Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wedding Thoughts

Here is just a random mix of thoughts that are running through my head concerning my wedding:

  • I am less interested in the wedding but more focused on getting married. If at the end of the day, I am married to Kelvin I will be a happy lady. 
  • I am sure that people in Kongowea are more excited for my wedding than I am. It is the buzz in the community. Talk of the town. Women are fussing more over what they are going to wear, how they are going to do their hair, their jewelry, their make up than I am. You would think Kelvin is some sort of politician with all this hype. If we didn't make it an 'invitation only' wedding, I think we would have 600 people there. No jokes. 
  • Speaking of invitations, they seem to be a major issue. Everyone we meet is asking for their 'card'. We  have issued all the cards so if you didn't get one, you can't come. Period. So please don't fuss. We invited 320 (yes...320) of our closest friends and family. If you weren't invited, that means you are probably not as close to us as you think. Another thing, please don't ask for a card for you teacher, pastor, friend, etc. I had my sister-in-law tell me I need to invite the teacher of my other twin sisters. I said NO. 
  • We even have people who are willing to pay for their friends to get into the wedding. We have to keep a strict number because we are paying per head (which isn't usually done here). Once we explain that, we have people who are offering to pay for their friend's to get in. 
  • We have invited all of Kelvin's family from upcountry (trust me, they are an army of people themselves) but we are not providing their transport, a place to stay, or a new outfit for them. Because of these 3 factors, most of them won't come. But we still get calls from them asking for money to come. I am blessed to have an awesome mother-in-law who totally agrees with us and doesn't even push us to hand out more money. She is not even allowing her own family to stay with her in Mombasa. I am so thankful for her. 
  • People are admiring how 'simple' our wedding is. We are not doing some key Kenyan things like decorating the cars or hiring professional make up artists or wearing excessive jewelry. We have also decided to put a big bowl of candy as our centre pieces. Never heard of here in Kenya. I love it. 
  • We got our wedding song the other day and Kelvin can't stop listening to it. Honestly, I have fallen in love with it too. The local band we have wrote the song especially for us. It has our names, our parents names, our hometowns and everything. LOVE IT! 
  • I love being called 'Bibi Harusi'. I will miss that once I am married. 
  • Prayers are being offered all over the place for us. My sister-in-law told me yesterday how her church just finished 3 days of fasting and prayers for our wedding (meaning they didn't eat or drink for 3 days because of us). Part of me is so humbled, but part of me thinks it is a little crazy. 
  • I am no longer going to fuss over whether or not my bridesmaid dresses are going to fit properly. I am making all of them even for 2 girls from Canada. Because we didn't get measured properly by the fundi who is making them, they could very well not fit well. However, I was at a wedding yesterday and saw that the majority of the clothes the women were wearing did not fit them properly. It worked and no one cared. 
  • Our marriage license has costed 6 times more than we thought it would. With all the special letters we had to get, my trip to Nairobi to the embassy, a special license to marry outside, a special license to marry a kenyan and a foreigner, and all the other small details, we probably could have put a down payment on a house. Ok, not that extreme but it was a lot of money. 
  • As we sat at the registrar's office to get our license approved, we watched countless young black ladies and white old men come in and get married. Some looked like they were in love, but many looked like it was just convenient. I was just so thankful for my relationship with Kelvin. 
  • Kelvin has been my hero through all of this. When people ask me if I am stressing over the wedding, I can honestly say No. But that's because Kelvin is doing most of the work. He is dealing with everyone who is being fussy, he is making all the small arrangements, he is calm, cool, and collected. I am so excited to be his wife!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I am putting a call out to all those graphic design whizz' out there who wouldn't mind helping us out a little.

I am starting to get the Christmas packages ready for the boys. I want to order the t-shirts for them soon. I wanted to design some sort of logo to go on the front of the t-shirt. Actually, I wanted it to be the official logo for the team (cause we know that any great football team needs an emblem/logo).

