Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tomorrow it will be two weeks since we have arrived in Kenya. It seems much longer; not because the time is dragging but rather because so much has been crammed into our days, so much info stuffed into our brains. People's names to memorize, both those at the compound and the natives from church. Names of places, stores, and so much more. It feels like 100s of words a day are supposed to be added to our vocabulary.
  New sights have assailed us. Some are lovely, some fascinating, and some heart wrenching. Gorgeous plants, colorful birds, dirty mud shacks, piki-pikis, friendly faces, and  scarred beggers.
  This weeks focus has been the beginning of language classes. The first day, it seemed the teacher was trying to cram us, testing us, or something. But maybe it was just her way of learning to know us and figuring out our style of learning. Since then she has seemed much more relaxed and tho she might still get a little exasperated at us once in awhile, we are comfortable and frequently laugh together.
 Monday we were learning the numerous different greetings. The morning greeting, general greeting, and evening greeting. Also questions and answers such as, "Where are you from?" "My children's names are..."
 A few sentences from day two :  An japuonjre. (I'm a student.)....Wahero dak Kisumu. (We like to live in Kisumu.).....Jacob en fundi bao. (Jacob is a carpenter.)
 Wednesday was fun learning (or trying to !!!) 35 or so different drink and food names plus many other words to use them with. "Ahero madho chae mar chak gi skari." = " I like to drink tea with milk and sugar."
 Wednesday afternoon Jacob and Mahlon went along to bible study. It is becoming highlight for Jacob, as this gets him into native homes, helps him build relationships with the people, and I'm sure it helps build his vocabulary. It seems he's quicker at picking up on what the teacher is saying than I am.
 Today is my Mom's 65th birthday. The school children came over and sang Happy birthday and some gave cards. One of the lady's brought a plate of cookies down for her. Two others gave her gifts earlier in the week. One of the youth girls had offered to help me with baking or whatever so Sunday I asked her if she'd bake a cake for Mom's birthday. Well, yesterday Mom baked a cake saying that she figured I'd try to do one for her and this would save me the work..haha..so we have 2 cakes coming up. We invited a few people over for a snack/ party for after prayer meeting tonight. So we won't be eating all the cake ourselves:)
 Today in class we were learning kinds of fruit, parts of the day, and a number of verbs, their different forms, ( chulo..to pay. Asechulo...I have paid. Pok gichulo.... They have not paid.) And MANY more.
And now we have some new ideas for the next baby's middle name. We got off on a funny little bunny trail about how Kenyans give their babies middle names. If it's a boy the name will begin with "O" and for a girl, "A" followed by something to do with when or where they were born. So Joey's middle name could've been "Owino" because that means a boy born with the cord around his neck!
 A girl born on the way to the hospital might be "Ayoo". "yoo" meaning on the way :)
Jacob asked what Hannah's would've been since she was born while it was snowing. This was pretty funny because there isn't a Kenyan word for snow. We'd have to go with whatever the word is for "in a time of cold".
 Jacob just got back from running to town. I think he was able to find most of what was on my list except "cream of tarter". Not sure if he didn't know what to look for or if it's a foreign thing.
 Our crazy gas stove has no markings for degrees so we usually just guess for where to set it to bake. Sunday the chicken we stuck in was still partially frozen but till we got home from church it was quite crisp and the veggies were burnt. Mom baked bread yesterday and that turned out pretty good.
 Jacob had lemongrass tea in the one home he was in and wondered about making it. We were informed we have some growing in our back yard. Sure enough. Jake cut some up and used the garden tea recipe we had. Mmmm. Delicious ! I want to make another batch this afternoon for tonight's party.
 One of the most heart wrenching experiences so far was when we were in town last Sat. and a begger came to the window and I didn't have anything to give him. He looked old in a way yet I'm guessing he was a young teen. He had scars on his face and stitches in his head. He was on crutches and the whites of his eyes appeared a diseased brown. "please mama..please mama...please mama" he pleaded with such woeful pleading eyes. The other night when I was awake. I lay there thinking of him again. What could I do ? He haunts me in my memory and I pray someday I can see him again and at least give him a bite to eat. He makes my heart so sad.
 On the same block as the compound (I think. I still don't have directions all figured out.) Is this dirty dingy looking place. For awhile I thought it was a home and maybe it is. How unfair life is that I live on this side of the fence in all our wealth while just down the road are these dirty poor ragged people. Often tho I would see a bunch of extra people eating out there. So I asked someone and discovered this is a "hotel" ( a small restaurant)...hmm, next time we feel like eating out...:)
 Actually tonight I'm hoping to go down the road to another place. Heard we just need to take our own kettle and plate to the roadside stand for a cheap supper of beans and chapat.
 Well, I'd better close. God bless you each in where He has called you!
Well here I am am again...a few days after writing the first part of this epistle. I was waiting to send it until I could add pics but since I'm not used to transfering pictures from the new camera, and hubby is too busy, I will send this without. Sorry.
 Continue to pray for us as we struggle to balance language, family, and everything else going on. This afternoon Jacob is learning more of the business end of things since he will be taking over as compound secretary. There's a lot more to that than what he was expecting. It seems he is studying non-stop.
  May God bless you where He has called you also.  Oriti (good-by) Oh, here are just a few Jake may have shared on facebook....
sunset over Lake Victoria
Jacob doing visitation. The little guy was ok till Jacob picked him up, then he thought he was getting a shot and started crying.

 ~ Jan for the Gingerichs

1 comment:

  1. Sounds familiar! God bless you as you settle in and figure life out in Kenya.

    Much love, Darla