Saturday, January 30, 2010

Homeward Bound, Son!

Good day. Went to town with Kamotho. Got another crutch. Two crutches make moving much easier; imagine that. Went to the market where I made my purchases that I’ve been promising for the last 12 weeks. I tried getting all the people I talked to some business from me. I think I did a decent job. I said my goodbyes to those guys. Once again email and facebook will come through for me so I can keep in contact. I bought some stuff from the curio shop. The guys at the market and curio are great. Everybody asking how I am, what happened, and wishing me well. Went to Guava with Kamotho. Got chicken tandoori wrap and a milkshake. Hopped on the internet. Kamotho also took care of some internet business while we were there. Went back to the town office and ran into some street kids. I bought them some French fries and talked to them. A bunch more came over as I was talking to just the two. Among them was a former Rohi kid named Job. We had a good talk. Later on Job told Joseph, another former Rohi kids to come talk to me. Both of these kids ran away and are now staying on the street. It’s cool that they still remember me. Job remembers me showing them how to do a back flip in 2008. He says he ran away the day we left on that trip. Joseph remembers me with my video camera. They asked for some food. I, and Kamotho, struck a deal with them. I gave them 50 shillings as an up front pay for some work they were going to do. I told them the other 50 would come if they kept up their end of the bargain. I asked what they were good at. Joseph said singing. Job said math. So I told them that they had to show up at street church for the next two weeks and do their work, Joseph said he’ll sing. Job said he would get there early and pray. These kids have to learn to work for their money, even if it is small responsibility. It’s pretty cool knowing that one back flip caused Job to remember me. The other kids at Rohi remember also. Simple things like that make an impression on kids. I’m gonna miss being here.

Kamotho called me this morning while I was still in bed. He said they were having an appreciation thing for me. So I got over there. We did the usual morning prayer. Then Eston, the school nurse, gave a presentation on HIV. He read a letter at the end that was given to him by one of the primary school students. That was sobering. She said in the letter that when she went home for break (not sure if it was this last break) she was basically abused by her brother and cousin. Abused, as in sexually. It caused her some medical issues. My heart is not good writing this. There are so many thoughts that go through my head. There are other similar cases. I will leave it at that. We then switched gears and everybody said something about me. I have to admit that it felt good. There were times being here where I felt useless. But everybody is so appreciative of me. Ah man, I’m gonna miss these people. They are so loving and caring. I don’t know how I am going to show my appreciation for them. I felt like crying when Troy was saying something. What they all said tells me that what I do in life is not in vain. It is very good to get that reassurance once in a while. I think this one will last a while. I pray that I will carry out good stuff and stay motivated when I get back home to do some of the things I wanted to do. I don’t want it to wear off.
I have said many times before and kinda use this as a motto to remind me of my actions, “What we do in this life echoes into eternity.” I thought that I kinda came up with that or took some stuff from other things I heard and put it together. But I was at Troy’s house when I was laid up and watched “Gladiator” on my laptop. Russel Crowe says it. That made me kinda sad. But at least I got it from a good movie.
Eston gave a talk to the kids about STDs. It was complete with pictures. Gross.
Another good day. Just sat with kids at different times and talked to them about my ankle showing them the stitches. Sat with some of the younger ones. They sang to me. I sang to them. They taught me kikuyu. You have to experience it to know the joy you feel to have a bunch of kids crowded around you just being kids, asking questions, showing off, comparing hands, just staring at you exploring your features. It’s an amazing feeling. I don’t look forward to saying goodbye to them. I was talking to them about my home. I said that my dad wasn’t there, but was in heaven. One of the girls said her mom and dad were in heaven. And then another girl said it. I asked all of them and gave them all high fives because we were all the same, brothers and sisters. We are part of a very special, intimate club that no one wants to be a part of.

Last day at Rohi. Working on saying my goodbyes. Trying to help out with stuff in the office. Wondering if my bags are going to weigh too much. A log of olive wood I got is gonna put some weight on. I’m gonna try carving it. Not sure what it is gonna be yet.