Now, I thought I could do it myself but after spending hours scrunching my eyebrows at my computer, I realized that I do not have the appropriate programs or enough graphic design skills to do it.

So if you would like to give your time and talent and bless our team with their own official emblem, please let me know. It would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tea and Chocolate Covered Digestive Cookies

Sunday morning I got the phone call I had been dreading. I knew it was coming sooner than later but when  I saw my home phone number show up on my tiny Nokia phone, my stomach dropped. My precious daddy, keeping it together for me, sweetly told me my grandmother had passed away. 

If you know me well, you know that my granny and I didn't have an ordinary relationship. She was more than my grandmother, she was one of my best friends. Naturally, I am completely heartbroken after losing my 'bosom buddy', as my granny used to say about her closest friends. 

We never lived near my granny so when we got the chance to go visit, we were elated. Our parents used to drop us off at their house (my grandfather was there when we were younger as well but it was granny who did most things with us), and spoil us completely rotten for a few days. She would take us to the Castle Fun Park and give us $20 to buy tokens for all the games. We would collect tickets upon tickets and granny would take them home, organize them, and save them for us so we could 'cash' them in for a big prize.  She would take us to the movie store and tell us we could rent as many movies as we wanted. We would get home and sink into the couch for hours with our eyes glued to the TV. Sometimes she would even come along and scratch our backs lightly with her long, delicate fingers. She always made me a cup of tea, the british way, and adorned a saucer with chocolate covered digestive cookies. Her tea was the best I have ever tasted. Grandma never failed to send us a card for every occasion. She would rarely spend more than $1 on a card but always made sure it gets to us. The last one I received from her was an engagement card that she sent all the way to Mombasa. 

She was such an elegant woman. She made everything look elegant. She had beautiful broaches, berets of all colours, beautiful necklaces, and classy outfits. I think it was largely due to her upbringing in the 'Old Country', Wales. Because of this upbringing, she had the greatest vocabulary. I wonder how many grandmothers told their kids to go upstairs and do their "ablutions" before they went to bed. Or used the phrase 'three sheets to the wind' to say that someone was drunk. I wish she had written down all the crazy idioms she used to come up with. We loved her for that. And even after living in Canada for most of her life, she still pronounced 'water' as 'wauter'. 

We grew closer as I got older. I used to fight with my dad over who was going to call grandma that day. I loved talking with her. We even knit a whole blanket together one summer. It still sits on my bed. She gave me her car which my brother now drives. She was always there to say goodbye to me when I left for Africa. I always thought it would be the last time I saw her. However, she was always the first face I saw as I stepped off the plane back in Canada. And, of course, countless afternoons drinking tea and eating chocolate digestive cookies.
When I came home from Kenya in 2007, my dad broke the news to me that she was diagnosed with cancer. This broke my heart. The cancer she had was not curable but was treatable. They gave her a couple years to live if she was willing to endure the horrors of chemo. Which she did. I was in Vancouver when she went through her first bout of chemo. It was nerve wracking but she handled it well. Slowly she started shedding her hair and she would complain that her finger tips and her nose would go numb (which also happened when she drank too much). She survived that chemo and the cancer went away from a while. Then it came back and she did the chemo again. It went away and came back. Went away and came. I lost count how many times she did chemo. We thought she would never die. We used to tease her and say she would outlive all of us. Her strength and positive spirit always amazed us. We knew she was suffering. She missed my grandfather every second of her life. It's no fun being sick and alone. But she never wanted to be a burden to anyone and her focus was always our well being even to the very end. 

The day before I left to get on the plane back to Mombasa, I spent one last day with her. I think we both knew it would be the last time we saw each. We talked a lot about Jesus and what was waiting for us in heaven (I am still not sure if she made it there). We cried a lot. We watched the Justin Bieber movie together and she even gave me a little dance move or two. We giggled. She told me a few dirty jokes and cackled at herself. She made me a cup of tea and opened up a package of chocolate covered digestive cookies. We talked and prayed. She told me about her younger years and all the things she had overcome. Finally I gave her one last hug goodbye then she pushed me out the door not wanting to turn into a blubbering mess. 

