It is hard to believe we have been here for two weeks now! We have still to work out the rhythms of our life here. The week has been cooler and we have experienced rain but have been told that it won’t rain in earnest until October, the beginning of the rainy season. The rain certainly makes life more difficult for many here.
The people who are street vendors either at markets or along the roadside have their ‘work spaces’ turned into muddy, slippery areas that make it more challenging to produce their wares and or to keep their wares dry for customers to want to purchase. Sitting beside your small stall is trickier when it is wet unless you have a plastic stool, a handy rock, brick or log or a piece of thick cardboard. It makes me realise once again how much I have to be thankful for, none of which is my due but a privilege, the result of where I was born.
This week has seen a little change for Craig and I. Our vocabularies are slowly changing as we absorb more and more Swahili. As yet we are not able to string together very good sentences but we can group a bunch of words together that hopefully communicate our intended meaning… they just require a little decoding! Some sentences in Swahili are structured in a similar fashion to English where others are structured quite differently. Our language helper Susan is a delight. We enjoy her sense of humour, her patience with us and her encouragement as we mangle her language.
We have also changed the way we shop. In Australia, I would shop on a weekly basis but here we go almost daily to the shops as we must carry our items home which limits what we buy. We are also trying to live in a way that allows for us to be ready to move easily when the time comes for us to head to Tanzania. We have already made a move since being here! When we learned that a family was coming to Kenya for a short period and were going to be in a small, one-bedroom unit we happily moved out of our home to allow them to move in. We are now in the unit and I am so glad we moved as I would not want to be in this space with two little ones, it is just a bit too cosy for a family, though great for us!
On Sunday, we walked to the local AIC church where there was a call for change. It was an absolute delight to be amongst brothers and sisters in Christ. We had an amazing time of worship and we were even able to sing one of the Swahili worship songs as we had learnt it as part of our language study! The pastor gave a message that was challenging for the congregation and an absolute delight to hear. His call for the people of God to remember first and foremost that this is their identity; they are the children of God and to behave as the children of God in challenging times here in post – election Kenya was, I think, a courageous thing to do. He called for people to lay aside tribal allegiances and to talk and walk peace with their fellow Kenyans and brothers and sisters in Christ. We also shared communion together but we had to find someone from another tribe from ourselves and we had to serve communion to each other and pray together! My prayer is that I will continue to remember that Christ calls us all to live at peace with one another, wherever possible and to love those who would seek to make our lives difficult.