Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Naivasha camping trip

Classes were officially over on friday as we did our last exam. We left Friday afternoon for a weekend camping trip to Naivasha. It was a new experience for me as I have never been camping in Africa before. I used to go camping when I was little with my daddy but we always slept in a tent trailer and had a gas stove to cook yummy food on. And camping just wasn't camping without marshmallows and jiffy pop. Well, this camping trip was a little bit different but still the same old style of camping I am used to. 

This is Chao. He is one of the staff at Word of Life. We had our church service looking out over Naivasha lake. It was beautiful. There are tons of hippos in the lake. Did you know that hippos are considered the most dangerous animal in Africa??? They seem so harmless.

This is Sammy who we affectionately call "Baba Nduko" which literally means father of stress. He isn't really a stressful guy but some of his buddies started telling us that he has a child of his own named 'nduko' which means stress. It was all a big joke but he will always be our wonderful Baba Nduko.

We were preparing sandwiches for the hike we were going for. They have never been more excited about peanut butter and jam!

Cooking for 30 people over a campfire was a challenge for me. For the others, they are used to it but I was amazed at their culinary skills. The food was delicious. Here, we were making pilau and beef stew. 

Here I am, little camper girl. My daddy would be so proud of me. 

Administering Antibiotics

I have a nasty cold. I thought it would just be a minor head cold but it has struck my whole body. I have troubles walking for more than a few meters without sitting down. My legs feel like mush. I have lost my appetite. I have a nasty cough and stuffed up head. Extra strength sinutab isn't doing anything. I am stuck in bed. It's a bit lonely and rather boring especially without a TV or someone to talk to. But I need to slow down and allow my body to fight the yuckies that are making me feel this way.

Yesterday I asked my roommate to pick me up some throat lozenges when she went to the shopping centre. She came back a few hours later with a package full of antibiotics. She told me that she told the pharmacist the symptoms I was having and the pharmacist suggested I take these antibiotics. I am very cautious when it comes to antibiotics. I was taught at an early age about the abuse of antibiotics that results in the resistance of them. I know that they only fight bacterial infections so what if my infection is a viral one? Back home, you can only get antibiotics if they are prescribed by a doctor. In Kenya, it's a different story. Antibiotics are cheap and easily accessible. Often it is the pharmacists (or chemists as they call them here) who will suggest them for you. I am not convinced they have the proper education to do that.

So now I have a package of antibiotics sitting in my room. I stare at it wondering if I should take it. Considering how I feel, I am tempted but being this unsure, I think I will stay away from them until I get permission from a doctor.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Akeelah and the Bee

Today I have a cold. It's not so fun but it is an excuse to sit in my bed and watch movies all day. I decided the watch Akeelah and the Bee this morning. It is one of those feel-good, underdog rises to the top, clean and pure movies. In the movie, it quotes this quote that instantly caught my eye. 

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

We are born to let our light shine. We were made to manifest God's glory that is in us. We were created for greatness and when we live anything but this greatness, we are robbing ourselves and others from the abundant life that Jesus has promised us. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dad's Adventure Challenge.

I am so proud of my daddy. I remember him telling me about this dream he had to be apart of the Adventure Challenge that raises money for Canack Place. My dad has a big heart for helping sick kids. He inspires me!

So he needs to raise at least $1000 CAD in order to participate in the race which in includes biking, kayaking and running. If you feel compelled to donate or cheer him on, check out his blog below!

Kere's Adventure Challenge

Way to go daddy!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Limuru Girls High School

I have been fortunate enough to have been able to attend a bible club a national girls high school in Limuru. I have begun to fall in love with these girls. They are full of psych and energy for Jesus. The two hours I get to spend with them on Saturdays are pure joy. This past saturday, we hosted a fun day at their school. We divided them up into two teams and they competed in various games, singing, eating, and dancing competitions. We had a few of our boys come and be their leaders. 

The girls had so much energy. They have a lot of 'tude. But its good and healthy. They are so animated and as you can tell by their faces, they were having too much fun. 

This is my friend, lovely Linda. I love getting to see her every saturday. She is from the coast so I might get to see her a few times when I move there. She is a precious girl with a soft and tender heart. 

Rahab was pooped out by the end of it.

Limuru is nestled amongst rolling hills of tea plants. If you look closely, the green is not grass. It is acres and acres of tea plants. I am always in awe when we drive through this area. 

We had an amazing day worshipping, glorifying and praising our great God. We had at least one girl come to Christ which was so wonderful. Thank you Jesus!!

Happy Birthday to me!

Yesterday was my 22nd birthday. Birthdays generally aren't a big deal here but my classmates made it extra special for me. I have to admit that I was a bit weepy in the morning missing my friends and family back home. Often, I really crave being around people who just know me well. But my friends here quickly made my tears dry up. I had such a fantastic day. 

My bestie Rahab baked me a delicious cake to share with everyone. I blew out all my candles as everyone sang their rowdy version of 'Happy Birthday to you'. They were banging on tables and jumping around singing in swahili. It was a hoot. 

