Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yay in Kenya!

11/11/09 (Wednesday)

Slept pretty good on the plane. Arrived in Nairobi at about 9pm on Monday. Victor picked me up from the airport and we stayed the night in a hotel. I slept really well despite the cramp I got in my calf while I was sleeping. Still a little sore. We drove the two hours to Nakuru Tuesday morning. I was hoping to meet up with Denny. Unfortunately we passed each other. Bummer. When I got here I met with Daniel Komotho (he’s the guy who does the stuff street stuff-more about that in a bit), Anthony, Daniel, and others. We did the usual Kenyan thing and did an introduction and that sort of thing. Then… I kinda just sat around for a while. I was ready for it though. Americans like to get stuff done quickly and hop to it. Kenyans, not so much. But I was perfectly good with that cuz I was a bit tired. I met Mama and Papa, the people I am staying with. It is on their land that Rohi was built. They are very welcoming and speak decently good English. My room is good too, blue on a couple walls, white on the others. Bed is stiff but comfortable and the pillow is filled with wool, needs quite a bit of fluffing.

I went to town with Daniel and did a few things. The roads here are not very, umm, organized. People walking in the roads, cars going everywhere, businesses on the side of the street. And pedestrians do not have the right of way. So Daniel and I went to the town office and, well, sat and didn’t do really anything. We waited for a call from Safari, the cell phone and internet place to go (I guess kinda like a Verizon?). Something wasn’t working on the internet connection they gave him. I was prepared for this cuz Kirstin, my sister, informed me about it ☺ Then we came back to Rohi and I fell asleep for 3 hours and was awakened for dinner at 10pm. Great dinner! Then I slept until 4:50am. At 7:15, had tea and some bread, it was actually like French toast except no syrup, and peanut butter (If you have not had French toast with peanut butter spread on it, syrup, and powder sugar, you have not yet lived life!). Helped correct English exams for Form 3 (equivalent to junior year of high school). That was interesting.

I have not yet seen many of the kids I know. They are taking their final exams, which is a big deal in Kenya, especially grade 8 exams. Went to the town office again with Daniel and we sat. At this point thinking that me being here is kinda useless. But I remind myself that if God wants me here then there is some purpose. And we talked. Daniel is a cool guy. Finally people started coming in. Most people know that if they need something they go to the town office. First person to come in was a street boy, well former street boy. He has place to stay now and seemed to be getting his life together. One of the main things Daniel does is help the street “boys” get id’s. In Kenya you can’t get a job without one. Very important. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when there is no birth certificate, they show up sometimes, and other factors, things aren’t so easy. Many others came in. I sat and listened as Daniel and the person spoke Swahili. A missionary lady came in. It was neat hearing from her. She has several things going on here that is making a difference. She has a few boys that she took in from the streets that are at Rohi.
That’s mostly it. I’m feeling pretty good. I seem to be getting tired around 6pm. I think Kenya might be 11 hours ahead of California. In a couple weeks Daniel and I will be going to the dump to do some stuff. He wants to put a video together about it to get the word out about the over 100 families living on trash. So I may have to teach myself how to use this i-movie.

11-13 (Friday)
The students are taking their exams, so I’ve been helping the teachers grade papers. I would get through them and just sit for a while. Sometimes a long while. I was smart today and brought a book and my journal. The teachers at the secondary are cool people. One guy, Mr. Kumau, is engaged and we started talking about dowries. They seemed surprised that Americans did not practice giving dowries to the mother’s family. I told the guys that if they want to save money they can marry a mzungu (white person) woman. They got a good laugh out of that. So if there are any ladies interested let me know and I’ll hook you up ☺ During the times that I’m just sitting there and feel useless I wonder if my time would have been better spent at home doing what I’ve been doing, and all the money that was spent getting here would have been in better use just sending it to Rohi and have them spend it where it needs to be spent. Then I think, “I have been thinking about coming here for a long time and I’m here now. This whole thing is not a mistake. God has something planned for me. Whether it is what I originally planned or something completely different, I don’t know but I can trust that I am here purposely. God has proved it many times before.” So that is where I am currently.
Yesterday I played soccer. Anthony recruited me and wants me to play with them tomorrow (Saturday) in the semi-final of a league or something. During the game he stepped on my toe with his cleats. It didn’t feel great and I noticed that blood was beginning to seep through my running shoes. It was bleeding pretty good. I put issue on it and kept playing. It feels fine now. It was only a little cut.

