Saturday, May 8, 2010



I've been home 10 days, and I have a job, roommates, and a possible place to live for the next year.

We serve a really, really great God. As of Friday morning, I am the proudest new math teacher in Bryan, TX!

Through a random series of events and timings that only the Lord could orchestrate, I've got a job teaching math at my number one choice for schools. After a 15 minute interview.

FIFTEEN. MINUTES. He alone deserves the praise for this.

And I could NOT be more excited :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Well, I'm out of shampoo... it must be time to head home.

Tutaonana badi Kenya.

It's been real swell.

We've had our share of differences, that time that I had dysentery or when I had to watch hunting spiders battle to the death while perched atop a chair yelling in Rendille the only expression I knew to show how much I hated it - "MADOONO!" (I don't like!). Or how we ate mutton for a straight month because we ran out of food, or when I thought I was going to die out in the bush from a growling hyena that actually turned out to be a wild dog. Also...I'm just saying, Kenya, but your so-called roads? They need just a little bit of work. I have the bruises to prove it.

But it's been so, so worth it. A GIANT blessing, be here in this crazy country with the amazing privilege of serving the Lord in a place only He, in His infinite ways, could call me to.

If you'd told me last year that I would be living in a place like Korr when I came to Africa I would've told you that you were straight-up crazy.

Except, I wouldn't trade the last 8 months for anything.

Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;
Your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts.
[Isaiah 26:8]

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's not a big deal, but..

In the last 3 weeks I have:

- kissed a giraffe (Allen the giraffe and I are good friends now)
- pet 3 baby cheetahs at Nairobi Animal Orphanage (we were let inside the cages...while they were feeding...oops?)
- snorkeled in the Indian Ocean (we saw 3 sting rays and lots of pretty fish, but our boat driver and crew were, shall we say, shady?)
- ridden a camel (they're much taller than they look)
- rafted the Nile River (not to mention that I choked and swallowed quite a bit of it)
- seen Lake Victoria (but refused to swim in it for a variety of health reasons...)
- been on safari and seen lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, flamingos, hippos, hyenas, jackals, water buffaloes, giraffes...
- spent some sweet time with fellow short-termers serving all over Africa and had opportunities to encourage and pray for each other

And tomorrow, I head home to a country full of properly paved roads, high speed internet access, diet dr. pepper, and more fish tacos than I could ever want to eat.

Yeah...that's going to be a weird contrast.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Saying goodbyes, Part 2

I'm going to go ahead and apologize now for how scatterbrained this post will probably be.

I was doing okay. I've been saying goodbyes for the last week. So as we sat perched atop White Hill to watch the sun rise this morning - departure day - I figured I would be okay.


We were sitting down to eat lunch today with Nick & Lynne when we heard the plane overhead. The plane that was coming to come pick us up and bring us down to Nairobi for the school holiday....the plane that I would be leaving Korr on. What to do? Solution: grab food and go. So we grab bowls, some rice, and some stew that's literally still cooking on the stove, and climb into the back of the Land Cruiser. About 10 more people jump in the back with us. I was perched on the tailgate, holding on to the side with my elbow, balancing my bowl in hand and tried to eat as we drove over the bumpy desert road to the new meaning to the phrase "fast food."

We arrive at the airstrip to find that we are the only passengers on this 6-seater plane. The pilot weighs our bags and manages to fit it all as everyone who has come out to the airstrip crowds around to watch. Random Rendille kids show up. Still more people arrive, wanting to say their goodbyes to the four white women - one of whom is leaving for good.

I cannot even begin to describe how hard saying all of those goodbyes was. Students are hugging me and Rendille mamas are kissing my cheeks and showering Rendille blessings over me and I'm fine...or at least I tell myself that. Nick & Lynne embrace me in a long hug, say some things to me that I cannot remember, and suddenly it hits me that I may never see these two amazing, amazing people again and that means I may never see ANY of these people again and suddenly I'm trying to hold back my tears so that no one will see my emotions. We climb into the airplane, the pilot buckles us in and adjusts our seats according to weight so that the plane can take off. It feels like everything is in a haze. A few of our students have their faces pressed up against the glass, watching our every move and waving goodbye over and over again. I can't do this. I pull out my camera to take some last minute photos of them - it's as much of a distraction as I can come up with. Then the pilot shuts the door, starts up the engine like we're driving a car or something, and then we're taxiing down the airstrip, and everyone is waving and blowing kisses and I'm waving back and then suddenly

We're gone.

And I'm bawling.

I don't know why, but I didn't expect that. I didn't expect that I would cry for the first 20 minutes of our flight. I didn't expect that my heart would be so heavy - so heavy at the thought of never seeing any of these people again. So heavy at the reality of so many students who still don't know Jesus. And so heavy at knowing that for whatever reason, God is calling me home...and that even now, I do not understand why He has done this.

For about a week now I've been saying goodbyes. I had to say goodbye to 3/4 of my students on my birthday. I've been saying goodbyes to everyone in town for the last few days. I guess I thought that today would be no different - it hasn't felt real yet, because even though I was saying goodbye, I was still in Korr.

It's real now.

And now I'm in Nairobi and it all feels like a dream. It feels like a 7 month long dream that I was living in this desert corner of the world...because being in Nairobi surrounded by other short-termers feels so normal.

But Korr was my normal. Walking 6 miles a day through the desert heat just to get to school and back, eating mutton for every meal, wearing the same 3 ankle-length skirts every day, responding to "Madam" like it was my real name was my normal.

And in three weeks' time, I will leave Africa - maybe, for good this time - and I will find myself back in Texas. Adjusting to a new normal again.

But my heart will be forever changed. It's been imprinted by my time here. My students, my Rendille family, the missionaries I've served alongside - they've all left an imprint on my heart. An imprint that has forever changed how I view the Lord and how He is moving through the nations. An imprint that has left me feeling so burdened to pray for the Rendille. Because despite their pride and their stubbornness, He WILL reign in their hearts. He will humble them, because He loves them so much that He humbled himself to die for them. He continues to humble me by removing my own pride and stubbornness.

Trust in him at ALL times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our REFUGE.
[Psalm 62:8]

Friday, April 2, 2010

Saying goodbyes.

Our last night with our students before they left for the holidays was, needless to say, an emotion-filled one. Alicia wrote a fantastic blog about it, so I'm just going to refer you to it because I honestly don't know that I could write about it and not cry.


Happy 24th

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's physics, Madam.

Esther: "Madam, in physics we learned that the color white reflects light and the color black absorbs light. So that means that your skin reflects light."

Me: [takes of shoe to show the world's worst Chaco tan - seriously - and rolls up sleeve to show hilarious, ridiculous farmer's tan] "No, Esther. My skin absorbs light. Just like yours. See?"

Esther: "But Madam. It's Physics!"
The Rendille are an incredibly proud people. They walk with their backs straight and their heads held high. They also believe they are ALWAYS right - even when they aren't. Esther really, really believed that my white skin reflects the sun.

[Duh, Madam. It's physics.]

I've never read Twilight, but I saw/was forced to see New Moon in theaters in Nairobi last December. You know the scene where what's-her-face - Bella? - goes to tackle Edward from exposing his sparkly skin to the world, which would apparently kill him if he actually does it? And how is skin makes rainbows all around him because it reflects so much sunlight?

That's what I think of when Esther tells me my skin reflects sunlight.


That means my students think I'm a vampire.