Finally the chemo stopped working and the cancer was taking over. Grandma was also tired and not willing to fight any more. She didn't want to be a burden to us anymore. So she went into hospice and slept peacefully until she finally stopped breathing on November 18th. 

I miss her already. I wish I could pick up my phone and hear her voice again. So keep us in our prayers. It has been a tough year with losing two grandparents but we are making it through. I am excited that my family will be with me in Mombasa in the next couple weeks where we can celebrate my wedding but also remember my grandma. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A guys day out

The day at the pool with the boys was a big success. They totally enjoyed themselves, acted like princes living it large in a fancy resort, poured their hearts out in some teaching sessions Kelvin facilitated, and bonded as a team. God did wonders and we are so thankful!

Kelvin told them to be there at 7:30am. We expected they would be late but most of them showed up on time.

Big smiles even before they got in the gates

I just joined them for the sessions that Kelvin held. I wanted to see their reactions to the things Kelvin was teaching them about. This particular session encouraged them to grow as young men, make goals, work hard, and trust God. My favourite part was when Kelvin encouraged them to remain pure aka keep it in your pants until you are married. Kelvin was speaking in swahili but he made some great gestures as he pointed down demonstrating the way 'it' should be pointed until they are married. He then told them that 'it' should not be pointed up and wagging all around. He moved his finger up and back and forth. We erupted into laughter. I think they got the point. 

Kelvin told me that, during the 2nd session in the afternoon, the guys really opened up about their self esteem issues. On the outside, these guys seem tough, strong, confident but in reality, it's just a cover. Kelvin was humbled as he listened to their hearts. Some of them told him that they don't like the way people perceive them in their community, that they are embarrassed when they are physically abused by their friends, that they feel like they always fail and never do well even though they work hard, and that (this was the hardest one for me to hear) some of their parents tell them they are worthless no bodies. Is your heart breaking for them like mine is? Kelvin dove into scripture and taught them what God thinks of them and how amazing they truly are. 

They had an awesome day.  Thanks to all those who helped make this happen!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Beach Day with the Team

As it is coming close to the end of the year and Kelvin and I are getting busier with all the wedding plans, we thought that we should do something fun with the team. Part of our goal with the boys is not just to be their coaches and put them into schools, but to mentor them, disciple them, teach them, train them in the ways of God and the ways of life. That's what sets us apart from other teams. And the boys know that the team is not an average team. The community also sees that we do more than just coach and give them nice practice equipment. Our goal is to create responsible, constructive, respected, and God fearing men in the community. Slowly, that is what is happening. 

Our plan for tomorrow is to take 25 of them to a local beach resort where we managed to strike a deal with the staff there to let us swim, give us lunch, and open up a small conference room for us for a couple hours in the morning. Kelvin has prepared a small workshop teaching the boys about growing into the people they want to and were created to be, growing closer as a team and brotherhood, and growing closer to God. He also has planned some team building exercises and games that they will do before spending the rest of the days chillaxing by the pool. 

Pray that this day would be fruitful, that the boys would be receptive to Kelvin's teaching, and that they would bond as a team. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

No impediment to marriage

I am back safe and sound in Mombasa. The trip was successful but extremely draining. I travelled 18 hours on a bus in a 24 hour time period. I was fortunate to get a bus with air conditioning on the way to Nairobi (something I didn't pay for) however it felt like the middle of winter inside the bus. We were all shivering. Once the driver turn off the AC, the bus got all humid and soggy inside as none of the windows opened.