Chillin in the Amsterdam airport. I have about 5 hours left till my flight. I spilled apple juice on my pants in the first hour. Then in the last hour I spilled orange juice on my pants. What is wrong with me? Saying goodbye is not always easy. Well, saying goodbye isn’t too difficult, but trying to communicate with them what they mean to you is hard. I actually wasn’t able to say bye to a lot of people for a number of reasons. It makes things a bit easier I guess. Tears got in my eyes a couple times. It is ok for men to cry! Unless it’s physical pain, then suck it up! So there’s other stuff along the way but nothing amazingly exciting, so I will spare you. Anyways, I will be home in about 17 hours. Woot baby! Hopefully my seat will be better than before. I’m not complaining too much, but my foot is a more swollen than before.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I think I could chalk yesterday up as a useless day. I did a few things but compared to the 24 hours in a day, I was affective for about an hour. I don’t like that. It makes me feel crummy. Fortunately I went for a 1 hr 10 min run last night, which made me feel better. I kinda didn’t know where I was for about 20 minutes of it. Had some good conversation with Kamotho a couple days ago about street ministry and Rohi. We were talking about the goods and bads about Rohi, what we think would make it better and whatnot.
There was a solar eclipse this morning. They say the next one won’t be seen from here in this lifetime. All the students and staff were looking at it. Don’t they advise you to not look at solar eclipses?
I have 15 days left in Kenya. I am looking forward to going home. I feel like my time is over here. Like yesterday, I was nearly useless. There are times when I would be ok if I leave in the next couple days. Other days things are good and the thought of going home never enters my mind. Am I bipolar?
There are complications on where street church is going to be. ACK, the place where it was before, was charging a bunch of money, and then they said that they didn’t want us there anymore because the street guys were causing problems. Then last week we went to the old town hall, and it seemed good. But apparently the municipal council doesn’t want us there. The guy was making up excuses for us not to be there. Kamotho and Juma are frustrated about it. We are trying to help people and these people are trying to stop us. What is that? Street church will continue despite the challenges.
In town the other day I was talking to the usual market guys. A new guy came by and started talking about one thing, then switched to a new one, and continued doing this. I would begin to answer just before he changes the subject. It was kinda amusing. The other guys were just laughing. He saw my track shirt and said he could beat me in a 100m race. He then bet me that if I win I would get a masai blanket. He said he wanted 1000 shillings ($13) if he won. I was thinking about it. I had my slipper shoes on and wasn’t in much of a mood to race. He said he was fast, and the other guys said he was fast. I had my doubts cuz he was puffing on a cigarette, didn’t look amazingly healthy or fast. But looks can be deceiving. I was weighing the pros and cons. The other guys wanted some entertainment and I figured it would make for a good story to tell. So I said, “OK, let’s do it.” I said let’s go and started walking to where we were going to do it. The guy then started walking away. The race didn’t happen. I guess it is still a good story, but not quite as good as if it happened. So here is what would have happened. I walked over to where it was going to go down. The group of five growing to 10, then 40. Finally the crowd was close to 100 by the time we reached the road/lot. Meanwhile everybody was making bets. I would guess about $1000 was put on the betting table, because Kenyans are so rich. They began to line up down the 100 meter stretch. And remarkably it was 100m to the inch. I jogged a bit and did some high knees to prep my body as much as possible. Don’t want to tear anything. It’s important to warm up, but they were hurrying me, so I wasn’t able to get myself properly ready. Meanwhile, my competitor was putting on his spikes that he pulled out of nowhere. Not only were they spikes, but they are signed by Usain Bolt! I only had my Sanuks (like slippers). “Oh my,” I thought. I walked up and toed the line, not going into the full starting position, at the “On your marks” command. This guy had some blocks and backed into them like a seasoned pro. I could not worry about him though. I took a deep breath when the started said, “Set.” I relaxed my muscles to the point where they were ready to explode forward. “Go!” My arms shot forward, driving and hammering alongside my body. My knees began to lift. The blood and adrenaline was surging through every inch of my body. Cheers were going up through the crowd, but I heard none of it. It was like I was running through a tunnel. I could only see the light at the end of it only. Knees continued to lift, and I thought about nothing but floating with extreme speed forward. My competitor was huffing with each step on my side. We flew down the road, faces blurring by. Within seconds we were on top of the finish line. It was no contest. I had beaten him by a good two meters. Unfortunately, I had rubbed a hole in my Sanuks from the speed. I ended up not taking his Masai blanket, and I bought him a cup of tea.
Evans, the boy I sponsor, came by today. Because he is going into Form 1 (9th grade) he does not start school until Feb 8. I was afraid I was not going to be able to see him until next time I come. I’m glad I was able to see him before I left.

