When in Kenya... (do as the Kenyans do.)
This past week has been a week of firsts. First time to Amsterdam (during a long layover pancake jaunt into the city), first time in Africa, first Safari, first time speaking Swahili, first time driving for Rhys (our Safari driver let him try it out while sitting on his lap on the Savannah), first time lighting a gas stove with a match (I’ve been spoiled by electric starters), first time sleeping under a mosquito net, first time trying mandazi, chapati, Kenyan Chai, and Kenyan candy (enter nature’s version of chewy warheads), and Rhys’ first time busting his head open (he was with two docs, and no stitches needed so he’s fine!).
It has also been a week of firsts for our youngest, who seemed to choose the trip to hit a major development spurt, adding 5-10 words to his vocabulary (his favorite being DOG), teaching himself to stand up from a seated position (previously he would have to crawl to a wall or person to support himself to stand back up before walking again), as well as taking some impressive climbing attempts (and spills).
It’s safe to say our family has spent the last 7 days in a state of constant learning. But I think what I’m learning the most is the intangible qualities of Kenyan culture that are like balm to my busied soul.
On our first morning in Kapsowar, I texted my friend Vanessa to let her know I was running about 10 minutes behind to our meeting spot to walk to church (I had woken up to my husband running a high fever and as a result our morning routine hadn’t gone as planned). Her response? “Awesome!! Happy Easter! It only takes like 5 minutes to get there. And you can never be late in Africa ☺️”
Those that know me well know that the first thought that crossed my mind was “well maybe I should have been born in Africa.” 😂 (Punctuality is not something that comes natural to me.)
But then I live in America: a society that is constantly in hyper-speed, glorifying jam-packed schedules, and lengthy to-do lists as if our worth can be quantified by the amount of checkboxes we tick off in a day’s time. (Preaching to myself here!) I so often feel like I am running from one thing to the next, constantly getting on to Rhys for not putting his shoes on or getting into his car seat quickly enough... it’s like someone hit fast forward and I’m just trying to catch up.
And then we came here where the pace is intentionally slower, and everything takes a little more time. And that’s ok. Laundry is done by hand and dried on a line. Most food is made from scratch (because the nearest legitimate grocery store is 2 hours away). The dirty, wildness of childhood is embraced; naps and afternoon tea are encouraged. I’m breathing more deeply than I have in years, and I am soaking in every minute of it. I’m immersing myself as a Kenyan-in-training... just hoping that I can instill enough habits to bring a piece of this PEACE home with me.
Friend... are you like me and struggle with feeling like you’re on fast forward, with no way to hit pause? Please take this post as permission to slow down. Hit stop even. Rewind and reset. Because the God who created us promises His yoke is easy and His burden is light. We weren’t created for the “grind,” we were created to rest in the Creator who has already ground everything out for us. When we trust in that provision, I’m finding the perceived need to strive and rush fades quickly.
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
See below for photos from our first week! (I apologize they are out of order... having to post from my phone and it is difficult to reorder!) Also if you want specifics on everything that has been happening during our time in Kenya, make sure you are signed up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out updates weekly! Go to the link below and click “follow our journey!”
Rhys swinging on the stick-and-rope swing outside our front gate. This swing and mud pit has been a hit with all of the kiddos!
Silas trying “Kenyan corn.” Sort of like American corn on the cob but super crunchy. It tastes like popcorn!
I snapped this shot of the Jones family (the full time medical missionaries we are serving alongside) on Easter Sunday. Their family is such a blessing!
Our home for the month. ❤️
Silas in the luggage cart in a Eldoret. We brought several suitcases of things for the missionaries here so needed the extra help from the carts. Loved that this one had a seat for the babe!
Our little 9 row propeller plane we took from Nairobi to Eldoret.
Rhys feeding the giraffes!
Daddy and Silas watching the elephants.
An orphaned baby elephant getting a bottle. They could suck those big things down in 5 seconds flat!
Airplane bassinets are LIFE.
Selfie stick shot in amsterdam before catching the train back to the airport.
This kid is a pro traveler now.
The view from our pancake shop in amsterdam.
Dutch pancakes in amsterdam.
Feeding the giraffes in Nairobi.
Jake seeing patients at one of the local mobile clinics.
Patients waiting to see physicians at the clinic. More than 500 came and were seen that day!
Panorama of Jake alongside the road they drove on to get to the local clinic.
Rhys showing off his spoils from the mission base Easter Egg Hunt.
The boys at the Easter Egg hunt.
Silas showing off his egg!