Sunday, April 21, 2013

Various Adventures and the Push to the Finish.

In my last post I mentioned how I would be off on retreat, I returned from the coast the middle of last week. It was a great long weekend spent at the coast enjoying the sun, friends (new & old), and a challenging speaker. Mornings and evenings were spent either in meetings learning more about mission operations or listening to our speaker. The speaker, Dr Patrick was Canadian which was a nice bonus. Dr Patrick is an extremely smart man who has experience working in the developing world and currently teaches at Augusting College in Ottawa – a year of study there would be very interesting.
Afternoons during the retreat were free time. Given the choice of reading a book or playing with the children in the pool – the pool won out everytime. I pulled out some of my old swimming lesson techniques and had a lot of fun with these missionary kids who will be a big part of my life the next few years.

Getting back to school after retreat was a little tough as I have less than three weeks left. It is easy at this point to stop caring but I really need to make the most of these final weeks. Please pray with me for continued motivation.

My school took a field trip this week which included some motivation to continue in my Swahili studies. We went to Toi (pronounced like toy) Market. A large “outdoor” market in Nairobi, outdoor in quotations as there is plastic sheeting covering it. Anyway you can buy almost anything there. Many of the products are thrift store cast-offs from around the world. I saw more than one Value Village price tag. I knew when I came to Kenya that I would need to buy a few things to set up house. When I priced them out at the local “Walmart”equivalent I was shocked by the prices – twice as much or more than what I would pay at home. So Toi market was a gold mine. I managed to buy bedding, towels,crocs, and material for a reasonable price. I did have to barter and my Swahili, halting as it is, did help as it told the shopkeeper that I was not a tourist. I felt like I got fair prices, although I am sure I will hear of someone who got what I got in better quality for half the price but that is the nature of shopping.
All the teachers came with us to the market and it was typical: the ladies loved every minute of it and the guys waited around aimlessly until we were done. We did go out for pizza afterwards which I hope made it worth it for them.
I will end here with some pics of the coast and our outing.

I woke up early to see the sunrise

The adult (quite/boring) pool with the ocean in the backgorund

One of the MK's who is graduating this year, we had an evening to celebrate and encourage them

Pizza after the Market, 

My fellow students showing of their purchases

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Easter at Tenwek

So 2 weeks ago I finally made it out to Tenwek. Since myarrival in Kenya on Jan 4 I have been living in and around Nairobi. Between mypracticum, language school and recommended travel restrictions during electionsI have not been able to make the 4 hours (1 way) trip to Tenwek, my futurehome. Finally with Easter the opportunity came.
I enjoyed the drive out, the rains have caused Maasai landto turn green and beautiful. I arrived at Tenwek, dug my lab coat, stethoscope,and pulse-ox out of my bag and out of the door and up the hill I went,  heading to the hospital. It was great to greetold friends and to get back to work. It had been months since I have dealt withpatients, touched a ventilator and used my critical thinking skills as I triedto make things work. In some ways it feels like I never left as so many thingswere the same. However there were new faces and other things that made me feela little like a visitor again.
The weekend at Tenwek was also a great time to reconnectwith my Tenwek family. There are new faces to the family who I had yet to meet.I met some of these families as the kids ran around,  and met the adults as I ran around the hospitaland attended various Easter services.
Since then I have returned to school I have just over 3 weeksof class left. This week was busy studying as I wrote a test and prepared for adevotional on Thursday morning. By the time you will be reading this post Iwill be skipping school again as Tenwek’s annual retreat is this weekend. It isa time of rest and relaxation. Spiritual and community growth as well as anopportunity for me to get to know all these new faces better without the stressof hospital life.
One other thing I am hoping to retreat from is the bugs. Ihave been writing this cowering under my mosquito net with the light off as therains have driven all sorts of bugs into the house. The light attracts them andthis evening I had about a dozen flying termites in my room. I think my flip flopweapon killed them all but I am enjoying the (false) security of my mosquitonet.

should have kept this guy, as he would have eaten some of the bugs

As well as bugs in the house the birds are quick to fly in though a  open window or door. The other day I turned around to see these 2 standing in my room. 

The great GREEN Rift Valley

Tenwek Easter Cross