rotating header

Friday, January 07, 2011

Week 1

Week one is a mixed bag, as most week one's are anywhere I suppose.  Because we've visited Kijabe so many times, even stayed here for periods of weeks to months over the years, because we've lived in Africa longer than anywhere else, because we know this is not as difficult a place to manage as Bundibugyo, because we've moved here for a whole spectrum of good reasons . . . there is a sense of expectation I carry that this must be a relatively minor adjustment.  And in some ways it is minor.  There is a cushion, and insulation from Africa, that exists in this American community.  Well, to a certain extent anyway.

But every transition costs energy and emotion.  We all pay a price.  Scott is spending hours searching on line for a used vehicle, going into town to look at notice boards and check out used cars, making phone calls.  And hours trying to set us up on a decent internet connection.  If you thought the presence of 100 families and even full-time IT employees meant this would not be much of an issue (as I did), we would both be wrong. The famed fiber-optic cable that reached East Africa runs a few kilmoters up the road, but there is no connection here.  The hospital has a server that is erratic and slow, and we spent about two hours with their IT person this morning trouble-shooting their wireless network, which seems to be non-functional.  The school seems to have a better system but does not allow "lower station" families to use it.  People buy little USB port modems that work fairly well but eat through the money in a non-sustainable way, charging per bit of information accessed.  So, having been spoiled by a few months in America, we are now slamming up against the reality of poor and expensive internet connection, and realizing how much we lean on it.  Caleb's cost is probably the jarring conjunction of the two heretofore separate worlds of school and family, being free from dorm rules but tied to family obligations.  Julia's cost came in the I'm-in-over-my-head first day of band, and we're taking a step back and working out some music lessons.  All in all she's doing well, especially after the soccer coach called last night after the first few practices and told her she's on the JV team.  Yeah!!  Jack's cost is just the tension of remembering assignments and books and duties for 7 classes all in different rooms and times.  He already got one warning for leaving his Bible in his locker during Bible class, and his geography class assigned an 11 page report on Kenya to include history, religion, tribal groups, towns, animals, birds, political structure .. with references . . that has him feeling pretty intimidated.  So he's anxious about doing everything right.

My cost?  Hmmm.  Probably battling the expectation that I should know what I'm doing, in the home-making (literally) and medical departments, sooner rather than later.  I've been waiting to invest in a home, and I'm waiting some more, and wondering if I'm hoping for too much.  I feel a little tenuous and lost, and hesitant to commit.  They typical newcomer sense that I should probably be doing something that everyone else is doing only I don't know what that is.  And more tired than I should, though sleep is slowly regulating, the altitude and the emotional edge in the family in general drains me.  

So that's the report on week 1.  Scott and I did spend a day in Nairobi and managed to buy many gallons of paint to spur on the process of readying the "new" house.  We even noted that we UNDERSTOOD a few phrases of phone conversation overheard while waiting for a clerk in one of the stores--Swahili has begun!  I go through the lessons constantly translating into Lubwisi and English at the same time, trying not to let the Lubwisi be completely smothered by Swahili.  And the highlight of the week, dinner with the Chedesters, a full-circle from our days in Uganda, being welcomed in a big way (a special chicken dish which would be the A#1 guest food in Uganda, and 2 strawberry pies which would be remarkable anywhere) by people who actually know us.  Nice.

Keep praying for the right vehicle to pop up, for our Swahili diligence and progress, for the house to be ready and settled soon.  And more importantly for the Sudan Referendum to begin constructively and peacefully on Sunday, for our Sudan team in diaspora now to hold on in hope, for our Bundi team about to receive a visit from a supporting church in the US, for CSB hiring new teachers and getting ready to start the year, for the blood bank to supply and save lives at Nyahuka Health Center, or Luke working on grant proposals for a study in Kenya next summer.  All the places our hearts try to keep, even while we are here!

1 comment:

Cindy Nore said...

Praying for all of you every day and grateful for the opportunity to be part of your journey. Your life and your perspective keep me balanced, hopeful, and Kingdom focused. With love-
Cindy Nore