Went over to the high school to see what they were up to. I placed soccer with them and in the first five minutes I went up to head a ball that was up a bit high. I came down awkwardly on my right ankle and heard several pops and felt a shock go up my leg, kinda like when you hit your funny bone. I thought, “Oh no.” I sat and assessed the damage. Pain, usually not an issue for me, and it wasn’t hurting much- good. I checked to see if there were any odd protrusions or abnormal curves, none- good. Then I tried moving it a bit. There was some popping occurring- not good. I wondered if it was dislocated. Rolled it around a bit to assess some more. Some of the boys came over to check on me and help. I got up and tried walking. I was able to put weight on it- good. Then it started swelling- not so good. I sat there for a while and had John Mwangi tug on it a bit. There was a pop- I think it was good, maybe it set it closer to where it was before. They sprayed some icy-hot stuff on it. That stuff doesn’t really do anything. Then I wrapped it with a bandage they had. Thanks guys. Then I watched the rest of the game chatting with those on the side. I walked from the high school to home, maybe 200 meters. Now I’m sitting here after putting a wet towel and water bottle in the freezer for ice. Thank God that Mama has a freezer. Took an aspirin. Got it elevated. It doesn’t hurt much, but it is swollen. It hurts to move it laterally (side-to-side). You like that word laterally. That is what my kinesiology major taught me. And R.I.C.E.- rest, ice, compression, elevation. I am running a half marathon a week after I get back (3 weeks). If I can’t run within the next couple days I am going to be bummed.
-5 hrs later: yeah, it’s pretty swollen. Diagnosis from Dr. Ben- mild sprain. Treatment: Cut it off. Or see chiropractor to put it back where it belongs.

My ankle was hurting when I woke up this morning. It sort of woke me up. More swollen than last night. I tried to walk on it like yesterday. Wasn’t happening.

Papa and everybody insisted that I go to the hospital. I said ok and went. I got x-rays. Sure enough, it was broken. The distal part of the fibula, that’s the bump on the outside of the ankle. So I had two options, get a plaster cast that will take 6-8 weeks to heal or surgery with potential to walk in a week or two. After weighing the options with Troy and Eston, so happy they were here, I decided to go with surgery. The surgeon has done this surgery many times and is considered the best guy around. He trained in S. Africa and is confident. He gave me the options, told me he leans toward surgery cuz it has shown the greatest benefits, but said casting will be ok as well. This showed me that he wasn’t so eager to get money through the surgery. Anesthesia was the other question. I am going to get the epideral, which seems to be the better option considering. I am not at Troy’s house. His wife just had their baby. Becca’s mom is here for a bit, so she is also taking care of me. Cool people. I am going to sleep now with my foot elevated to get the swelling down. I will wake up and head to the hospital ready to get cut by 9 am. Wow wow. I am not nervous. Thank you God for who you are.

Got my surgery yesterday. It went well. I got the epideral, so my legs were numb for many hours after. Not a good feeling. I didn’t sleep too well last night. Combination of some pain and other stuff. The doctor ended up putting in nine screws and a plate! I looked at the x-ray and was surprised. Troy has been awesome in this whole thing, as well as his family. Also the rest of the Rohi people. They are all really supportive. Mama and Papa came and visited, Kamotho, Anthony, Henry and others.

Just went to the doctor. He said it is looking good. I’ve been having a headache every time I sit up. I’m told it is because of the epideral; it messes with the fluid and causes an imbalance of fluid in your skull. Hopefully it will be gone soon. My ankle feels great. Troy was with me at the doctor and was admiring the stitching of the wound and getting some instruction on how to do it. He has to stitch up animals every once in a while. I watched “Jungle Book” a couple times yesterday with the girls, and part of it today. I’m going home in 8 days. Wow wow.
One thing I don’t like, when you are in somebody else’s house and the toilet doesn’t work properly.

