Sunday, September 22, 2013

First full on post. Good luck.

9-17-2013 First full day in Kenya is coming to a close. It started off with waking up at 4:30 this morning after about 6hrs of sleep. We left at 6am to pick up Kris from the airport. She was left behind in Amsterdam because they wouldn’t let her on the plane. Her passport expires in 5 months. And apparently Kenya doesn’t let people in whose passports expire within 6 months. I think this is more of an airline thing rather than a country thing. Well we picked her up without her bags because they got left behind as well (they’ll send them to Nakuru in the next few days). We finally hit the road with Victor as our driver. He is usually the driver whenever Cornerstone church people are out there. He’s a really cool guy. Seemingly goofy (actually pretty goofy especially with Haron), but a solid dude with his priorities in their proper spots (as far as I can tell from all the trips I’ve been on and conversations). We visited a Rohi graduate named Mary in a town Thika. She’s studying nutrition and is doing well. Then we went to Mulli’s Childrens’ Home. There are 600 students here who get an education, get fed physically and spiritually, and are encouraged to be who they are meant to be. Pretty much all of them are orphans or have a home where a parent has died and are struggling financially. Gonna do a tour of the place tomorrow. We checked in with the 28 transfer students from Rohi. They all volunteered to go 7 months ago but many are not happy here. Many of the complaints we heard were petty things that happened at Rohi as well. But I think it being so far from home, a brand new environment, and new people, they look for the little things to complain about. We’ll see what the leadership decides to do when the school year ends in December. They have a lot of visitors come through here, so they have a nice setup. I got my own room for the night complete with a bathroom and mosquito net. Luxurious!!! 9-19 A few of the boys at Mullis decided to run away. I guess seven left but 3 went back. Although it’s a very good organization, it is still run by human beings. And as we all know humans are far from perfect and mess up periodically. There are no perfect people or organizations out there, so there will be problems. Hopefully the problems are dealt with properly. The drive from MCF to Thika to Nakuru was over 4hrs. Saw some amazing beauty. Great forests in the highlands with carpets of green tea covering hillsides. The gray rain clouds in the background magnified its greatness. It’s understandable why people worship the creation instead of the Creator. But when we do this we are missing out and seeing things from such a small lens. May it never be so. In Thika we met up with a few more Rohi graduates. They are doing well, going to college and starting their adult lives. Moses, one of the students, started studying business type stuff last week. He was one of the first boys I met when I first came to Kenya in 2007. In fact we visited his grandfather at that time. And we have the same birthday. That was one of the first things he said to me yesterday. Shows you how little of an interaction with somebody can stick in their minds. It began raining pretty heavily on the way back, as well as today at times. We visited the Form 4 (12 grade) students. They are doing really well, working really hard and have great character. Saw my boy Evans. I’ve been sponsoring him since 2008, writing him letters and such. My brother, Philip, also sponsors him. He’s almost as tall as I am. Good looking dude. We then visited the other high school boys at Blescoe HS. I’ll talk more about that place later since I’ll be staying there starting next week when Linda, Kathy, Kris, and Tracey head back home. It’s on the back roads about 10 miles from town. I may get a bike to get to and from. Kamotho suggested getting a car, but that may be a bit extreme especially since Victor got stuck in the muddy ditch about 25 yards outside the school’s gate. It was stupid slick. They boys (about 40) came out and helped push us out. Then we got stuck again. Good times. 9-20 I just tried plugging the transformer into the outlet for my laptop. The thing practically blew up. Not sure if that transformer works anymore. Oops. My laptop is three pronged. The transformer only accepts two prongs. Forgot to bring the adapter for that. I was told that Apple laptops are universal and can accept the higher voltage (I think it’s higher) outlets here in Kenya. Can anybody confirm that? Today was a pretty chill day. Three of us went to Troy’s house to inventory the dental equipment. Troy is a missionary here with his wife and now four kids. Him and his family were the people who helped take care of me when I broke my ankle here last time. It’s good seeing him and his growing girls again. The baby was just born when I was here. Now she’s running around. They also just adopted a little baby boy here. His middle name is Azariah (I think it has a couple meanings, but I believe one of them is “God is my help” Love that). I’ve wanted to name my son that for the last five years. Guess I need a son to name first. After dental stuff we bought a bunch of food to bring to the HS boys in a couple days. Then we came back to the hotel and wrote some letters to the kids who didn’t get letters from their sponsors. Is it that hard to write a letter twice a year to a kid who doesn’t ever get mail? Linda, Tracey, Haron, and Stephen Gitau went to MCF to have a meeting about some issues that came up. And it went really well. The drive takes 4 hrs to get there. Then they get a call from three boys who left MCF. They were in Nairobi, a couple hours away from MCF. They said one of the boys were really sick. So they went to check on them. Turns out they made the story up. I haven’t gotten the whole story yet, as they are not back yet, but I guess they chewed them out pretty good. So they might be sleeping on the streets tonight. They had an opportunity to have everything provided for them at MCF but decided that