Combining Homes

Our clothes are sorted into dirty and clean piles (the dirty piles are considerably larger than the clean), the trash bags are bursting, and to most, our room looks like a hurricane has hit (to us, it has never been so organized). The floor is littered with journals, various charging cords, and extremely muddy shoes.

What I Have to Offer

As of today, I have been home from Kenya for two weeks. I was not ready to leave Kenya on July 17th when we flew out of Nairobi; yet, I had to stick to the plan that was laid out several months previous. Since I have been back on American soil, I have spent a large amount of my time sharing about my experience.

Family Across the Ocean

My homestay experiences have been great! I have learned so much about Kenya by staying with people and families in their local homes — instead of staying at a guest house or hostel all summer long. Most of all, I learned about radical hospitality as I entered the houses of strangers each week for four weeks. Yet, I also won’t forget about my African experiences that came from within the home.

Learning from the Rocks

When we all finally packed in the most amazing thing happened. As passenger 18 boarded and took her seat atop the lap of another woman she began singing and clapping, bellowing out songs of praise to God. Within seconds everyone was singing, clapping and dancing as best they could in the confined space. The truck swayed, less as a result of the bumpy road and more so because of the unified sway of a chorus of praisers and worshippers.


It came when I least expected it and much harder that I ever could have predicted.

There have been many physically demanding days of long walks in the sun and I knew there would be days where the emotional exhaustion would also drain me. However, no matter how much preparation you think you do, you cannot be ready to have your heart and soul broken down time and time again in the same time, within a matter of a few hours.

Seeing Through a Glass Darkly

The more time I spend in Kenya the more aware I am of how little I really know. I may have a pretty good understanding of some “facts” and I may be getting a deeper understanding of some issues, but as a mzungu (a term with varied definitions…the one I prefer is “traveler”) I am aware that I will never completely understand this complex culture or the individual lives within it. I have to be content with “seeing through a glass darkly.”

God willing … Be strong

When I leave someone’s company here, my tendency is to say something about how I look forward to seeing them again. Without fail, the response I get is “God willing.” For some, that response speaks to their belief that God controls all the minutiae of life and has a specific plan for our lives. For all, however, it is a recognition that life is precarious and illness, accidents or death can interrupt one’s plans at any time. Kenyans tend to have fewer illusions than I do about being in control of life.