Friday, November 23, 2012

Asante Sana

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. It was my first time away from my family for the holiday. I can't lie it started out pretty rough. Traditions are really important to me and there is just a feeling that comes with watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, smelling the pecan pie baking in the oven, and getting ready to go running with my mom each year that I love and it is just not the same here.  I had a couple of meetings in the morning which were both great. I met with one of the young adults, Lydiah, to get feedback about our programs as we prepare for next year and then I met with Isaya, director of Nyumba Ya Tumaini.  Both meetings made me realize how lucky I am to be here in Kenya doing what I am doing.  When I woke up I was sad, which I am not discrediting because I think it is normal to miss my family, but by 10:15 AM (fifteen minutes into meeting number one) I realized there was much more to be happy about and thankful for this year than I even had last year.  Not only do I still have loving family and friends living back in the US, but now I have an incredible group of people here in Kenya and all over the world through YASC that love and support me as I get to be a part of what God is doing in Kenya.  I had to take a moment and say, "asante sana Mungu." That means "thank you very much God."  

Some high lights from last week were going to a water park, taking some of the kids to church, eating Korean food, and I got my hair cut.

Entering Splash. That red slide was fast!
For our end of the year celebration we went to Splash Water Park.  Splash donated all of the entrance fees for our team, the young adults, and the directors.  We spent the afternoon swimming, going down water slides, watching football, and playing pool.  I think everyone had a great time.  For those of you from the US and have ever been to a water park there, Splash was a kids dream and a parents nightmare.  Think of your experience and then remove all of the rules.  We could run and go down the slides 6 people at a time and no one said anything.  I am not advocating for no rules, but admittedly I loved the freedom.
Some of the young adults watching the football match

This is Adrian, the son of one of the local professionals we work with.

Water slides.

Some of the young adults playing pool.

On Sunday I was able to take 4 boys from Nyumba Ya Tumaini to church with me. We had fun, they helped me figure out public transportation all the way there. It requires three matatus so it is quite a journey.  Then on Monday night Natalie went back to the US for about 6 weeks so we went to a Korean restaurant called Big Mama's for her goodbye dinner.  The food was delicious. I call my mom big mama so I will have to take her there when she comes to visit.  In the coming weeks I will be visiting new organizations to learn more about child poverty in the community.  We want to meet more people passionate about it and learn what is being done about it.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving where ever you are in the world.  Christmas music is officially all I will be listening to.  Once again I am thankful for all of you and for this adventure I am on right now.  Asante sana!

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