One month ago, we had just landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport here in Nairobi! Where has the time gone? Well, if you’ve followed along some, you know we have already had some “dream-come-true” experiences as a family here in Kenya, and I think the saying that time flies when you’re having fun is ringing true for us.
On the other hand, there has been a comfortable feeling of normalcy setting in as well. Ryan goes to the college most weekdays, spending time with other staff there, with students, studying for his own class prep, and in chapel or other meetings. We are grateful that he is able to use a college vehicle for most of his transportation needs, and we often have had that car here at home on the weekends as well.
The rest of us are finding our own routine not always that different than it was back in Pella – we still have beds to make, dishes to wash, laundry and cleaning that is never quite caught up… Some of us are not caught up on sleep yet, either.
Of course not all the “normal” is chore-related: we’re taking time for playing games, reading, enjoying the backyard, and getting together with friends.
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And sometimes even the “normal” that is running errands feels new and fun, for example when it involves using Uber to get a ride downtown, and getting lunch at the supermarket bakery because it smelled so good.
Still, sometimes Monday is just plain Monday, here in Nairobi too. And you know what? We are kind of glad about that! It is only natural to be constantly aware of how many (many) things in our day to day lives are different from what we are used to, but we are realizing that dwelling on that can make us tired and overwhelmed. When we look for parallels or even similarities, we find the foreign to be a little more familiar after all, and we are less frustrated, and more content. Even more, we are finding plenty of things to appreciate about those differences!
We are also trying to find the positive side or things that “go wrong,” and look for ways that we can learn and grow, and appreciate situations that we might not have chosen, even in little things. Not having electricity all day last week Monday (and then again much of Saturday) was inconvenient in some ways, but it pushed me to figure out baking in our gas oven, and to reach out and ask for help, which is not usually my first inclination. Our laundry situation is similar: for various reasons, the washing machine intended to be installed in our home has still not arrived, which means a keeping a big bucket in the bathroom for hand-washing emergency things, and relying on the generosity of a helpful friend while we wait. We are quite thankful for Dr. and Mrs. Lee at Bridgeworld, who have asked Ryan to bring loads of laundry with him to school so they can take it home, and return it the next day, all fresh and clean. People joke about the “laundry fairy” needing to visit their home – well, I’m afraid I have her all tied up here in Nairobi for now 😉 It’s humbling to ask for help sometimes, but we find that it’s truly a blessing to be helped, and things like this are one tangible way we feel God’s loving care over the little (or not so little, when you’re a family of 8!) things in our lives on this side of the world. So, Happy Monday to you, whether it’s a normal day or not – we wish you blessings in whatever your day brings. Thank you so much for the encouraging comments and notes we’ve received – those make any day bright!