well its been about a week since I left mississippi. so much to say that I am not even sure where to start.. ill see if I can just describe what we have been doing over the last few days..
got into brakenhurst around 9ish on friday night a bag short , a bit tired, but here. I couldnt really tell much about anything since it was dark – but the weather was beautiful and cool. when we left the terminal – there were so many people waiting for us to help and to greet us. the kenyans who were there were probably some of the friendliest people whom ive ever met, and although I didn’t realise it at the time –they are quickly becoming great friends. upon arriving at bracken – I started to see how beautiful this place is. the stars were to bright. its so nice to be out in the open among so many new plants that I don’t know.
then I got to meet the team who is here these first 3 weeks. I only knew a few of them – but now I feel as if I have known them all my life. I think our numbers are around 20 total people – of which include about 4 of my new coworkers with global connections. so many things to take in – that it has been a bit crazy. but really fun.
and I headed to bed…
and I have my own cottage.
saturday we headed to patricks house. patrick is the guy who runs the childrens center. his family lives on the most perfect farm that you could ever dream of. his mother has a house there – as well as patrick and his wife with their 5 children. the 35 boarders from LImuru Childrens Center met us there – and we got to meet the children for the first time. they were so cool. we hiked around the property and just got to know them – while just taking it all in. huge fields of cabbage, flowers, and other veggies were as far as you could see to the bottom of the valley. then on the other side of the property – tea fields. but the kids.. man – they were so cool and helping me to try and learn a bit of kswahili. so much fun. I even had my own personal photographer – as one of the kids grabbed the camera and just was taking pics of everything. he probably did a better job than me. getting back to the house – patricks mom told us how she started the center/orphanage. needless to say – we all were impossibly moved. she was so thankful for us – and I felt the same way. such a wonderful lady and family. and we said our goodbyes.
sunday we went to church at the local church – a 5 min walk from bracken – and had a great time. they were so welcoming and loved having us there. I didn’t understand much that morning – but that didn’t stop us from having a great time and feeling the joy that they felt. I haven’t met so many people ever who are so happy – and have so little. at least we think its little.
I guess that leads me to my next observation. ive never been to a place like this anywhere. ive never been somewhere among a people who are so joyful among so much poverty. im not even sure how to describe how the scene looks. narrow roads filled with people walking, growing crops on the roadside, donkeys, cows, goats, sheep and chickens roaming free on the road. the occasional cars passes flying by (on the wrong side to me..) and stores (read - shacks with holes in the sides and maybe a tin roof) with people trying to scratch out a living, lining the streets. then all of a sudden you come to compounds with huge walls and guards and the most beautiful house you could think of. complete with monkeys in the trees and more flowers than you can name. im not doing this any justice – so I think ill move on for now.
monday we were at the newer center all day working. we had several projects going – and got most of them done. played with the kids and hung out with the workers.
tuesday we were at the original center – and it was so much fun. I got to help cook, as well as wash clothes and play with the kids. once again – everything is so different. the ladies who work there and live with the kids are so cool – they just make you smile with one look. then – you get to talking to them and you cant help but just light up. amazing people – and so happy. man it makes me think about so many things. they helped me smile. they were so excited to know that I was staying – and I am not sure ive had so many hugs in a really long time. they were so excited that I was going to be a part of the family! things are gonna be a lot of fun. I spent the rest of the afternoon showing off the football (soccer) skills that I did not have – then we left for dinner at about 5.
and today was spent seeing and helping at several different places that im sure ill be seeing more of in the weeks to come. and as I spend more time there – I will write more. one was an HIV/AIDS support program that my new friends Duncan and Cornell run. the other was a feeding program that an older English lady has been running for a really long time now. I was blown away – and I am so excited to just jump in and see what can happen. but more on that later.
ill be here at bracken until I think the 12th. internet is limited a bit – but I can get on this some. I should get a phone number on friday – and maybe ill know my address soon too. ill be moving to the farm soon – and it is amazing. seriously – it looks like something from the movie out of Africa. we have about 10 acres to farm, an amazing garden and space for hogs, chickens and cows. we even have avacodo trees in our front yard… im so stoked… I promise pics soon.. I miss you all – and if you have not been to africa – you really should. your heart will be blessed.