I arrived in the morning, grabbed a quick cup of coffee, and got a matatu to the embassy. I totally enjoyed my time at the embassy. I loved seeing the red maple leaf, pictures of our leaders, some native art, and Canadian documents. The place was clean and friendly. I even had several Canadians, who liked like some pretty serious diplomats, ask me if I was ok and was getting good service. The letter I needed took all of 10 minutes to process. The consular also encouraged me to register online that I am in Kenya so that Canada knows of my whereabouts. I left there just so blessed to be from a country that actually cares about me and my welfare.

I went and booked a bus home for 1pm, had a quick lunch, and waited for the bus. Some guy took my seat and refused to move claiming that it was his. I asked to see his ticket and it definitely did not say C1 but I chose not fight. I took his seat instead only to find that it was soaking wet and stinky. I think they had left the window open and it poured with rain. Thankfully, I brought an extra T-shirt with me that I put on the seat. The bus left an hour late and got stuck behind some slow moving semi trucks. The men in the bus kept having to pee so we stopped the bus every hour or so making me rather impatient. I bet most women had to pee too but because we can't do it discreetly, like men can, we have to hold it. So why don't the men just try hold it like the ladies?? This is so typical of Africa and a huge pet peeve of mine. Anyways, we didn't arrive in Mombasa till 10:30. The dashing and ever-so-handsome Kelvin came and picked me up and escorted me home. I was pooped.

I got what I needed, a document saying I can get married, and I am grateful to be back in Mombasa.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nairobi and back in 24 hours

Tonight I am headed to Nairobi so I can go to the Canadian High Commission first thing in the morning. I need a letter from the Canadian government stating that I am not married in Canada in order for us to get a marriage certificate here in Kenya.

I hope to get there in the morning, have a cup of tea, and go straight to the Consulate. I am praying to be done fairly early so I can get back to town and catch a 1pm bus back to Mombasa. I don't want to spend more time in Nairobi then I have to.

This morning I woke up feeling pretty terrible. Throughout the day, I have started feeling better but am still pretty weak, have little appetite, and have a terrible headache. Pray that I would stay healthy on this quick, whirlwind journey.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Kenya just doesn't have the same 'stuff' that we do in Canada. That 'stuff' that makes life just a little bit easier. 'Stuff' that perfectly fits, never breaks, always smells good, etc. There are days where I miss small gadgets (life swiffers and vacuum cleaners) that make life just a little bit easier. But most days I totally love the simplicity of my life. 

Today I was quite impressed with my improvising skills. I wanted to bake a zucchini cake as I had this large zucchini in my fridge that I knew wouldn't get eaten. I also had one lonely egg left that was probably going to contract salmonella in the next couple days. So I set my mind to baking a cake. 

I have had some issues with my oven. Even on its lowest heat, it burns everything. When I make cookies, I can't let my eyes off of them for more than a minute or else the top or the bottom will burn. The only other things I do in my oven is bake chicken (which turns out great), roast zucchini slices, toast bread, or heat up something. 

So I put on my thinking cap and tried to recall everything I have learned about the way my oven works and how I should go about baking the cake. 

And this is what I came up with:

Yes, the baking sheet was a tad too big for me to spread out all the batter on to. I ended up taking a piece of cardboard, folding it, and then wrapping it with tinfoil to cut the pan in half. I then greased the tinfoil and the rest of the pan lightly with oil and smeared the batter inside. I also took a large piece of tinfoil and placed it on top so that the top wouldn't burn. I put it in the oven, on a higher shelf, and checked on it every few minutes. Once I saw that the bottom was pretty much cooked, I took off the tinfoil and let it bake another 2 minutes. And voila! The perfect zucchini cake! It sure is delicious!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


"the act of corrupting or the state of being corrupt, moral perversion, depravity, perversion of integrity, rot, pollution, foulness, contamination."

The other night we had an awesome conversation at my youth fellowship about being IN the world but not OF the world. The speaker's question was, "what would kenya look like if all the youth determined to live by God's standards and not the worlds standards?" There were some great answers but the one that really caught my attention was corruption. We would not be corrupt.

