My first week in Kenya was unbelievable! I just got connected to the Internet again, so here’s what I was up to last week:
I have met so many people, and the brothers of the Lyke community are so generous and welcoming. We start each day with mass and then breakfast, and I enjoy talking with them about their culture, language, and faith. Great conversation and jokes around the table together at every meal! I’ve eaten most of the typical main dishes now like ugali, chapati, and mandazi. All the food so far tastes great, and the brothers even showed me how to use “the African fork”…. your hand.
A local college student Trizah and I became friends quickly after realizing we have so much in common, and she was my unofficial tour guide the first weekend. We walked around King’eero, played games with kids in the soccer field, and visted a few local primary schools. The difference between public and private schools is astounding. That afternoon, we made decorations for the big festival the next day.
On Sunday morning, the entire parish arrived to celebrate Corpus Christi and first communion for over 300 children. We processed around the neighborhood, and I juggled my Swahili song lyric book, walking with the crowd along the dirt roads, and trying to see everything we passed. The beautiful Mass in Swahili included upbeat songs, a gorgeous choir, and lively dancing. Afterwards, everyone celebrated and father Peter welcome visitors. I introduce myself in Swahili, and they actually understood me! The full day of celebration ended with a huge group of children teaching me how to play some of their favorite games.
I tried to go for a run the next morning in the field across the street. Keyword, tried. With the altitude difference, I felt like I had never run a day in my life! To make it more challenging, I also had to jump over some holes, wind through the tall grass, and make sure to avoid the presents left by a few animals. Huffing and puffing, but no twisted ankles and standing up right after several laps, so I considered it a success. Twenty minutes running here equals an hour-long workout at home!
We met with the principal Sister Esther and toured St. Mary where I will be teaching. I am moving to Kiambu town this week to be close to the school, and I can’t wait to meet the students. When I think about the fact that I am finally here, I am in awe! My hope is to experience every moment and take it all in. If this was what my first week was like, I can’t imagine what else the next two months will bring!