they knew best. Hopefully they’ll learn sooner than later. So starting next week I’ll be staying at the boys’ high school. I originally didn’t know where I was staying when I said I would come to Kenya. As I said before I only wanted to stay the first two weeks with the team. It is much easier this way. But I thought it would be good to be here so decided on three months a couple months before we left. When I found out I was staying the hs, I thought it would be either with them or in a small little office or something. But then they showed me where I would be staying. It’s gonna be in a two story, 3 or 4 bedroom house… all to myself. WHAT!?!? Here’s the deal as far as I know in summary, Bleascoe HS started up only in Feb or March of this year. All the staff was hired within a couple months and classrooms made steel or tin sheeting. When the Rohi boys needed a place to go to school this place was created. The house where I’m gonna be staying was originally supposed to be a wealthy business man’s home on a many-acred piece of land he owns. The house was just recently finished. There are a bunch of other details in there that I’m not entirely sure about so I won’t go into too much detail. But basically this house wasn’t supposed to be built but the guy “just felt” like God was telling him to build the house (before the idea of starting a school came into mind). Once I find out the whole story I’ll let you know. But basically it’s a thing that God orchestrated pretty amazingly. Drove by the street market a couple times today. I swear those guys could smell you. I saw Sammy, one of the street vendors. I was looking to see if I could see the guys I knew, and sure enough there he was. He spotted me across the way. I’m looking forward to catching up with all of them. Let me quickly talk about Victor again. We were talking about current Kenyan political drama, and it came up that during the riots where thousands of Kenyans were killed in a couple month blood bath between tribes, Victor risked his life (literally) to save some people from the other tribe. He took three trips driving to where the other tribal people were in the midst of the murders (heads getting cut off, bodies burned, and all that horrible stuff) and drove ten people to safety on each trip. On a couple of them he got pulled over to the side of the road by the insurrectionists. Once he had the people in his car questioned in one tribal language to see how they’d answer. Fortunately the people who spoke that language were near the windows and answered while the others stayed quiet. Another time he was directed to pull over. He began to do so then took off as fast as he could. Crazy stuff. Gotta admit.. I miss home. I have some amazing people in my life, and I miss you guys. 9-21 Went to Blesco Primary and Girls HS. Saw my boy Julius. He’s one of the first boys I met at Rohi back in the day. The kid’s in 8th grade and doing well. I met the guy whose house I will be staying in. The man is a wealthy banker and already had the primary and girls’ HS going for the last five years. It wasn’t until Linda and company approached him about starting the boys hs. He and his wife decided within a few hours that this was something they wanted to do. The house was originally supposed to be a vacation type of home. He and his wife seem like really great people. They give so much to these kids. It’s great to see. He even offered to get me an international drivers license (since he is on the board) and let me drive his car. I said thanks, but let me give the public transportation (matatu) a try first. Last time I was here a kid named Collins fell and broke his front tooth in half. He’s now a couple inches shorter than me and has enough spunk to put a cheerleader to shame. He’s a funny kid. There are times when I’m just ready to get going with staying at the hs. Other times I’m just thinking that I just want to resign thinking about the next couple months of not having really any idea of what’s ahead, like the everyday stuff: what I’m going to eat, how I’m gonna be getting around, what I’m going to be doing with my days, and all that. I’m not worried about it, but these thoughts keep popping up. God is good and I trust him. Finally had my first home cooked Kenyan food tonight at Haron’s house. So good. 9-22 It’s been raining off and on. And when it rains, it pours. It actually started to hail. Definitely wasn’t expecting this weather. But it’s good for the crops. We are in Nakuru, about 2 hrs away from Nairobi. In a Nairobi shopping mall there has been terrorist stuff going on. There are now 59 people who have been killed, 175 hospitalized, 30 held hostage. I guess it’s a Somali Muslim extremist terrorist group. Horrible stuff. Pray for the people that have suffered and will be suffering. Pray that the terrorists would come to know the Truth. Visited the HS boys. Went to their church service. The 42 boys there were singing praises, and I gotta say that it sounded amazing. Just 42 boys, a few teachers, us, tin walls and roof, wood benches, and God. So good. A female pastor (I think she’s a pastor) from nearby came and spoke. She talked about not giving up and defeating the odds. Blesco Boys HS is basically a makeshift school created in just six weeks. She used some Bible stories, and it was motivational, but not much God centered. I didn’t really like that about it. After all, what do you have if you’ve gained the whole world but lost your soul? I know some of you may disagree with this, and that’s ok. We can discuss sometime.

1 comment:

philip vose said...

miss you Ben. once again you have enticed me into visualizing your current world and naturally directed me through your thought process which is ever so enjoyable! glad you are well, and starting out on a good foot with your team, HS, and all. don't forget to add some push-ups and sit-ups to your routine every once in a while to give you proper endorphins and to be in tip top shape :-) praying for the Nairobi people. also, that bit about the kid's name you like...that made me bust up.