This month has been amazing.
We were able to witness our first Eid celebration early August. It was exhilarating to hear the whistles, music, and laughter throughout the night and especially early morning. It sounded like Christmas morning!
The night of Eid we gave our neighbors some treats to commemorate the breaking of the fast. In turn, they showered us with gifts: curtains, household decorations, sodas, cookies, a pair of shoes and a dress. We had the chance to visit with them and develop wonderful relationships with the kids that has continued throughout the month.
Amed, 10, loves Jeff and loves to learn about technology, music, and wrestling. He is funny, inquisitive, and brilliant.
Bajia, 8, loves to play with me. She enjoys combing my hair, bouncing our exercise ball around the house, spinning around as fast as we can (I hold her and twirl like a whirling dervish for as long as I can stand), and talking about family.
Asha, 19, enjoys talking about boys, beauty, and Nairobi life. She is generous, kind, and incredibly charming.
One night we heard the sounds of clapping, singing, and something of a Xena warrior cry. Interested, we went out to see what was happening. A wedding celebration was taking place! From our balconies we cheered with the merrymakers and our neighbors led us downstairs to see the home of the newlyweds. From inside someone called "soo dhawoow!"(welcome!) and, being pushed from behind by inquisitive girls trying to look inside, I went in! My husband followed, along with some bashful neighbor girls. We introduced ourselves and were served meat, tea, and cookies. Our presence there was something of a spectacle (Americans! Wow!); had it not been so late we would have stayed longer.
This month we have also been planning a Kids Fair at our school. We expect a full week of games, skits, and crafts for children as well as varied activities for the mothers there (medical clinic, health classes, movies, English classes, games, henna, tea). I have been spearheading the project with scheduling, working with the cook, henna artist, and visiting nurse practitioner. A special team from Tennessee is coming to work with the kids and teach them. It has certainly been busy! Already next week we begin the four day Fair. We hope this time will be a blessing to everyone who participates and attends, and that we can promote our school within the community as we begin to enroll kids for the 2014 school year (starting January).
Our leaders have also been working hard planning and visiting people stateside for meetings. They have had their own hectic month with worldwide traveling, school starting (for their kids), and moving houses across town.
Life in Nairobi has been treating us well. Each day we become more accustomed to the unpredictable nature of our daily lives and each day we rejoice for the opportunity to live within this amazing, unique, and exotically beautiful community.