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Full Moon

USA | Wednesday, 18 September 2013 | Views [272] | Comments [1]

Almost a smile...

Almost a smile...

 

What would you do with no phone, no tv, no internet, no bar or restaurant, knowing it’s not safe to go out at night unless accompanied by a local you trust? Since there’s no way to call that local because you happened to purchase the wrong phone credit, you would feel a bit trapped. I do. Thank God for Grace, the hostel host. She let me put the credit on her phone and at least call the only place that delivers dinner - a Chinese restaurant. Even then….more rice!

I had a pretty frustrating day to be honest. I didn’t sleep well in the new place. With nothing to do, I had gone to bed early, therefore woke up early, then every couple of hours, due to noises outside the window. I had been given a room different than what was shown to me and the bed was smaller and the room up front toward the gate so I really could hear everything. And SOMEONE has yappy dogs. A lot of them. The only dogs I’ve seen in this town are Moshi dogs. They all look pretty wild and are medium sized. Not a single yapper. They bark enough to be annoying, but nothing like a little yapper. Some ex-pat neighbor must have shipped over the little ones and then put them outside at night to annoy all the neighbors. I’m actually surprised no one has poisoned them (and no, I will not be poisoning them). Anyway, I had the day planned to meet Neema at 8:30 at Khuba and then go to look at a school called the Light House that was working really well, just to get a sense of another project. Then I was going to meet “the ward” that potentially had a building Neema could run her own school in. I just wanted to get the information for future. After that, I would take Neema to our project to meet the teachers, the kids and see Frank. Perfect plan. I had told my piki piki (motorcycle driver) to come at 8:15. No one is ever on time here but at 8:30 I asked him if he was still coming. He said yes but that I had told him 8:50. Big sigh. So, my day started late, AND I was groggy, AND I’m crampy, AND it’s the full moon haha….grrrr

We got to the Light House and it looked like they were doing really well. They had 15 children from babies up to about 6 years old. They sang some songs for us and even the littlest ones knew Father Abraham. I spoke to the teacher a bit and it made me think about how much we are paying our teachers for the time spent teaching compared to these teachers. They are 6 days a week and we are only 3 half days right now with half the amount of kids. I know bringing this up with Frank will cause him to think I’m doubting him but it has to be discussed. We left there and walked to talk to the ward of the other building. They would be able to meet us at 11 but it was 10:15 and we needed to get to the project. It’s hot, dusty, I’m a bit crabby and did I mention tired and crampy? Neema called two drivers and off we went to the project. Class was in session, Neema said hello to Frank then went in to meet the kids. We have one more boy, Isaack. Sweet, quiet boy and we think he’s about 4. I went out to have a chat with Frank which generally doesn’t start off well (when it’s serious stuff) but ends ok. He finds my questioning as a personal attack but it’s really just me making observations of how successful schools are run, and I’ve always learned if you want to be successful, copy those that work! However, in this culture people get offended when comparing your school to other schools- who’s is better, etc. It’s really silly and it was a frustrating conversation and I am still a bit frustrated, but these are necessary conversations to have if we are to move forward. Maneuvering around deep cultural differences has been more challenging than imagined but I’m so grateful to be able to be here to do so!

The kids are outside. I’m standing inside listening to Neema and Frank argue about the syllabus. Every once in awhile I step in to mediate when business mixes with personal. Our two teachers are sitting silently observing, looking a bit uncomfortable. Then I look outside to the highlight of my day- seeing our Masai guard/gardener and James our volunteer, pushing the kids on the new tire swing. We have a tire swing! The first piece of our playground. The children are squealing with joy and I let myself get lost in the moment. This is why we are here. Regardless of our differences, of the drama of clashing personalities, of the cultural challenges...we are here to put smiles on these little faces and knowledge in their heads. In this moment, nothing else matters. In this moment, today is an awesome day.

The cab dropped Neema back at the school and Frank and James in town. I headed back to the Hibiscus to pick up my luggage and move to their sister hostel called Blu Palm a block away. This one is only $15 a night and I get a bigger bed/room and hopefully some peace and quiet. There is only one family here other than me. I chat with them a bit and then walk into town to meet up with Secky, a street artist I met last year. After being guilted into buying a piece of artwork (even though I do really like it) I wanted to meet up with James for dinner or a drink but I couldn’t get my phone credit to work (because I purchased the wrong one). While I was typing in the code, a man tried to snatch my phone out of my hand. Quick reflexes and a dirty look made him keep walking. It’s a pretty crappy phone- he wouldn’t have gotten much for it. :) I am actually surprised he tried that in broad daylight because I’m told if you yell “thief” the crowd turns into a mob mentality and beats the thief sometimes to death depending on the crowd. I’ll be careful not to yell that unless absolutely necessary. I’m not anticipating that it will be necessary. I’m a believer in the energy you put out there is what you get back and I’m really good about believing nothing bad will happen...and things really don’t happen to me that seem to happen to others. However, I was talking to a tourist that kept saying things that she was afraid of “don’t do this and don’t do that or these things happen” etc, and I started to become aware that I was letting that fear sink in as the sun started to set. That’s when the man tried to grab my phone. That might seem new-agey to some, but after taking a moment to adjust my thoughts, I felt fine. I’m not stupid, though, and headed back to the Blu Palm before dark since I know it’s not safe for me to be walking around after the sun goes down, and since I hadn’t been able to get a hold of anyone, I had few options. I made it back, of course, without incident.

Tonight the family staying here with me is out and it’s just Grace, a 22 year old who lives in the back house (I don’t think she ever leaves) and takes care of the guests, the Masai warrior guarding the house, and me. I finished my Chinese delivery and warm coke. Power just cut out so I’m sitting in the dark with my laptop, wondering how long I have until the battery dies. Looks like it’s another early night for me. Tomorrow I’ll walk into town and get credit put back on my phone- this time the right one. Maybe I can find a bike to rent. I bet my taxi driver has one he’d rent to me. That will be a new adventure!

Tonight I’ll spend some time in prayer- prayer for patience, prayer for guidance, prayer for divine connections with other like-minded people. I feel myself trying to control things and I really just need to hand over the reins...

Comments

1

You have gone through so much in the past 2 weeks and God has been there with you constantly teaching you to let go of the reins. You are an amazing woman with an open mind and heart to what needs to be done for these children. I admire your tenacity. Not sure I could do what you are called to do.
You seem to see the blessing in even the smallest things and that is a gift whether learned or gifted. Just keep on keepin' on! God bless your efforts. Love you

  Mom Sep 26, 2013 12:26 AM

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this is soooo LA :)

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