Update January 28th Saturday
Today is day 20 in Kenya. We started out this adventure with almost 30 hours of travel time. Two stops, in Montreal and Frankfurt and finally landed in Nairobi two days later. From Nairobi 8 of us took a safari through Tanzania. The roads were comically bumpy but we saw a lot of animals close up. We basically saw almost every African animal (lion, cheetah, ostrich, giraffe, and rhino) but my favorite of all were the elephants. We happen to see a family group with a 2 day old baby elephant. I can’t do a justice describing the beauty and majesty of this animal; we sat in the buggy silently in awe of this family group. Adjusting to the climate, water and plus the jet lag I was sick for most of the safari but since then I’ve been fine, except for strange large red spots on my limbs (Seth says its leprosy, I say it’s probably the heat). One thing I found nice about the culture here is that they think and refer to the animals as people; using “he” and “she” or “this family” of lions protecting “their” home. This is a respect that we don’t have much of in Canada.
We finally reached pavement to all of our relief and got to the orphanage on a Friday night. The weekend was hard because we all weren’t sure what to do. The orphanage kids seemed distant and were very shy. We know better now not to waste valuable down time, soon came Monday where it was food, work and sleep. Since then it has been very, very busy. The days are long with a lot of hard work. I haven’t yet figured out what my job description is here so I have been part of the building team. We are building a dorm from scratch, with nothing but shovels, wheel barrels and hand tools ( its hard work (I don’t like hard work)) So far iv dug holes the height of me, paled cement and moved a gigantic pile of boulders. Hopefully I’ll end up with some muscles at the end! My only saving grace is a litter of 5 puppies on the compound. I know dogs are dirty here but I think God put them here just so I could feel a little more loved.
Imagine the noises of roasters crowing, chicks peeping, puppies whining, cars honking and kids crying constantly. That would only be half of the commotion that starts at 6:00am. Now that our group has been here for a while the kids are starting to warm up to us. They will stop watch on their bathroom break to see what we are up to. After school they come to help with whatever we happen to be doing. This Sunday we had a mob of orphanage and community kids coloring. 2 twelve foot tables littered with coloring pages and scattered crayons everywhere. The older boys were outside drumming on 5 gallon pales because my brother brought tons of drum sticks. The drum beat set the tone and we colored all the way till supper. My absolute favorite of favorite time here has been what I call “Africa Walmart”, this basically means we went to a store like Walmart. I enjoyed it so much because it is civilization – air-conditioning, real food, ice-cream, clothes. I have never been so happy to go shopping in my life!
Stay tuned for the rest of my little journey- this week we are getting dresses made for us, planning the amazing race for the kids and hopefully going to African Walmart again. Please send snacks.