Corruption in Kenya is often linked to government and police. However, a pastor in the audience challenged us all with a humble thought. He explained, "Most times we think corruption is for other people yet fail to realize that we are doing it to but in small ways. For example, after this meeting we know there is tea and mahambri (a local donut-type food). The church provides 1 cup of tea and 1 mahambri for each of us. Yet most of you go and take 3 or 4 mahambri which are suppose to be delegated for others. In the end, people don't get their share because you were greedy and took it."

We all laughed because we all know it is true.

My roommate explained to me the other day about the lunch program at his school. He said that they used to be able to go out of the compound at lunch and buy from some outside joints. However, the principal's wife decided to make a business out of it and opened a small lunch program in the school. The principal then banned them all from leaving school property forcing them to buy from his wife. And my roommate said the food is horrid. At the expense of his students, the principal is allowing his wife to make some money. Disgusting.

I then remember volunteering in a small Christian nursery school. The children used to give the snacks to  the teacher to keep in her desk so that the monkeys don't snatch them away. At the end of the day, the kids would line up to get their snacks from the teacher. As the teacher handed each snack to the kid, she would take a large sip or bite. If it was a juice box, she would push the straw in and take a few sips. If it was a bag of peanuts, she would rip it open and pour a whole bunch into her hands. I was mortified as I watched this supposedly God fearing teacher taking from her students what has been delegated to them.

Most people don't realize they are corrupt. Maybe they don't truly understand what corruption is. From what I understand from scripture and other definitions, corruption is taking something that wasn't delegated to you in the first place. 

So at the end of the youth fellowship, we all headed over for tea and mahambri. As I was chatting with a friend, she blurted out, "I am going to get another one. I'm so hungry. Do you want one?" Appalled, I asked her, "Did you not listen to what was said today? You realize you are taking from someone else what is theirs." "Yes I know but I am so hungry." She replies.

I don't think she was very impressed with my response as she didn't talk to me the rest of the night.

Surprise Bridal Shower!

Yesterday, Kelvin said that he was taking me somewhere special in the afternoon and that it was a surprise. He was acting funny all day so I knew something was up. Just as we were about to leave, I went to my room to collect my purse, and Kelvin ran out of the house. As I turned the corner from my room, a whole bunch of sweet girlfriends shrieked in excitement! I knew exactly what it was as I had been told I was having a surprise bridal shower but didn't know when exactly it was or what it would entail. 

So we all shrieked a little followed by bigs hugs and lots of gabbing. We all sat down in my house and devoured a cake and 3 bottles of soda. Rahab, my best girlfriend here in Kenya, had organized the whole thing. She brought a married woman to come and talk to me about marriage and give me some Godly advice (although I didn't quite agree with all of it but that's not the point.) It was a sweet couple of hours with lovely ladies. 

Then then showered me with some random household items including glasses, bowls, cooking utensils, serving plates and spoons, a grater, and a nice photo frame for my house. I was completely humbled that they would get me some pretty sweet gifts (I know its not easy for them to fork out the money for this stuff). 

It was a precious afternoon that's for sure. Completely unexpected and totally humbling. 

Rahab and Juddy getting ready to start the shower agenda.

I took pictures with everyone who gave me a gift. This is Tina (right) and Faith.

All my gifts. My house is becoming so Kenyan. 

A happy "Bibi Harusi" - Bride to be

This was my favourite gift because it is totally and uniquely african. It is called a kifumbu and it is used to make coconut milk. I guess you grind the coconut with a grater or a local contraption called a mbuzi. You put the shredded coconut inside this tube thing along with some warm water and then you ring it out to get the milk. I will have to try it one day. I am so excited to show my mom it!

Martha is also in the beginning stages of planning her wedding. She will be the next one to have a bridal shower. 