There was a giant beetle on my bed the other day. That thing was probably about 2 inches long. I showed him the way out the door. I ran the last two mornings at about 6 am. Getting up at this time is not a big thing considering I’ve been waking up at about 5. I was tired, I must admit. Not running for the last couple weeks and going to elevation takes a toll on you. Soon enough I’ll be running under 4 minutes in the mile…I can dream right? I won’t pain you with bathroom stories. I’ll keep those to personal conversations. Not many to report though, so that’s good. I have only seen a couple mosquitoes, and only one here in Nakuru. I slapped it out of the air. Stupid things. Not too much else going on. Talked with the high school students today. That was good. Felix says he likes “krunk” music so I might bring out my computer next week and show him some Bay Area stuff. Haha. I’ll censor it. Don’t worry.

11-15 (Sunday)
Went to street church today and finally got to see what I thought of when I wanted to come here. Rohi does street church where all the people on the streets or anybody else can come and hear some good stuff. The kids from Rohi high school basically do everything, music, the talk, and everything else. It’s awesome stuff seeing teenagers care about their own people and do something about it. You don’t see that too much in America. The Rohi kids are very special. When it is over we hand out food to them. Some of them haven’t eaten much in days. One of the things that sadden me is the kids (starting at like 6 years old, maybe younger) who have no shoes, wear tattered clothes, and are high off of glue. I walked to the church where we were meeting and saw the kids being patted down at the door for glue bottles. When was the last time you saw a 6 year old being patted down? These kids carry bottles of glue around, puffing on them. It suppresses their hunger, kills their thoughts about doing anything positive, and kills them slowly. I shook their hands (they like it when a white person greets them) not thinking much about it until I got to a kid whose eyes and nose were watering a lot. His hand was wet. Touching a person is more important than fear. Reminds me of a couple stories. The first is with Mother Theresa. She touched and cared for people with leprosy. Most people shunned them. Could you imagine how that made that person feel? He probably hadn’t been touched in possibly years. Where do you think she learned it? Jesus of course. He walked around doing it all the time. Yes he healed them when he touched them, but when that very important man made his way from the crowd of people to where the leper sat, far from everybody else and put his hand on him… holy smokes! Everybody must have thought he was crazy, seriously. Anyways, I sat next to them during church. Some went to sleep. Some danced around during the songs (some of them can move!). Some were glazed over. Very sobering for me, and I hope I never get used to it. The whole thing was good. Comparing those kids to the kids at Rohi is like night and day. Sometime I will go into specifics. Did I mention the kid who spoke lived on the streets for a year? He must have been no older than 12 at the time. He was one of them. His name is Peter. What a transformation! You would never guess. Stories like this are not rare at Rohi. From despair to hope is common.

11-18 (Wednesday)
Things are good. I'm at Guava Cafe. They have wireless internet. Not too fast though. I'm gonna make this last bit quick before it stops working. I'm helping Daniel Komotho with a survey of the dump to see how many families and kids are there. Rohi and co. want to start a nursery school. That's all for now.


Alicia said...

So glad you finally were able to post. Thanks for being candid about your feelings. Those of us who look up to you can really appreciate your honesty, and the hope you have for these folk. I know I don't really need to tell you this, but just be ready for God to shake things up... I'm praying for some tangible outcomes for you. Bye Ben!

Philip Vose said...

"yay in kenyna" indeed. i've been checking your site every day, ben, to see if you've noted on something new in your life over there, and this nice morning was a good start to a lucky day just by reading about the hopeful stories you're telling. i'm kinda glad things were a little slow at first, maybe it gave you a chance to soak up the atmosphere and energy of the place. but because you're super strong and full of endurance i know when it kicks into gear you'll be ready to whoop some booty. it already sounds like there are some good plans ahead of you. well keep doing it, brother. i think you're pretty great. say hi to mama and papa for me even though i have not met them.

it's my birthday tomorrow. 24 right? yup. saturday had a fun party of about 22 people possibly at good luck bar where you, me and kirstin went that one time. did some dishes, gonna do some laundry, and gonna draw a bit today. oh, umm also i'm gonna do a post about you on my site, so next time you can take a gander k. see the things i say.

take care benny, be safe, you.

Mikey G said...

You are an inspiration, Benjamin.

My advice (for as little as it is worth) is to resist thoughts about what God SHOULD be doing with your life. Just continue with your faithfulness and He WILL do what He knows is best.

Think of how many Prophets and Saints who spent their whole life for God and never got to see the wholeness of what God planned.

Maybe we will serve and serve and not see the fruit till God's kingdom is finally and fully revealed.

chris orr said...

So good to hear from you.I like what Mike said.Be you and let God do what He does best.Your open heart will let God do his miracles. Get ready to be challenged. It feels good to miss you because I know how blessed our family is. Be safe, be well (did you put that blurb about mosquitoes for me? Thanks) Praying for you constantly Love to you.