Friday, 14 September 2012

The Final Countdown

Just a little of my last weeks in Kenya....

After being postponed several times the trip to Uganda finally took place! My backpacking friend Vincent and I set off on our short trip to Uganda in order for me to complete the sponsored Nile High Bungee Jump, with a few adventures along the way, and of course some dramas! These include calling Jinja 'Jinga' which means fool! This defiantly summed up the place in some ways!! Going to see the waterfalls at the source of the River Nile and being told 'they have been moved!' But you can still pay to see where they used to be!! Arriving in Jinja getting a motorbike and being taken round the whole of the town; to be what he thought was the bungee jump, actually turned out that he thought we wanted to go and swim! A bit of a breakdown in communication there, the policeman were like 'you fool!, you don't even know where your leading these people!' But we made it in the end to the Adrift Centre where we were beginning our adventures! We stayed in our 'backpackers' dorms 'Big Brother' eating looking over the beautiful view of the Nile in the morning and at Sunset was truly beautiful, trekking like 15kms around the town to Vinny's way of 'really getting to know a place!' realising the town is actually quite weird as it doesn't have eating places, there is all this random stuff, looking at hotels all very interesting experience! Oh and not forgetting to go and look at Lake Victoria to be taken to this back end of the town where they load boats full of supplies on the lake, trying to take pictures of the view, then people are abusing you as they think your taking photos of them, and then being told you cant, to which become very irritating and replying 'its a natural landscape created by God, how can you tell me I can't take pictures!!' Traveling to Kampala was also interesting! It took so long to get there to alight in this crazy city trying to find our way to the bus station that no one knew of! We made it in the end, was sure a mission though, as we were yet to eat and had very little money we found this place but they gave us moldy sausages that were not even eatable and tasted disgusting, certainly wasn't pleasant that's for sure!
And that was just some of our crazy moments of our time! We can laugh at it now but it did become all a little frustrating at the time!


So the actual jump was pretty mental! When we first got to the site and see the tower I was like that's not that high, didn't feel panicked or anything, after waiting for hours the time soon come! When I started walking up all the staircases to reach the top of the tower I begun feeling sick, and was like what am I doing!! When I got to the top I looked down and realised how high up I really was! Now it was in a completely different perspective! The tower is built on high ground so in actual fact before it didn't look that high but that wasn't the reality! I was now higher than satellite towers, trees, houses, everything!! WOW!
I was to sit in the chair whilst they tied my feet together with the rope, and talked me through the jump, at this point i kept looking down and was just like oh my word, i cant do this! I then had to stand up and waddle to the edge of which was hard without falling over, just felt like I could fall off anytime! As I was getting closer I could just see the height of the drop and was saying to the instructors I cant do this, wanting to turn around they were like 'you are doing this!' I had to get my feet over the edge and when my feet were hanging off the edge I had to put my arms on the roofing of the tower, then I had to move further forward taking my arms down and putting them out as if I was flying! I then was like I cant, can you not just push me, they were like we can you just need to get your feet over the edge! The instructor held my waste as I put my arms out, he let me go saying 1,2, BUNGEE! I jumped! I was going in slow motion flying then all of a sudden i dropped so fast touching the water and being sprung up and down several times, being flipped in the air! I can certainly say my heart was in my mouth, was an incredible indescribable experience! These 2 guys were waiting in a boat to release me were just laughing so much! Saying 'catch the paddle' when they were miles away! After getting out of the boat, my heart was still racing so much and my legs were like jelly I could barely walk! Was sure a crazy experience kind of surreal! But all in all I did it and most of all I did it for the home which was great, raising funds that have helped in the set up and running of the home great stuff!

I think that whole week was crazy as at the weekend I had been in Mombasa, came back to work for a couple of days then Headed to Uganda, arrived in the morning then travelled to Mombasa in the evening and spent a couple of days in Mombasa to head back to work for my final few days at work before my leave in Mombasa. All a bit mental but was just so much to do before I left, the main thing being getting and setting up the house!

Last days at work :(

After having a few days off leave for my Uganda trip, I headed back for what was my last days at work where I had to finish a big water tank donation with Kambui school, finish up on reports, bookings etc, organise everything for my handover to Maureen, say goodbye to the projects and much more!
On the Tuesday I was to have a meeting with Maureen my colleague and Carmen my manager (of my department) it turned out to be that our meeting was a surprise lunch date. We went to this lovely restaurant, which was a thank you lunch from our department and just reflected and talked of the year which was a great thing to do, it did make me begin to feel sad as so far reality hadn't hit me that I was actually leaving with being so busy! The friday was my final day at work, where my all of my work colleagues held a surprise leaving party, although I have to say I did find it all a little odd when everyone was not in the office and then Eve told me to lock the office at 3pm in the afternoon! Although it was a surprise indeed! Carmen gave a speech and thanked me for all I had done listing everything and saying all these lovely things, my general manager also which was really nice! Giving me a beautiful leaving present of african hand crafted jewellery kuzuri beads which were just beautiful! Petty made a cake, which was like the best cake ever!
All in all it was very sad to say goodbye and to know that I was actually living, it was the end of what has been an incredible journey. I have learnt, grown and developed my character, skills and abilities in so many ways through the work I have done it has been a great year, I just wish I never had to leave.