And the lady who put it all together, Rahab. I thank God for her. She is such a gift to me. I have very few white friends so to find a deep, meaningful friendship with a Kenyan has been a gift straight from Heaven!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Ant Diet

I was chatting with mom last night about the frustrations of power outages. I was explaining that, for some reason, our apartment and a select other few in our compound had no power. The apartment next to us and across from us had stima (electricity), but not us. Because of this, my freezer started melting and water started leaking from my fridge. I couldn't boil any water to drink so my water supply was running low. It was a good thing there was a slight breeze so the fan wasn't completely necessary. My computer was almost dead. I wanted to save a little of the battery incase of an emergency.

As I was talking with mom, she blurts out, 'I couldn't live without my computer. It has all my work and everything. I just couldn't deal with that.'

"Yes, it is frustrating sometimes but you learn to live with it. The thing that is really bugging me is all the ants in my kitchen!"

I then continued to tell her how all my food is in the fridge so the ants can't get at it. The sugar, peanut butter, and rice doesn't need to be refrigerated. But in my house it does. Every morning I wake up to a stream of ants flowing in and out of the smallest holes in my kitchen. I have tried to block their little gateways but they find a new one. It drives me up the wall. I have succumb to the fact that ants are now a regular part of my diet. They are small so you can't see or taste them if you cook them, and they are terribly difficult to pick out of your food.

Recently I have noticed these bites on my body. I know they are not mosquito bites. Usually, I feel some stinging sensation on my skin and then a day later a big welt emerges. This welt is incredibly itchy for days until it turns into a small purple dot and then disappears. It then dawned on me that, I usually feel the stinging as I am dealing with ants. The sneaky little creatures not only take over my food, but also attack my skin!

"aw, nik, that is gross! I don't know how you deal with that. I can't believe it." My mom exclaims.

Sometimes I don't know how I do either. Grace, that's all I can say.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Church with Girls and Eid ul Hajj

My prayer last week was to go to a girls school. I came home one day a little discouraged, after a game with the boys, and just craving to hang out with a group of girls. I prayed about it and even told Kelvin my desire. I absolutely LOVE hanging out with fiery, sweet, girly girls. It's rather ironic because I am totally not that kind of girl. But I love girls who are. 

On friday, I went to my regular bible study/youth service meeting that Word of Life puts on. At the beginning of the service, I overheard some people talking about how they are going to lead the service at Mama Ngina girls school this sunday. I didn't show it, but I SO wanted to go. Mama Ngina girls are so much fun, full of energy and zeal for God, and have hearts focused on pleasing Him. Anyways, throughout the service, I kept telling God how much I would love to go but only if He allowed it.

At the end of the service, my old boss from Word of Life pulled me aside and mentioned that they needed more girls to go and someone to do a testimony. Not wanting to show my sheer excitement, I said, "Sure. I would love to. Be there at 8am sunday."

The Mama Ngina girls didn't disappoint. 3 hours of song, dance, laughter, encouragement, love, testimonies, the Word of God and so much more. My heart was full that's for sure. After the service, Kelvin and I stayed behind and had some time to chat with a few of the girls. I value sweet conversations with young ladies who are putting God first in their lives. 

 Boy, can they ever sing and dance! I will try upload some videos I took of the service. The choir had come and sang an incredible song that sent goosebumps up my spine.

After the service, we headed for lunch in Kongowea. Sunday was a Muslim holiday which celebrated the end of Hajj, the 10 day pilgrimage every muslim is suppose to make to Mecca. With any Muslim holiday, you know there is going to be GOOD food.

And I was not disappointed. The family we went to eat with made amazing goat biryani, probably the best I have ever eaten before. And I am not usually a big fan of goat meat. 

