Saturday, May 20, 2006

Christin's Kenya update

hello everyone!

as i write this, i have just finished working a very long day at New Life Home. We started early this morning and got done around 4 pm. All of you will be happy to hear that my last suitcase arrived yesterday and Stanley (our favorite taxi driver) took us to the airport to pick it up. when i brought it to NLH today, they were so thrilled with all that was inside. in fact, i got a couple of hugs and there were definitely some hidden tears. so thank you thank you thank you to all of you who supported this cause.

the babies at NLH are divided into four main groups: 0-4 months, 4-9 months, 9-14 mos, and 14-36 mos. some of the babies have already had major surgery for blindness, club feet, etc. even in a third world country, it's amazing the lengths that are possible with modern medicine. today three more couples came in to NLH to decide if adoption was what they were looking for. hopefully, it is something that they come to realize that is an amazing gift and they take advantage of the opportunity to have one of these amazing babies in their family.

it's hard to explain, but working at NLH has shown me how much one person can make a difference and positively impact the life of a child. when i am there, it is less time a baby will cry because they are hungry, the less time they will cry for attention, the more time they will get in someone's arms and be able to feel love and care. you can tell that each one of these babies just craves attention and love. i feel so blessed to be able to share mine with them.

just as an interesting side note, i thought i would share a little piece of kenyan culture with all of you. Matatus. don't know what a matatu is? let me explain it. imagine taking a vw bus from the 1960s. now tear out all of the seats--even the drivers. got it? now paint it up all crazy on the sides. then take a bunch of really narrow, vinyl covered, kitchen chairs (ie the ones in the kitchen on that 70's show) and duct tape them to each other and to the floor. Fit at least 15 in the van. now, stuff it full of people and drive like crazy. that's how people get around over here. they are scary! our taxi driver, stanley, gets so mad at them, it's pretty funny. now, add the scenery. take I-80 and put it right where O Street is in downtown. Take out all the stoplights, signs, and pedestrian crossings. imagine the chaos. now have people walking along on the shoulders, darting between cars crossing the streets, and trying to sell you stuff in between the lanes. then, it doesn't really matter that there aren't traffic lanes. because if 3 abreast fit ok, then they can fit 5 or more. driving on a shoulder? doesn't matter. so stanley was talking about how crazy these matatus were, at the same time he's driving on the shoulder, jumping curbs, and driving in the lane for oncoming traffic. but at least i trust stanley (i pretty much have to).

So, things are going really well here for the most part. The Guest House (aka convent) has been pretty interesting so far. The nuns are nice (it's part of their job description) and Morgan and i have been getting along really well. The food is still terrible! if i have to eat another plateful of rice tonight, i might just go to bed hungry :) we can shower everyday if we want, and we do sleep with nets over our beds. All in all, things are going really well.

if you've read this much, wow. thanks. and a shout out to justin and alecia for my new beautiful cousin, olivia christine. i'm so excited to meet her!



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