Today is the first day since the surgery that I haven’t had a headache. Yippee! I’ve just been keeping my foot elevated the last bunch of days. Haven’t even been outside in a couple.
Just saw pictures from my ankle surgery and a bit of video. Totally excited to post them on facebook.

I came back to Rohi today. Everybody here is so awesome. Everybody is asking how I’m doing, praying for me, and helping any way they can. I wish I had another crutch. Hopping around with one is not easy. I found a stick to help me temporarily.
I finished all 100 sudoku puzzles on my phone a few days ago. So proud of myself.
Things that I have always been thankful for, but I am reminded of while here in Kenya for 12 weeks: reliable toilets, driving, having my own car, paved roads, my friends, my family, my right ankle, having two crutches, health insurance, loving people who care for me, American television, fast internet access, facebook, email, people who follow rules of the road and are courteous to others, my pantry of food at home, refrigerators, freezers, microwaves and ovens, the sound of kids laughing and playing, God’s mercy and grace, my bicycle, walking outside without sunblock. rain, forks, trustworthy people, America, unlimited text messaging, quality showers, drinking out of the tap, the abilities of others (especially when I can’t do what they do),
There are going to be a lot of stuff I’m going to miss. All the people I’ve had the chance to get to know is number one on my list. Some of them I may never see again in this lifetime. I do plan on coming back, but some of them will be gone. I will periodically see how they are with email and for some facebook. I love technology.

My sister’s birthday! Happy birthday Ellie! Kinda bummed that I’m missing it. I’ll be home in a few days and will celebrate it then. I’ve just been sitting in the Kamotho’s office. Type a thing or two and then sit for the next while just chatting and whatever else. Real exciting stuff. I hope to go to town tomorrow. I think I might buy a cane so I could move around on the plane. Hopefully I will be able to put some weight on my ankle by that time. I’m gonna leave the crutch at Rohi for them to use.
What makes a person amazing and admired? Books and movies are created with these people at the forefront, usually. We look up to people who do remarkable things and live a remarkable life. I think of Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Jesse Owens, Rosa Parks, Walt Disney. These people have left a huge positive mark on society. Do these people have special abilities? Yeah, to a certain point. Jesse Owens was extremely fast, but he had to work super hard to get that way. Mother Theresa was nothing impressive that would make you look twice. Rosa Parks was the same way. These people at some point in their life, and every morning after that, decided that they were going to do something that was risky and against the norm. Walt Disney wanted to be creative and use his talents to entertain and make people happy. Nelson Mandela saw inequality and made the steps to correct it. Rosa Parks simply decided to stay where she was seated. We stand up and applaud these people and say, “I wish I was like them.” Well, why don’t we try to become remarkable people? It’s scary and risky, that’s why. We don’t know what could result because of it. “I could get hurt. People will look at me weird. I will offend somebody. I’m not good enough.” You know what? All those things are probably true. But what is life if it is not lived? You cannot truly live if you simply play it safe. As a person who believes that Jesus Christ died for my sins to give me eternal life and while I’m still on earth a life worth living, I can make a good guess that it is okay and good to not play it safe. I was recently reminded of a quote by CS Lewis, talking about Aslan. Aslan was described as “He is not safe, but he is good.” Wow! That is something I want to be a part of. I want to be like that. If something is good, won’t it be worth whatever it is at the end. Injury, risk, pain, and suffering may occur along the way. But if the result is good won’t it be worth it? I think it is. I think people have something to offer to at least one other person that will mark their life in an amazingly positive way. We may not defy Hitler with our extraordinary physical abilities or travel to the other side of the world to comfort the dying or create an industry that will leave children laughing and having fun for generations. But we can become extraordinary, admired people to those God has placed in our life.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Broke my ankle. Getting surgery in 13 hours here in Kenya. Update you soon. Peace!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The rest of today was good. Philip bought some stuff from some of the market guys who we got to know and said goodbye to them. Then we stopped off at “kinyozi,” a barbershop. The place was just about the size of the bedroom I’m staying in now. I got my hair cut by a Kenyan who has never cut a white man’s hair before. I said not too short. Then he took the clippers and proceeded to shave. I thought, “Oh boy.” After cutting it, he then washed my hair, gave me a little head massage, “lined me up” a bit (I learned about this from some of the black guys I have coached- it is when they line up the hairline) and put some other stuff in it. He did much more than I had anticipated. At the end of it all I paid 150 shillings and gave him a 50 shilling tip. That is less than $3. Not too bad. I went home and looked at myself in the mirror and noticed that he left a large chunk of hair uncut on top of my head. Haha.