However, the meal was about the only thing I like about the situation. It was rather uncomfortable for me. After the eating, everyone started pulling  out the alcohol, cigarettes, and miraa. Hmm, not my fancy. Kelvin and I were about the only ones who were participating. However, Kelvin had an advantage as he could speak swahili. He could connect. As for me, I struggled to connect. I don't drink, smoke, chew drugs, or speak swahili so I was a fish out of water. What made it worse was that a cousin of Kelvin's had brought along her much older, european fiance. He was a nice man but, in the midst of all this, the man was handing out money and supplying all the drinks for everyone. Again, not my style. The people were lovin' being showered with cheap pleasures while I sat in the corner, struggling to connect. 

I think was surprised me the most was that we were celebrating a muslim holiday and yet they were doing the most 'unholy' of things. I was chatting with one, who had just come from filling up on the local brew, about how he has to stop drinking, wait 40 days, and then go to a mosque because right now he is 'unclean'. He kept telling me how much work it is to stay 'clean' for allah. I took this opportunity to talk about Jesus and how He can make us 'clean'. The guy insisted he could do it himself. I then decided not to continue trying to reason with him, especially as I smelt the alcohol on his breath. 

It was tough for sure. Kelvin noticed I was struggling and suggested we leave. My heart hurt as these are the people I so desire to reach and yet we are so disconnected. Afterwards, Kelvin and I went to a local resort to listen to a live band. While sitting there, I burst into tears.  The fact is that this week has been hard. More  than usual, I have felt out of place and like I really just don't fit in. I have made various mistakes, had people laugh and mock me, and get heckled wherever I went. After a tough week, the tears overflowed Sunday night. I didn't need to be encouraged. I just needed to cry. 

Kelvin was great and listened to my cries. Soon, we started talking about ministry, work, Jesus, how to really help the poor, how to really follow Jesus, and how, most times, following Jesus means that life will be tough. It turned out to be a pretty awesome evening as we poured our hearts out to each other, listened to the local music, and allowed the breeze from the ocean cool us down. 

This is a brand new mosque that was right next to Mama Ngina girls school. Because it was a holiday, the mosques were full. On our way to church, Muslims were outside praying. Mosques were so full that people were praying on the streets.

Goats lined the streets. 

Everyone is suppose to kill a goat and I think they are suppose to give some of it away to the poor. I am not sure how many actually do that but its good in theory.

It was an overwhelming Sunday. I am thankful for a new week!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Where to start...

Life has been overwhelming the last couple weeks. It has been hard but also it has been incredibly joyful and exciting. I am overwhelmed in a good way. 

First of all, I am reading a book that has rattled me up. The Hole in the Gospel is written by the president of World Vision. It is an account of how he accepted God's calling for him to take the position even though he had a high end CEO job. Then he talks extensively about what is happening in the world. The reality of poverty, war, disease, hunger, corruption, etc. That's about when I started to feel overwhelmed with hopelessness. There is SO much need, so how do you even begin to make a difference? How are we so oblivious to what is going on in the world? The West is so disconnected from it. I spent hours reading and my heart shattering into tiny pieces for how little we are helping people who literally HAVE NOTHING. I live in Africa and try to help the poor but even I feel like I don't do enough. (By the way, the book has totally convinced me not to buy a washing machine. I would rather pay some struggling single mother to wash my clothes. I actually tried to compromise and say I would pay someone to put them in my washing machine.) Eventually the author started to turn things around and offered encouragement to me, hopeless at that point, that I was not called to save the world but to obey Jesus and what He has asked me to do for the people He loves. I am called to be His hands and His feet, His love and His compassion, for those who are suffering. I think I am on my way there.

I still haven't even finished the book. I still have about a third left to read. 

Next, Kelvin and I have started marriage counselling. I am personally loving it. I am overwhelmed at the way God has designed marriage and what purpose it has. I am overwhelmed that God's gift to me is Kelvin, an amazing, loving, handsome, God-fearing, man. I am overwhelmed at how hard marriage and relationships can be especially as we strive to obey Jesus' commands to love, respect, submit, forgive, stay committed to one another for the rest of our lives.  I am in awe of my Creator, that's fo' sho. 

