Wednesday, June 16, 2010

kenya is beautiful

This is Menengai Crator. It's amazing. In the U.S. there would be all sorts of handrails and signs obstructing this awesome view, but here there is just you and a giant drop off. So great!
From the top of Menengai..
So about this receipt.. Lizz and Chris (a young married couple serving here in Kenya) and Mary and I were on our way up to see Menegai Crator. At the entrance, the guard came up to our car and told us that it would cost 600 shillings per person for us to enter. Chris and Lizz had been there the previous week and paid only 200 shillings per person... So Chris told him that was to much- we would pay 300 shillings per person. The man walked away to consult with another guard. When he came back he said, "Ok, 700 shillings. 300 for you two," (Chris and Lizz) "And 50 shillings for each of the children." (Motioning to Mary and I in the back seat!) I almost died laughing, but hey! we got a good deal to see the crator!

Ok. So I bought myself flowers... But look at them! They're beautiful!
20 roses for 200 shillings- less than three bucks!Some calla lilies just growing along the sidewalk.. So beautifulMore roses. We don't have a vase, so we used a coffee pot :)

Country side... :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

bananas galore

Wow! It was a busy day today. Tomorrow is a celebration in Nakuru called Day of the African Child. We were busy preparing 1,000 sac lunches to hand out to the children who attend tomorrow. So we washed 1,000 farm-fresh eggs, boiled them, and washed 1,000 bananas. Then we threw a hard-boiled egg, a banana, and a roll in 1,000 brown paper bags! We had quite the assembly line to complete the task! We had a good time though and finished it all before supper. :)

Mary, Staci, and I

Lots of food! Bananas, boiled eggs, and rolls...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Learning to teach

Fridays, there is the opportunity to go to the local primary school here and share a devotional with the classes. The pastors here have been going for quite some time to share with the kids about Jesus for about 45 minutes in the morning. Mary and I have joined them and we walk the short distance down the dirt road to the school to teach and talk to the students. The first Friday I was here, I just went along to observe, but this Friday I was able to teach (with the aid of my translator). I was with grades 4, 5, and 6.
Thursday night, as we worked out our stories and activities for the next morning, I was a little nervous about speaking to the class. I was glad that I would be sharing with such a young age group because they are so forgiving, ☺ but I still worry about speaking in front of people in general. My confidence goes out the window. The previous week I had very much enjoyed going along. I sat in and watched the 7th and 8th grades. All the students wanted to touch my hair- they couldn’t believe how long it was- and shake my hand… It was so much fun to be with them! So I really wanted to go at least one more Friday to teach and give it a try.
Friday morning we arrived at the school and split up in to the different class groups. My class gathered into their room and the teacher and students sang a song in Swahili that was used to call the class to order. The classroom had a concrete floor with large craters from years of use and the windows provided the only light. I received such a warm welcome as I came up to tell the story that Jesus tells in Matthew 7: 24-27. Afterwards we sang, “The wise man built his house upon the rock.” We had a lot of fun, and I’m excited to go back.

Here's the whole group after class!

Right after the primary school we went to our group devotions back at the Baby Centre. We’re going through a book about leadership. We talked about Moses and how he was not a good speaker or delegator, but God used him in mighty ways anyways. The Lord knows our weaknesses, but our weaknesses don’t limit Him or what he can use us for- in fact, the things He does through us in spite of our weaknesses are truly a testament to His power.

“Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn to the right of to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Habari yako? There is about 50% of my Swahili so far! It’s been a while since I’ve written much, but the past week has been a lot of adjustments for me. I think I’m about adjusted to the time change. Swahili is definitely a challenge, but everyone here at the AGC Baby Centre has been so helpful! The change in food has been no problem! I have had some great Kenyan food. I don’t know how to spell much of it but I love the chapatis and irio… Also- it is very important here to break a couple times a day to have chai, which I very much enjoy. Today we also got “drinking chocolate” or hot chocolate to the American.

Mary is another girl that is here through the same VIA program as me. We share an apartment here at the AGC Baby Centre. She’s been here about 2½ weeks already so she’s filled me in a lot about how things work around here. Her and I are becoming quite the chefs, but it is really nice too that we have had a constant flow of delicious mango that needs no preparation at all. (I recently learned the proper way to cut one! Haha..)

The staff that I work with is amazing. The administrative staff meets every morning at 9 for devotions and prayer, and I have been so blessed to join and pray with them. Kenyans are incredibly hospitable and welcoming… I am continually challenged by them to be so much more outgoing and thoughtful of those around me. The tempo of life here is a lot more laid back too. A lot of this may be because everything takes longer to do here than it does in the U.S. but I think a lot has to do with the easygoing culture here.

There are 40 toddlers and infants that are here at the AGC Baby Centre. I’m doing my best to learn names, but it’s quite a challenge! I’ve called Phyllis James and I’ve called Lydia Caleb… oops. I will hopefully get better as time goes on. The work that have put in so far with these little ones has already been SO rewarding. I love when the toddlers surround me with their little arms grabbing my legs or reaching up to be held. Most times just saying, “Sasa!” is all it takes to get a huge smile in response.

One last thing before I sign off… The countryside here is beautiful. Mary and I went for a run this afternoon right after it rained and when we turned around to head back to the center, the view of the mountains made us both gasp. It was stunning. The song “Indescribable” has been in my head ever since that sight. What an awesome God we serve!

Friday, June 4, 2010

travel time

Hello from Kenya! I have officially been here in the country two whole days. The flight here went well… I met up with another WGM volunteer in Detroit and the two of us flew the seven hours over the sea to Amsterdam where we were scheduled to have an hour and a half layover then continue to Nairobi from here. As it turned out, we ended up getting off the plane and running to our next plane just minutes before it took off to Kenya. It was a bit nerve racking, but we made it and we were so thankful to finally be buckled in for the next 7 hour flight down to Kenya. However, because of our quick switch in Amsterdam our pilot informed us that several of the passengers’ bags did not make it onto the flight. Judy, the other volunteer I was traveling with, was one such passenger. It wasn’t the most pleasant news to hear after 14 hours of plane rides… We waited an hour to buy our visas and then I went to claim my luggage and Judy went to report hers as missing. Around this time, I discovered that only one of my two bags had arrived. The missing bag contained all my clothing, and the one I got was full of towels, sheets, peanut butter, and cheerios. Not very helpful. The airline said that the bags should be coming in the morning though, and to check back at the airport then. We stayed the night in Nairobi and then called in the morning. They reported that they had Judy’s bags, but when we asked about mine they said, “Kirsten Wenger? We have no idea about that bag.” Haha- what?! We went to the airport anyways to claim the bags and lo and behold, my bag was there too! Praise the Lord!

All in all, it was a smooth traveling experience and I’m so thankful for the prayers of many people during our flight.

I’m here at the Center now and today was my first day to walk around and really see the children and the facility. I really love it. All the children are absolutely beautiful and so precious! I feel so blessed to be here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Travel Song!