After the whirlwind of the first two weeks of language school, things settled down quite a bit this week. It was eventful but not as mentally exhausting. Plus, we have today off school. J
I spent the entire day shopping with two friends on Saturday. It was great fun to browse the women’s clothing stores, shoe stores and home decorating boutiques. Then, we sat down to a nice lunch. Following this leisure, we raced through Nakumatt, the giant supermarket, for all our necessities for the week. The plan was to be finished in an hour or two so that we could drop our stuff at our houses before I had to pick up Colleen, our teenage friend from the States, from the airport. Well, as usual, things took a lot longer than expected. “Everything takes longer in Kenya,” rang through my mind. As it turned out, we literally crammed everything into our SUV and headed to the airport from the mall. There was no way Colleen’s luggage was going to fit inside the vehicle!
Traffic wasn’t as bad as I expected but we did pass one accident. As far as we could tell, a pedestrian was hit and killed, for we saw no damaged cars. Fortunately, there is an ambulance system in place in the city. As we passed the body, the ambulance crew was getting ready to remove the body from the road. My stomach was in knots already from the standard swerving and stopping and going. Now, my heart sunk from this sad event.
After we arrived at the busy airport, we waited for quite a while until we saw Colleen exit the arrival gate. We were getting worried that something was wrong or that her luggage hadn’t made it. All worry was in vain. She just looked for her luggage at the wrong baggage claim! As soon as we found her, we strapped her suitcases to the roof and loaded ourselves into the car to make the long trip home. Although there was no more traffic, we didn’t get home until after 11pm. What a day! It took us all day Sunday to recover.
Monday, the beginning of a new week of classes, was the start of the “Big Black Book.” We knew that it was coming and that our first exam would follow the 20th unit. What we didn’t know was that we were skipping the first 7 lessons! Fortunately, that was the only bad news we got Monday morning. Our teachers gave us two pieces of good news: 1.) We were going to the market for our first field trip and 2.) We would be recognizing American Independence Day by not having school! The week seemed much more manageable all of the sudden. J
The Big Black Book isn’t as scary as we thought it would be. In fact, most of it has been review. We skipped the first 7 lessons because we already know how to greet people properly. In lessons 8 through 12, we learned how to order food at a restaurant, which is an important skill here in Nairobi.
Colleen is doing awesome with the kids while we are in class. She attends their morning class and then takes the 4 littlest ones on ‘safari’ while the older kids and the parents are in class. In the afternoons, she stays at home with the boys. Levi naps, and Noah and Jacob do their English school with her assistance. By the time we get home at 3pm, there usually is a mess of Legos in the living room and the boys are complaining of severe hungry. After a snack, they do their chores and then there is more play time. (It’s such a hard life!)
On Thursday, we practiced for our market outing. Then, after chai, we loaded into 3 vehicles to drive to Limuru. Aaron and I successfully purchased mangoes, apples, oranges, bananas, onions, a pineapple and a watermelon at the market. More importantly, we practiced our Swahili with strangers. (It’s much easier to converse with our teachers who know what we’ve learned…and who speak slowly!) After the market, we visited a little supermarket to buy more bread.
And then, we were off to the restaurant. We both ordered in Swahili and got what we intended to order! I ordered “kuku na mukimo.” It was good, and cheap.
When we got back home, which was around 2pm, we started our long, holiday weekend. Wahoo!
Today, the 4th of July, we celebrated in true American fashion. The sun was shining so we set up a little picnic area in the front yard. We ate watermelon, hot dogs and sausages with all the fixings (except rolls…they’re just hard to find and not quite the same when they are found, so we used sandwich bread), macaroni and cheese, pickles, breaded cauliflower, and brownies for lunch. We washed it all down with lemonade. It was a nice little taste of Americana.
Hope you’re having a blessed, beautiful 4th of July! God bless America!
Praises and Prayer Requests:
- Praise God for our freedom, both in America and in Kenya!
- Praise God for all the men and women who sacrificed (and are sacrificing) so much so that we can enjoy our freedoms.
- Praise God for our great week! We’re learning and using our new language skills. We’re all healthy. And we’re all having a great time!
- Please pray for the family of the person killed on the highway to the airport. May God use this tragedy to draw them all closer to Himself.
- Please continue to pray for our minds to learn as much Swahili as possible, for Tenwek Hospital and all the people serving there, and for our precious unborn baby.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. Psalm 33:12