Philip left today. Kinda sad. Before he left we finished the film about the dump. We called it “Homes on a Hill.” When he gets back he will post it on the internet. I will give you the link when I can. We are really happy with it considering the amount of time we had. I’m really happy Philip was able to use his talent for something like this. He, and I have never edited live video before. He has done animation, but that is a bit different. If you want to see some of his stuff, you can check out his blog, He will probably be posting pictures and stories and all sorts of good stuff on that. It was good having him here and just hanging out with him. He’s a good brother.
It’s kinda weird, in less than a week this house went from having 2 grandparents, two parents, two little kids, and me and Philip, down to just me and Papa (Mama is in Nairobi with her son and daughter-in-law who is having a baby). I guess I will have time to be quiet again and just think and reflect. The kids at Rohi are starting to come back now though. So that’s good.

I bought a couple DVDs off the street a few days ago. The movies recently came out so they are most likely pirated. Sorry everybody who is losing money on it. I think I’ll try to watch one tonight and see if the quality is good.
I’ve been thinking. I don’t think being a long-term missionary, well at least here, is what I’m supposed to do any time soon. However, I would like to lead a short-term (2 weeks) here. I’m thinking maybe June 2011 at the earliest. I have had a bunch of people ranging from kids I coach to friends and family say that they want to go to Kenya. And now I would like to be the one to lead them. I know a lot of talented people in their professions and hobbies, and I want them to use those abilities in a new, challenging place. There are some good athletes (soccer, running, etc), teachers, artists, film people, computer people, and just friendly, adventurous types. I am convinced that we can get a good group of people together who can contribute to what the staff is already doing here. They can then take home a film, experiences, challenges, and prayers that can make a difference in the lives of other Americans, and maybe even raise money for the work here. The missionaries here, Troy and his wife, have committed three years to being here. His wife, Rebecca, is staying home (here in Nakuru) to raise their two, will be three soon, kids. Troy is a veterinarian. He specializes in livestock and the economical aspect of it. Being here at Rohi in this very agricultural society, he is contributing a bunch. Me, however, I don’t really specialize in anything. At least nothing that is super noticeable. (When I think of this I think of my sister Kirstin. She is a remarkable person. She doesn’t have any standout, noticeable talents like my brother Philip who is a great artist. Does that mean that she has any less to contribute to wherever she is? Absolutely not! She is a very personable person who makes people feel good by just being around her. And she has her important role in life just like Philip whose ability is more easily seen- by the way there is more to Philip than just art.) There are a few things I do pretty ok, but nothing like what Troy is doing. But I have my role in this thing too. (I kinda feel like a gateway for people to have good experiences with whatever and grow in that thing. Kinda like marijuana- it is a gateway drug for bigger drugs. So I guess I’m like marijuana). Even though it is not seen as easily and results cannot be calculated, I have my significance. And because this is the case, I cannot say specifically what the reason for me being here is, and I won’t try to pinpoint what it is anymore. I just do what I do and not worry about the results. I hope this is all making some sort of sense.
Everybody has a role that is very important. I recently gave a short talk at family prayer night (only five people were there) on Job 33:4. I kinda stole a lot of thoughts from a guy named Jeff (check out and click on notes). The verse says, “For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” We are made by God. When we accept Christ, we are given eternal life. When we walk with God, God breathes vibrant life into us. And when we have this we can have courage in the face of things that are ludicrous, be strong in our faith, and for others, and live a life filled with vibrant life. When we walk this kind of life out every day, we can then be who we were meant to be, so fully. I am trying, and I struggle at times. Probably a lot of times. But compared to a few years ago, I am on the up and up. Yay. I’m getting off my soapbox now…until next time.
Just talked to Patrick. He was the last kid here at Rohi before break. I showed him some card games and stuff. He just told me that his mom died over break and they buried her a few weeks ago. He said he’s ok, but I know what it feels like. Death is so common for kids to experience here. It really is not ok for kids to experience this. I pray that the kids at Rohi will not fall into the trap that has taken so many people they have known. I was just typing up some bios. New kids at Rohi, 7 years old, 12 years old, parents died of AIDS, TB, ... the list goes on.