One of the hardest things about leaving my job was leaving the projects I have worked with for the last year having to really have gotten to know these people, watched them grown and develop in so many ways has been one of the hardest things. On Wednesday I went to the Power Women's Group which is support group for HIV/AIDS in Kibera Slums, it was so hard to say goodbye. The ladies went round each giving words, verses, encouragement to me which made me so emotional, i then shared my testimony with some of the ladies it was a real great way to end our time together. These women are amazing, they are inspirational in terms of the faith they have, the way they live their life, just truly incredible women it has been so great working with them having seen them grow and develop in so many ways, they have encouraged and impacted me in so many ways. I will truly miss these beautiful women.

My last time at Kambui school for the deaf was also emotional the kids were leaving to go for half term, seeing mixed emotions across all of the children's faces, it was hard to say goodbye to the children I had worked closely with and really see a change in the kids with special needs, such precious children. I loved this school!

When I came back from my leave, the day I was flying home I went to Angels centre for abaondend children, I have to say this was the hardest goodbyes and hardest project I had to leave as they really didn't understand I was leaving. The day I went 2 of the children were being collected by the German families they were being adopted by, it was a sad day for the home, a life changing day for the children, it was many mixed emotions! I had seen these 2 children grow and develop so much especially one of the boys who was so undeveloped, had HIV and a lot of health problems to now see him walking, happy and health is the greatest thing of all. All these little children are so special, they are so young but seeing how intelligent they are, seeing their own personalities shinning out at such an age, this children are amazing I have so much love for them, I just pray they all find loving families like Nate and Martin. I have seen these children develop in so many ways over the last year, was probably the closest project I worked with and defiantly had a big impact on me! Especially one little girl Joy (who I have previously mentioned) I would have loved to have adopted her, and as people have always said I never chose her, she chose me! I will defiantly miss her so much, it was so hard leaving her in a way I feel like she knew as she cried so much when I left and to walk away from her was the hardest thing ever.

My last 2 weeks

For the last 2 weeks in Kenya I spent most of it in Mombasa, it was pretty busy the whole time traveling back and forth trying to sort out the logistics of the house, moving in, starting work and all the rest of it was pretty mental! Especially the last 2 days! (More of this in  ) My last day was shopping for items, work at the house, setting systems up, was crazy nearly missed the bus to Nairobi being stuck at ferry, no transport,. quick goodbyes all a little mad! But amongst all of that was good to see people and spend time with them before I left especially some of the boys, a last time at the beach also, so was some good times in all! But very sad to leave Mombasa, is home to me. It was very difficult leaving the home in such a stage, wanting to be there in the set up, being there to deal with all the logistics, being there when the first child comes and all the rest of it, really being there. It was defiantly hard to leave, to trust the team I have, and to trust God with all he has given me to know that it will be ok. It is defiantly challenging but I know God has provided me with great people to assist so I have to know all will be well, not to say there wont be challenges along the way, but the greater the battle, the greater the victory! But very exciting times ahead, looking forward to seeing what happens, but a lot of prayers needed!

My last day went so quick, being very busy! Trying to check in, saying good bye to Angels, trustee meeting, trying to pack within hours of having to be at the airport, saying goodbyes, all a little weird really! I didn't feel like I was actually leaving even at the airport! Saying goodbye to Benson (driver at work) was very sad as he has been such a good friend to me, we would call each other best friend! He is one of the most humble, nicest people I have ever met! Such a great guy! My flight happened to be delayed, we wern't able to land, circling around in the air for a while but it finally was it I was back in England......

That's it, the year is over and now I am back in England! Sad face! The last few weeks have been very challenging and difficult, it has been hard adjusting back to the western culture, lots of changes and challenges that have taken place, friendships and much more. Adjusting back is hard, preparing for final year of uni, so not ready to study again. Its all hard at the moment, I am sure I will get there, sometimes it doesn't make sense as to why God has put things on my heart yet now I am back in the UK I dont get it but sometimes things are back to front, its not the ideal way, but thats the great thing about having faith! I know Kenya is on my heart, it is home to me, now I have to see what the future holds, its out of my hands and for us humans i think that is the hardest thing!

