Thursday, March 6, 2014

Beware the Ides of March

Life in Kenya has been busy. Already March is upon us. Seven weeks from now we will be celebrating our one year anniversary abroad.

In our ESL program, our teachers teach two classes each daily. We have about 50 students and over 150 on our waiting list for registration! We started English Club two Fridays a months and it's been a blast.

Our first meeting it POURED rain to the point that we needed to "create" a bridge from the street to our gate over the river or rainwater. We had almost 40 people show up despite the downpour. Laughter and smiles abounded as we did "the human knot" and talked about husbands and shopping among the ladies. The boys argued and debated about politics and foreign policy. Our second meeting was about pollution and trash and involved lively discussion on beautifying our neighborhood.

In our Primary School we continue to grow in number. We have 25 students ranging from 2.5 years old to 14 years old (the highest level we have now is first grade), most of which take our bus. Wednesday sports days bring unusual energy and excitment in our kids. Our four teachers work hard at keeping the learning standards high in the classroom.

Jenny has been working largely with school administration, juggling salaries, food and supply expenses, admission fees, registration applications and the waiting list. Jeff teaches mornings and afternoons and meets with students in between classes.

This month we have also seen another side of Kenya. We spent two days camping in the Masai Mara amongst the wild animals. I could hear the *woop woop* of hyenas and even heard heavy panting and sniffing along our tent for five minutes one night and monkeys arguing and playing with equipment the next night. The Mara is home to the Big 5: Elephants, Leopards, Cape Buffalo, Rhinos, and Lions. We watched a lion feast on his breakfast as jackals and vultures watched and waited. We were temporarily chased by a baby elephant (with mama watching!) and even got stuck in mud in while crocs of cape buffalo casually watched.

We also visited another town in the Northeastern part of Kenya, home to a large population of refugees. Most inhabitants there consider the river just before that town to be the true border between Kenya and its neighboring country, and therefore don't consider their town a part of Kenya. We visited a Primary School in the area in hopes of partnering with them some time in the future. The ladies enjoyed a salon visit and came back with henna art on their feet and hands. We ate roasted goat meat in rice under the Milky way. It was wonderful.

Every day we thank God for allowing us to be here, for the relationships that we have, for the relationships we are establishing, and for the opportunity to do what we are doing. What a privilege!