Rohi had a staff meeting yesterday. There are a few new staff members. That brings the total to about 50 people. This includes all the departments from the people at the gate, teachers, sustainability, and everybody else. The heads of the department spoke, and they had a guest speaker (that was long). I was able to learn a decent amount from what they had to say, their expectations, where they are, and where they’re going. It was good to hear their vision and all that stuff.
After the meeting I went for a run. I went on a new path and found 20 minutes in that I was not sure where it was leading and didn’t see too many signs of life that way. It was getting dark, so I turned around. Sometime I will go down there again and see where it leads. A lot of the new younger kids at the primary school were all over me yesterday. I am most likely the first mzungu that they have had interaction with. It’s cool to have kids look up to you, and for you to show them love and care. The teachers and staff here do exactly that. Rohi is a very unique, amazing place. I watched “2012,” the DVD that I got. The quality was decent. No complaints from me. For two of them it only cost 500 shillings, like $6.55.
Since I have nothing to do right now, I am going to tell you what things I would like to do/accomplish when I get back regarding Rohi. As you know, Philip and I made a 10-minute film about the dump. I want it to be posted on the internet, my blog, Philip’s blog, and anywhere else. Philip will probably do this before I get back. I also want to disperse a copy to some of the churches that come to Rohi (Regeneration, Cornerstone, Fremont Community Church, any others, as well as the one I go to in Fremont when I am not at Cornerstone, Crossroads). I wouldn’t mind talking about my trip at Crossroads and getting them involved with things at Rohi. I want to eventually do an art auction to raise money for Rohi. I know many artists and would like to utilize their talents in this way. We could even combine it with a food or cake auction. Food and art go well together. This year with my track team, we are going to join with “Dig Deep,” a new non-profit organization. They get sports teams to join and they raise money to dig wells or get water tanks in different places of the world. Do you get the “Dig Deep” name- diggin deep for water and diggin deep to become a better athlete/ winning. Very clever. I want to at some point have a track and field invitational at Washington, the school I coach at. I want this to also be a fundraising thing for Rohi. I don’t know how the school would feel about that, but I could try. I said this yesterday, but I want to lead a two-week team here at some point. So, if there is anybody out there who wants to help with any of these things or has an ideas, I would love to hear about it and get you involved, especially if you’re the go-getter type and can lead one of these things. Collaboration baby!
Kids are kids no matter where in the world they live. I just saw a kid walking around with a bucket on his head trying to not run into anything. That makes me happy. Where does that sort of thing go when people get older? Could you imagine a grown man walking around like that? Responsibility I guess is one of the things that contributes to it. Also, lack of joy because of bad experiences, it sucks fun out of things, and experiencing and discovering new things. I guess the world would run aground if people walked around with buckets on their heads. I think when that joy, fun, creativity, and discovery is not chewed up and twisted in experiences like families dying, abuse, poverty, hate, and all the negative stuff, it is in a different form. Instead of bucket heads, creating dirt mounds with sticks stuck in the top, making mud pies, wrestling, making forts, and collecting snails, kids as they grow older begin to use those things in more practical ways. The forts turn into skyscrapers, mud pies into apple pies, wrestling into other competitive sports, snail collections in scientific research. It turns into people like Jim Henson. The “play” and creativity continues in the form of entertainment and education in fantastical forms of puppets, cartoons, acting. It is important for adults to hold onto, or rediscover, those things. Joy would be more abundant in the world, and I think we humans would be able to accomplish much more in life if this happened.