Everyone was excited!

It was a special day! I am so thankful for the past 22 years of life that God has given me. He continues to guide me, transform me, and love me unconditionally!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Favourite quote of my week

Nikole "I really miss my dog."

Peter "Yah, I miss my hen too."

Weekly happenings

I found this beautiful moth in our bathroom last week. You can't tell but its about the size of my hand. Its as big as a bird. It is harmless though. I was scared at first but the thing is so huge I think it is a struggle for it to fly. 
This past saturday, one of my classmates took me home with him for a few hours to visit his sisters. His sister had prepared lunch for us and it was such a treat. You know in Africa, you can never be completely sure of kind of meat you are eating. I looked at the meat in the stew trying to figure out what it was. It definitely wasn't chicken and it was darker than beef. Finally, I ask and they told me it was liver. Yup, liver stew. I have never been a fan of liver but I have to say that this stew was delicious! I actually had seconds. Plus, it is so nutritional. I could feel my body absorbing the nutrients. Ok, maybe not quite. 

Class time! This is my desk and the people I stare at all day. They look a little tired don't they? When we get up at 4:30am and go jogging, by 11am we are exhausted. It's funny to watch certain individuals' eyes doze off. We have one boy who even pretends to read yet really he is sleeping. He usually sleeps for a few minutes, wakes up, looks around, changes the page, and pretends to read again. Its funny to watch. 

It's amazing to think that we only have a week and a half left of classes. Time seemed to have gone by so fast. Also, today I am able to say 50 verses word perfect! Its a cool accomplishment. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Guess what this lady is selling?

If you look closely, you can try and figure out what this lady is selling in the wooden box. It is edible and is a bit of a  delicacy here. 

It's called matumbo

aka. Intestines. 


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Kanyariri School

Last thursday we travelled about 100m down the road from our compound to a local school called Kanyariri. Most schools here have a Christian Union that meet once a week to share, be encouraged, learn from God's word, worship and so on. We often go visit these meetings bringing along skits, mimes,  and songs which portray a biblical message. I have never been one to act or really sing but I have to say that I love these outings. Some skits can be very powerful and really teach the students a lot. Singing songs of worship just melts my soul. I love it. I love being with the students loving on them and encouraging them in their faith.

Our ring leader, Makau, decided to sit amongst the students. He blends right in. 

This is one of my classmates, Joseph.

Peter was preparing to speak to the students today. He actually used to go to this school and was the chairman of the Christian Union. The group was excited to see him again. However, the rain put a bit of a damper on his preaching. It started raining so hard that you couldn't hear him over the sound of the the rain pelting on the tin roof. So we decided to sing! It was joyful! Singing in the rain, just singing in the rain. It was a great time of unexpected, unscheduled worship of our king. 

Eventually the rain did stop and we were able to continue our lesson from James 1 which encourages us to be joyful during times of trial. The rain was an unexpected trial but resulted in great joy!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Daily Discoveries

I learn new things every day that always fascinate me and often give me a good chuckle. I love sitting with my classmates and chatting about their lives. Here are a few conversations I had this week:

Me: "Sammy, when was the last time you cried?"
Sammy: "When I was 8 years old."
Me:"Oh, what happened?"
Sammy: "I was biten by a donkey on my leg."

Loma: "Nikole what is the weather like in Canada right now?"
Me:"Actually it is very cold. This is our cold season. We usually have lots of snow."
Loma:"Oh I think I would like that."
Me:"Yes, but Loma its very cold. If you think Kabete is cold, you would hate Canada."
Loma:"Yes, but then I could just keep my meat outside in the snow so that it would not go bad quickly like it does here."
Me: "Well that's why we have fridges so we don't have to keep it outside in the snow."
Loma:"Well why not? It would save you from having to buy a fridge and pay electricity."
Me:"Ha, sure I guess that does make sense."

Me:"James, let's practice our memory verses."
James: "Ok, 1 Peter 5:7 'Cast all your cares on him because he scares you."
Me:"Uh, James, thats not right."
James:"yes it is, yes it is."
Me:"No, its because he cares for you not because he scares you."

I love my classmates.


Yesterday we spent the day at a church on the other side of town. Often we are asked to come and preach or sing or act for local churches so yesterday we, the singing team, drove across town, through the slums to attend a service in Kayole. This church really touched me. First of all it is in the middle of a slum and it's painted bright blue. Then it is filled with children and youth as it is associated with a school.  The service was full of excitement. I was smiling the whole time as the entire congregation belted out swahili chorus' and moved their entire bodies to the beat of the keyboard. 

We were able to sing 3 different songs to the church. In Kenyan churches they often spend a considerable amount of time inviting various choirs and individuals to come and share a song or two. Often this can last for more than half the service.

My lovely classmate Rebbea made a small friend.

Our eyes we close, our heads we bow and time to pray!

It was a long and hot service but I loved every minute of it. The children thoroughly enjoyed having a white person around who was willing to play with them. At one point, I noticed that I had an entire following of children who were sitting around me as I stood outside listening to the sermon. It was precious.