home.  I hope that you find this enlightening as you travel with me through Africa to make a small difference in the world.

Our first major introduction of course was on prevention of travel diseases in Africa (Don't worry mom I will be fine).  The doctor told us all about what not to do so of course we are doing those things.

I spent this past weekend with my wonderful host family.  It was basically a slumber weekend with my new sisters Waki and Shiro.  They lived in the city but my host mother took me to her village outside Nairobi. For all you Southerners out there the meaning of hospitality is taken to another level.  I was invited in for tea with the entire family and welcomed to come back any time.  I know this doesn't sound like anything too different from home but just trust me on this one.  The village was beautiful and as we drove back to town the hills of the Rift Valley surrounded us.

Yesterday (sept. 5th) our group had the privilege of being taken on a personal tour of the informal settlements by a preacher that serves the local community.   It was inspirational to hear from various members of the community who have come together to work toward the betterment of their own lives.  They were all from different backgrounds and had conflicting ideals. Being  a typical Westerner I saw the homes of my fellow brothers and sisters and found them to be inadequate and wanted to help. I found myself asking the question we are here now what can we do to help rather just being present. I realized this once a woman in the village came up to our group and invited us complete strangers into her home and asked us to pray with her. Never the less on the fifth day of this journey I was once again reminded of the presence of God.  Regardless of the living condition and the amount of food on her table, this woman still saw how she was blessed by God through what little she had. It is hard for someone like us to see beyond their poverty. Her faith is truly one to admire and this is her home which she is thankful for.

So today (Sept. 6th) we had our first Swahili lesson they have told us it is an easy language to pick up but I am not so sure about that.  I definitely have a long way to go before I actually understand what the words I am saying mean.  So needless to say I have lots of work to do!

Also in Kenya (I am not sure if you know this) they do not typically have washing machines so guess who got to hand wash for the first time today? This girl (see picture to come). It is a lot harder than you think! Plus after hang drying you have to iron your clothes to get all the bugs out. It's a long process. I definitely took for granted a washer and dryer.

So that is what the news for me. I hope y'all are doing well. I miss you very much and hope that this was fun and enlightening for you to read. Have a great day!

Love, catherine

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