On that same note, wedding plans are coming along well! Only 7 more weeks to go! We are having some issues with the invitations. People are just not understanding that, if you are not invited, don't come. We didn't  give you a card for a reason. We have had numerous people ask us if they can bring their coaches, neighbours, teachers, and other people. NO! is my answer. People keep calling us asking for their invitation, as if we have forgotten it or it got lost. If you didn't get a card, it probably means you weren't invited. It sounds harsh but, at this point, I have to be. 

We have also found the apartment that we are going to move into once we are married!! It is a sweet little one bedroom place just up the road from where I stay now. Currently they are re-painting it and getting it all fixed up for Kelvin to move into it in December. After the wedding, I will join him! It has 24 hour security and bars on all the windows (my top priority) and flowing water (my second top priority). Gosh, 7 weeks can't come soon enough. 

On to the boys...

There are days where I am super excited about them and some days I am so frustrated. 

I am personally struggling to connect with the boys on a deeper level. My relationships with them are very surface level. Language is a barrier as not all of them can speak in English. I think the fact that I am white and I am a girl puts a bit more of a divide between us. And then I am more of a matronly/motherly figure. They have a lot of reverence for me. I bring most of the finances and they know that without me, Kelvin really can't do what he does for them. I guess it is not a bad thing. I think I like the respect and reverence they have for me. But sometimes I just wish to connect a little bit more. On the other hand, kelvin does an amazing job with them. They just adore him. I have no idea how he does it, but they respect and honour him to no end. 

We are having issues with one of them in particular. It's hard when you do so much for him and then he turns around and hurts you for no reason at all. I guess you expect him to change but that doesn't always happen. His issues are so much deeper than we understand or have the capabilities to deal with. We are just praying for guidance in how to deal with the one that has strayed. 

But then there are some who are making huge leaps forward and, if I dare say, are becoming some pretty awesome human beings. 

And I have been overwhelmed by the response to our call for Christmas gifts! People are stepping up from everywhere to bless these young men. I am so looking forward to doing some shopping for them! Thank you all!!! Asanteni Sana!

Then there is always the joys and tribulations of everyday life. Yesterday, I had a rough time at the pitch watching the boys play. I just got so much unnecessary attention from everybody around that it was exhausting and draining for me. I am white. So!? However, I am looking forward to a great afternoon with a good friend, chatting and chomping on home made cookies. Simple everyday blessings. 

All in all, I am overwhelmed. But oh so thankful for all that is going on in my world. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chillaxin' poolside

I don't take advantage of the beach as much as I should. I always tell myself that. Considering where I live, I should really purpose to enjoy myself when I can. It's not that I can't afford it, but I guess life just gets busy sometimes.

I pretty much begged Kelvin to take me to a resort for the day. We kept trying to find a day but things just kept coming up. We decided that today was the day and nothing was going to change that. 

My main reason for going was to try and even out this ugly tan I have on my back before my wedding. No one likes awkward tan lines in their wedding photos. 

I also wanted a day for just Kelvin and I to hang out. To enjoy being engaged. To just have fun with one another. We brought along some of the materials that we had been given for our marriage counselling and discussed it a bit. I am realizing more and more what a gift Kelvin is. A gift straight from God Himself. 

Half way through the day, I told Kelvin that we need to do this more often. He didn't agree. He then began to explain that this really isn't his thing. I guess I kind of got that vibe when he kept avoiding coming into the water to swim. I asked him what he likes to do then. His answer, 'play football. watch football. read about football.' 

This is actually the resort that my parents will be staying at when they come for the wedding. 

 I think I might even come by myself one day and just enjoy a day relaxing by the pool. Bring my bible, a couple books, and just hang out with God. That sounds like a lovely idea. 
The Kelvinator enjoying the pool on the sidelines.