Crescent Island

Crescent Island

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Giraffes, tortoises, and monkeys...Oh my!

For this midterm break, I decided not to do a big trip, but instead take a couple day trips with other women here on staff. On Saturday five of us single ladies and one mom and her son went to the area of Karen, which is west of Nairobi. The area of Karen is named for Karen Blixon, who wrote the book Out of Africa about her life. In Karen, we went first to the Giraffe Center. At the Giraffe Center, you get the opportunity to be right up close to giraffes and feed them. It was so fun to see these animals up close, and I became friends with the littlest giraffe who could just barely reach his head up to the platform to get the pellets. Giraffes are such beautiful animals and so gentle. Near Giraffe Center is the Giraffe Manor Hotel, where you can stay and the giraffes come right up to your hotel room. Can you say Bucket List?!

There are also tortoises at the Giraffe Center
After going to the Giraffe Center, we decided to go to the Karen Blixon Museum. This is at her house, and the place that the movie "Out of Africa" was filmed. It was so interesting to hear more about her life and the history of the house and the land. It is my favorite kind of museum to visit - a place where historical figures actually worked and lived their lives. And I would move into that house immediately. It is beautiful. 

After visiting the house, it was time for lunch and we headed over to Tamambo, which is the restaurant on the Karen Blixon property. It was a little more pricey, but absolutely delicious and beautiful to sit in the garden. I also purchased a painting from an artist selling his work there in the garden. We also got a free dessert from the manager because his niece attends RVA! 

Our last stop on our trip was to Kazuri Beads. While we missed seeing the women work, because they only work half days on Saturdays, we did get a tour of the factory/workshop. It was really interesting to see where the beads are made and what the process is. We then went into the shop to spend good money in supporting the women who are employed there. And while we were at Kazuri, we happened upon a little monkey taking a nap. I thought he was dead at first, but he was just resting. We all took turns petting the monkey - he is a Sikes monkey - and taking pictures. 


It was a fantastic day, and Karen is such a beautiful area to spend time in. So far, I have not been disappointed at all with what Kenya has to offer and experience. Now, back to term tomorrow and six more weeks until vacation time. 

I would love prayers for confidence in my abilities and that God is using me exactly as He needs, as well as energy and excitement for the rest of 1st term. 

A view of the Rift Valley on the drive to Kijabe, Mount Longonot and Kijabe Hill in the background.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Unofficially Sponsored by Skype

At the beginning of choir a few weeks ago I passed out notecards to each of my students. I told them they could each write down one question they wanted me to answer, in order to let them get to know me a bit. They asked questions like "What is your favorite memory from college?", "What is your favorite band?", "Where do you get your cute clothes?", "What brand of lipstick do you wear?", and "What is your middle name?" - I was asked that question by three different students. A few different kids wanted to know about my dating history, which I declined answering.

There were also several cards asking more serious questions. One of the cards asked me for advice to girls about being a single female on the mission field. This question required a more thoughtful answer, and one that I tried to answer in the context of my life.

At this point, I do not feel called to be on the mission field long-term, but I am called to be here at RVA for the next year, or so. I told the students that following Christ means listening for His call in your life and stepping out in faith in that call. I have been blessed to hear God's call several different times in my life - attending Whitworth for college, moving to the Bay Area in California, and coming to serve at Rift Valley Academy as the choir director. Every time I have been called and taken that step of faith, God has provided and blessed me.

Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
The other advice I gave them was to make use of Skype as much as possible. The hardest part about being out here is that I miss out on daily life with my family and friends back home in the states. For friends and family back home, their daily lives have not changed too much, it's just that I am not there. But my life has changed so drastically that I do feel that distance with people back home. Skyping (mainly with my family so far) has been such a fantastic way to keep in touch and not feel as homesick. I can see their faces and talk to them about life here and life there. I have even Skyped with (almost) my entire family a couple of times - my brother wasn't able to squeeze onto the couch with everyone else.
Skyping with the crew!

I have also used Skype to connect with some friends. This last week I have skyped with one of my best friends, and two other couples who I have been friends with since college. I love being here and being a part of this community, but I have had moments of feeling so disconnected from my life back home. Skype calls have really been wonderful in keeping me connected with those important people.
Skyping with one of my besties - Kurt!
As I said to my choir students, Skype is an amazing way to keep in touch with people when you are alone on the mission field. Emails and messages are also fantastic. So if you ever feel like emailing or skyping or having a Google hang out with me - just let me know! I would love to talk with you and hear what's going on in your life and tell you about mine.