Walked down the road to buy a banana for my peanut butter and banana sandwich lunch. On the way there were a bunch of boys watching their sheep and cows. Seem like good kids. I bought them a couple mandazi with the remaining money I had. They even said thank you.
Things I am looking forward to when I get home: A hot shower- haven’t had one of those in about 4 weeks. A variety of food to choose from, and eating whenever I want. Watching Sharks hockey. I guess seeing and being with my family : ) Coaching my people in track. Seeing all the other friends. Driving to wherever and whenever I want. Going on the internet whenever to get info and communicate. Having a bowl of cereal for breakfast. A quality sandwich. Texting somebody to see how they are doing and just say hi. Doing some sculpting. Watching my little sister play rugby. Going to a church service that I enjoy (not to be mean). Making some money. Drinking water from the faucet.
Things I am not looking forward to: Spending money on gas.
Kind of funny, there are a few of the younger kids who remember me from the last time I was here. They would climb on me, ask questions, and all that stuff. Now there are a few new kids who are doing the same as what they used to do. But the kids from last time are acting like the pros, translating for them, and answering “obvious” questions they have. It’s fun watching them grow physically and mentally.
I washed my clothes by hand. I don’t know how much “washing” actually occurred, but I attempted. Thank God for washing machines. Since I’ve been here I have let Mama take care of washing my clothes. I think she would pay somebody to do it. She is not here, so I did it myself. I figured 12 days with the same pair of underwear was a bit much. That’s a joke! It wasn’t even 10 days : )
I discovered yesterday that the long, lonely road I ran down leads to a gate. Not sure what’s on the other side of the gate. I’m sure it’s a gate to another world. Away from all horribleness and everything that’s wrong. Maybe I will go tomorrow. I need that place.
So many Kenyans have requested that I take them back to America with me. I sometimes joke that if my bag were big enough I’d take them. I sometimes tell the younger ones that if they work hard in school they will go if God wants them there. What if I actually said yes to somebody?
Another dinner of rice, beans, sukumuiki (kinda like spinach), and a mango. Last night we added ugali. Tonight we added chapati.

Went to Rohi church. Went to street church. We are longer meeting in the ACK church for some reason. Not quite sure why. We met today in a town hall building. It is just about across the street from the curio shop. There were still over fifty people there. Wrestled with a bunch of the younger boys at Rohi after street church. That brightened my day. I haven’t seen any flies in my room the last 24 hours. Extremely happy about that.

Mama came home yesterday. We went to the dump yesterday and for the most part finished up with the survey we were doing. According to what we have, there are close to 400 people up there. About 80 of them are 6 years old or under. In the film that Philip and I made we put in there that there are about 200 people. We were off by 200. Oops. Hey Philip, maybe we/you can change that… I’m starting to not like going up there, for multiple reasons.
Mamba bet me that he could beat me in a 100m race. I would give him a granola bar if he wins. He makes me dinner if I win. I kinda laughed and told him to get the dinner ready.
It’s 9:30 am and I am just sitting here in the office with Kamoth right now. I finished entering in all the names and some info from the dump, and am now waiting on what to do next. I’m tired of waiting around so much. I’m trying to think of things to do to make myself useful. I wonder how much it would cost to build a windmill here. And what amount of time would it eventually start to pay off. I would guess that a windmill might be enough to generate enough power to offset a large chunk of the electricity bill. Then that money could go to something else. There’s a book I want to read when I get home called, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.” I saw him on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart before I came. It is about an African kid who did not have enough money to go to school, so he went to the library. He found a book about windmills and decided to build one. He couldn’t read English, so he built it based on the diagrams from the book. Amazing stuff. I want the students at Rohi to be innovative like this. There are many talented kids here. They need to have their minds challenged and supported, and I think this could happen. And it is to a certain point. One way I am motivated to do things that make a difference is by watching inspirational movies. For example, I just watched “Invictus,” the one I got off the street. It is about Mandela and how he used rugby to change the mindset of the country. This stuff gets me going. Reading books also. I think, I could be totally wrong, but the high school students have so much pressure on them to pass tests (a Kenyan thing) that they don’t have time to be creative and think of stuff. I don’t know. I think it would be good to have a movie night once a month where they watch a quality movie. They can do a write-up about it and use it for some good stuff. Movies aren’t all bad.

