Monday, January 27, 2014

Electricity means windbag vlogs

My third vlog! Hear more about Kenyan electricity, town excursions, and reconnecting with friends than you'd ever want to know :)

Happy Monday, friends!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kitchen vlog!

It's my second vlog! Mustard yellow kitchen cabinetry, belated Christmas gifts, and new friendships included.

Stay tuned for more vlogs (and the occasional blog, because let's be real, as much as I dislike editing pictures, I love sharing them)!

P.S. My computer was sitting on top of my refrigerator to film this video, and I'm laughing about how my refrigerator is short enough for that.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The world of vlogging!

Okay, okay. It's no secret that I am just terrible at blogging. So... why not try vlogging? Check out my first vlog and hear about my first couple days back in Nakuru after three months of being home.

Tell me what you think! Are you as excited about my vlogs as I am?! ;)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Getting me through

I leave in just two weeks to go home, but I still don't feel quite ready to leave Nakuru. What will I do without seeing my babies everyday? And my ladies? I won't be there for Thanksgiving, or lunch dates with friends, or sleepovers, or baby birthdays, or bible studies. I won't get to wave at the kids in pajamas at the end of the road or the guard at Lizzy's school on my way to the baby house everyday, I won't get to see my neighbor Chiri every afternoon as she waits for her daughter to come home from school, and I won't see the guy every week who sells sheets on the side of the road and always calls me a different name. Yes, I will definitely miss Nakuru.

BUT. I'm very ready to go home. Simple as that. Not ready to leave, but very ready to get where I'm going. Not for long, but definitely for a little while. Ever since I booked (well, re-booked) my flight, I've been distracted with the thought of home. Family, friends, fall time, holidays, comfort and joy. I'm so excited to be able to disconnect for a while, to not get annoyed with small and ultimately unimportant things. I'll be able to drive without slamming on my brakes every 5 seconds for unaware pedestrians. I can go to sleep at night without padlocking my doors. I can use a washer, a dryer, a vacuum cleaner. I can have something besides rice and lentils for lunch. I can have as many conversations as I want without interpreting accents or translating. I am excited and ready for rest. Obviously, I have a lot that I love in Nakuru, but honestly, it's taking a lot to get me through these next two weeks. Here a few of the things keeping me going:

-The Psalms. I've been reading through the Psalms for the past few weeks. Just one a day, except when I forget, which is more often than not. Although I'm certainly not going through any afflictions comparable to those being referred to in the Psalms, I am still finding a lot of comfort in reading that "I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me."

-Higher Ground by Stevie Wonder. I don't know, you guys. This song has just been following me around lately, and I'm loving it.

-$1 face masks from Walmart that my mom sent me in a package over a year ago.

-The thought of holidays and cold weather. Now, don't get me wrong. I actually had a really great time last year celebrating both Halloween and Thanksgiving with friends here. But nothing compares to scary movie marathons and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Also, it's really not even hot here yet, so I'm not dying for cold weather. But I'm excited to see a change in environment. Cooler temperatures, Daylight Saving's time ending, hopefully no dust or flash floods.

-Babies growing up. I can't handle it, you guys. When did Moses start actually obeying and wanting to help? When did Sandra start walking and saying my name? When did Kennedy start having full conversations? These babes are growing up SO fast. I want to catch every little milestone they hit before I won't be here to notice them.

-The thought of turkey sandwiches for lunch! Petty? Yes. But 100% true.

-Bath&Body Works candle in Vanilla Bean Noel.

*When this posts, I will actually be home already. I'm trying to surprise my sister by being home a little earlier than I was originally hoping SO I HOPE NONE OF YOU RUINED IT!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A typical turned not-so-typical Thursday

I decided Wednesday night that the next day would be a perfect day to do a "day in the life" sort of pictures and blog post. People ask me all the time what a typical day for me looks like. I've tried to plan doing a walk-through of my day many times, but every time I thought of it, I remembered that I wouldn't have a "typical" day, and I didn't want to mislead. Well, I had nothing out of the ordinary planned on Thursday (no Nairobi trip, no car issues that I knew of to be fixed, no guests, no long excursions in town):

8:15 - wake up late, still tired and very groggy
8:30 - breakfast and social media

8:45 - realize I still have no water from the day before, get annoyed, get over it, get ready for the day

9:10 - starting to leave, then I remember that I forgot my camera and my bible and my laptop and my Swahili notebook
9:20 - actually leave
9:24 - on the way to the baby house

9:28 - Douglas greets me at the gate in a jump suit making a weird face

9:35 - weekly Bible study with the Furaha mamas

10:15 - and worship

10:30 - say hi to Maggy, who is outside taking her hair out

10:40 - smell maize cooking in the kitchen, so I go investigate

10:50 - crash study Swahili, which I didn't do last night, and have a tea-and-maize snack

10:54 - remember that I won't see the babies for a couple hours, so I go visit them, even though they were supposed to be taking a nap

11:10 - come back to finish crash studying, see this corn husk which looks like fall time, get sad that I'm not home, then get excited that I WILL be home soon, while it's still fall

11:20 - my Swahili teacher, Ayub, calls to say that he's here early. I tell him to come upstairs, and I pretend like I was studying, not thinking about brown leaves and apple cider.
11:30 - he brings me this bright pink book. I complain and moan and get frustrated and flail for an hour, because I'm bad at Swahili. I have no idea why Ayub doesn't hate me.