Beans, beans the musical fruit. I’ll leave it at that…
I helped at the high school yesterday. Talked to some of the kids about the internet and email. Talked to a couple about how to make/edit movies. Was able to help a few kids with some English. I took Emmanuel Noel on a run. The kid is 22 yrs old and in 8th grade. He was a street boy. He’s the kid we visited on the guardian project last month and told us that his house was “right here.” He’s a good guy. First off, he has to humble himself a bunch to be with a bunch of kids who are younger than him. Secondly, he is a great role model for them, and he is like a very good older brother to them. I admire the guy actually. Did I mention he likes to run? By the time he graduates from high school he will be about 26 years old. He wants to continue his education after that. Whatever he ends up doing with his life, he will be making a difference.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy 2010!

Last day of 2009. Wow Wow! Pretty amazing. And I’m spending it hear in Kenya with my brother. I have no idea what we are going to do in 5 hours to celebrate.
We went over to Pauline’s home (she is the high school secretary) and videotaped her making chapati. Philip and I are going to edit and turn it into a cooking kind of show. If we have time we will tape something else (any recommendations?) and do that as well. We will be getting recipes and making a cookbook also (any recommendations?). I think it will turn out pretty good. I figure we can combine the two and sell them to make some money for Rohi. So be on the look out for that in the next couple months.
Mary and Eric with their kids left this morning. It is quiet in the house. Philip just said that it is lonely out there. It was good having them around and getting to know them. Nice, good people.
I think I am writing a lot less, and not as exciting stuff lately. I think it’s because Philip is here and I have somebody to share things with, instead of the computer. He is leaving in a week, so maybe I will write more when he leaves. The last few days have been good.

Happy New Year everybody! I rung in the new year with an amazing celebration of dancing, music, disco balls,… well not really. Philip and I went to bed at 10:30 and were struggling to stay awake. Then we got a call from home. That is how he celebrated, lying in bed and talking on the phone. Yay. It would have been cool to go somewhere and celebrate with other people in a different country. Another year perhaps. The first day of the year was spent at church then at home. We just hung out and did a few things around here. Yesterday we went with Troy and Becca and their two daughters to Lake Elementia. Not too much there, but it was fun spending the day with them. We were only at the lake for a few minutes to see the flamingoes and check out some other stuff. Then we went to see about going to a game conservancy. We checked out the rates and decided that it would not be worth the time we had. So we went back to their house, had lunch, watched Little House on the Prairie (their daughter’s choice- we weren’t arguing), and just hung out. It was really good. Becca made some snickerdoodles. They were so good. I think they were really good, but not having anything like that for a while made it that much better. We ended up staying the night there and came home this morning for church. We had steak for last night for dinner with sliced potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, and feta cheese. It was so good. The food Mama makes is great, but it was good to have something different.
I can’t believe I have been here for 8 weeks already. That means I am coming home in less than four weeks. Wow wow. Then all of you can shed your pent up love and kisses on me soon. : )
I just found out that the matatu that charged me and Philip 50 shillings for a ride when it is usually 40 shillings, may have been correct. There is no law or anything like that, that decides what the set amount will be. Apparently they just change it whenever and the charges are almost never posted (I have seen it posted twice). When they changed the cost, I have no idea. However I don’t feel bad about what I said (I didn’t say anything bad anyways).

Philip and I worked on the dump video. We are hoping it will be done by tomorrow night before he leaves. We had some issues with space on the computer but it’s ok now. My stomach was hurting for just about the first time since I’ve been here. Don’t know why. I was feeling kinda dizzy too. I tried to sleep for a couple hours, and I feel better now. Don’t know what that was all about. We were going to go to town today but it was raining pretty good. El Nino has apparently hit Kenya. There has been some major flooding in some areas. Roads have been messed up pretty bad and villages also. Matatu drivers are going on strike I guess. Don’t know what they’re striking about. High school students are coming back to school today. Primary on Wednesday. Many take matatus, so it will be interesting to see how many arrive.

Philip is leaving tomorrow. Sad day in Kenya. Happy day in US. It’s been good having him here. We are almost done with the video, so there will be info on that soon. Pretty excited to show it to people. We’ll probably post it on youtube also. It’s been a good lately. I’m feeling encouraged about stuff. Not sure what the next 3 weeks hold, or even what to look forward to, but I think it will be good.