12:30 - break for a surprise birthday party for Bekah

1:00 - cake included

1:30 - decide that I'm done with Swahili for the day because it's my birthday eve, play with some babies, and chat with some friends
2:00 - rice lunch with Caitlin and Jenny

2:30 - a brand new baby (still not even bathed yet) comes from hospital

2:45 - do some long-overdue work on the computer

3:45 - a crying auntie comes in to tell me that the new baby "is no longer with us"
3:46 - finally find the other aunties huddled around in the eating room, holding and looking at the sweet tiny baby that only lived a few hours.
4:00 - talk with and pray for Auntie Maggy, who had already fallen in love with the baby and held him as he "left"
4:15 - go downstairs to talk with Emmah about plans for tomorrow
4:30 - play with babies
5:30 - finally go home after waiting for a terrible storm to stop
5:35 - drive through this rushing river at the end of the baby house road

5:37 - drive through a pond at the end of my road
5:40 - get home and ask the caretaker to pump water into my tank (in Swahili, thank you VERY much)
5:42 - take out the trash
5:45 - shower, unpack all of my stuff from the day, check social media
6:30 - make pizza crust dough for bruschetta dinner
8:00 - make bruschetta dinner

8:30 - eat bruschetta dinner (delicious, you guys!) and flip through these magazines that I found at the baby house

9:00 - power goes out for a while, so I kind of do nothing
9:45 - power's back on, so I try (three times!) calling a wonderful friend who I miss dearly. No such luck.

10:00 - watch a new episode of Duck Dynasty and go to bed early BECAUSE TOMORROW'S MY BIRTHDAY AND WE'RE LEAVING FOR NAIROBI AT 7:00 THE NEXT MORNING

I came close to not even posting this, because obviously a very normal Thursday became a day that was really exciting, then really sad, and not something that happens typically (or ever). But the truth is that there really is no "typical" day for me here. Even when people ask me what a normal day looks like, I start with "There's really no such thing as a normal day here". And it's true. I start my mornings thinking of what all I have planned for the day ahead, and I rarely get two of those things on my list done and there are always surprises. Surprise trips to town, surprise lunch with friends, surprise meetings, surprise baby-parent matches, surprise lulls where I do nothing for an extended period of time, surprise new babies, surprise floods, surprise power outtages, surprise animal births, etc. I don't say this to make my life sound so cool and unpredictable (but it is pretty cool and unpredictable), but it's just reality. There's just no such thing as a normal day.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A real-life toddler

Today is this sweet boy's birthday!

Jabali is 2 years old now AND his body is finally strong and balanced enough for him to walk! He's a real toddler! I mean, let's be honest, he's still real wobbly and his giant adorable head still throws him a little off-balance, but he's doing great!

Sadly, I don't have any recent photos of him walking, because whenever I (or most people, really) come to where he is, he's immediately climbing up my leg. But I can't complain -- look at that sweet face!*

Happy birthday to this sweet, so-cute-I-can't-even-handle-it boy!

*Although all of these pictures suggest it, I promise Jabali is usually not cross-eyed... only sometimes.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What's even happening?

Well, it’s been over a month since I blogged, and that’s the story of my life. Things have been way busy around here lately, and I’ve had little time to do much of anything extra or tedious (LIKE GOING THROUGH THOUSANDS OF PHOTOS… or Swahili homework, or regular cooking, or even regular sleeping some nights). So I think it’s time for an update in pictures, what about you?

Sweet Auntie Maggy's boy, Titus, has new parents! And he's only one of three who have just been adopted!

And this funny, loud girl is next.

Collins was not adopted, but reunited with family.

Haggling fabric prices. I'm usually awesome at getting good prices, but this store owner... he was tough. But come on, look at those beautiful fabrics.

A trip to visit a merchant's workshop. This family makes nativities out of banana leaves.

HOH anniversary! It was fun seeing adopted kids, siblings of adopted kids, current baby house babies, and kids of HOH partners and staff all having a giant child party together.

Teeny tiny soft-hair Baby Jacob Mshindi

Many many birthdays were celebrated this summer. AKA we ate lots of cake this summer.

Home visits to the ladies of Furaha! We had a great time!

Julia learned how to wear a head covering in true Kikuyu style.

This giant truck lived at the baby house for a few days, making noise and shaking ground, DRILLING A WELL!

We hit water, and we praised the Lord.

These past several weeks have been full of adoptions, out-of-town fabric shopping trips, a visit to a friend’s workshop, the annual Haven of Hope anniversary party, new baby Jacob, birthday parties, visits to the homes of my Furaha ladies, and bore hole drilling. Not to mention moving into my own apartment, a macaroni and cheese cook-off, making new friends, saying goodbye to older ones, new products being made by the Furaha mamas, my two boys FINALLY starting to walk, a staff member having a baby, and making arrangements (although early) for when I’ll be home for a couple months at the end of the year. Whew. Also, let's not forget that my birthday's next week :)

Excuse me while I go lay on my bed and stare at the ceiling.