All in all it has been such an amazing year, one of the greatest years in my life, it is so hard to sum up into words but it has been a year that has really grown and developed my character in so many ways in my personal life and in terms of my course. I have seen outstanding things happen that have really stretched my faith and relationship with God, to truly depend on him. There has been challenges, hard times sure but its all strengthened me and made me stronger! I have gained so much its really broadened my mind, passion in ways I could not imagine! It wasn't just a placement year that's for sure! God does extraordinary things in ways we couldn't believe, and so much more! I believe its just the beginning of a greater adventure!

Follow  for updates on the home!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

The last 5 months of my life in Kenya

5 months have passed and this is the first time I’m blogging since being back, wow have these last 5 months flown by, I cant believe how quick they have gone, the thought that I have such little time left is a hard thought… so lets leave that one for now!

What have I been doing over the last 5 months? Well….

Coming back just felt like home but I come back to so much change at work moving offices, new staff any my manager deciding to step down from her role all made things very different, and with this I was given more responsibility in my job role which has been good for me and taught me so much.

Over the last 5 months at work we have had some challenging and difficult volunteers which has been so frustrating that you want to quit your job and pull your hair out especially after investing in them and organising so much for them! The most recent being a sorority group we had which were difficult to say the least writing awful feedback making me in tears and stressed at the end of it, boy were they hard work! You see the good, the bad and the ugly for sure, it for sure gave me a dislike towards Americans! But you then get the good volunteers who you stay friends with, one of which is already planning on coming to London!

I have really learnt a lot in my job role, and gained so much experience they say that after working in this industry in this job role, you can really say you can work with people! You can be tested to all lengths for sure! I learnt more than I ever could in a book including working with projects, and theory really seeing the life scenarios happen that you read about especially with volunteers and within the projects with development, working with and not for, the “hand out” mentality and much more! Reading “Helping Hurts” taught me so much and I really have seen this come to life which has grown and developed me so much in so many ways really know the right way to help and to empower many people within a community, and how to really help Kenyans, and what they need from outsiders. You see so many volunteers come and after trying to educate them they still don’t get it, think they know best don’t help but actually cause so much damage when they think they are helping, its far from it and it happens so widely, people really need to learn the culture, build relationships and get to know people first it’s the key!

It has been great to see the projects growing, building stronger relationships with the children within the different projects. God has really deep rooted such a love in my heart for these children and children generally especially those in poor and needy situations, who are less unfortunate.
Me & Joy
One special girl is Joy at Angels which is a centre for abandoned children. Joy is nearly 2 she is a child that wont go to anyone she will select who she goes to. The home has 10 nannies and out of them all there is only one she will go to, out of all the visitors the home has she wont go to anyone, I am the only person she will go to when I come she comes to me and if I leave her for a minute she follows, or wont let me. She knows if I have to leave she will grip on and hold me so tightly or pull on me so I cant let go, she will then cry so much when I leave, sometimes when my colleague goes there she comes looking out the window for me, she calls me mum and when the nannies ask her who mum is she points at me and then wont go to the other nannie she likes even. She gets very jealous if I’m playing with the other children they sit on me, hug me or hold my hand she starts crying.
Everyone keeps telling me I have to adopt her, she has chosen me! I have grown to love her very much. She is so young but yet you know her behaviour is rooted from how she was abandoned and being left. The day I have to leave her is going to be so hard knowing she wont be able to understand.

Free Spirit Logo
When I went back home in December I felt something being stirred in me about starting a home but I thought it was a long shot and such a big idea that was impossible and it wouldn’t be until way in the future if it was to be. When I came back I felt really stirred and having such compassion for street children. I was also reading the book “Compelled by Love” at the time and it really stirred me wanting to have that passion and faith with God, being about the poor I knew it was my passion to work with the poor and yearned to see the power of God break out amongst the poor in Kenya. I then kept getting ‘break my heart for what breaks yours’ it was like God was really breaking my heart for street children. It was then that I knew God was putting it on my heart to start a home for street children, but how it was just impossible so I just pushed it down, but I just found myself having this yearning inside of me and just thinking about it all the time. One lunch time I was talking to Maureen who I work with and she said you have all this in your hands, so what are you waiting for! It then begun! Going for endless meetings, gathering information, making plans and so that is how it all begun! So I am in the process of setting up a home called Free Spirit ‘ A home of freedom in the transformation of new life, you can follow the blog for Free Spirit for more information on where the home is at etc! But it’s a working progress! Working hard for funding, sponsorship, fundraisers etc to fund, set up and run the home long term.

The home has been the main thing that has been filling my time and keeping me so busy, it really is all in faith not knowing how it will all work out, and with so many discouragements along the way, but I’m trusting God knowing its done for him and his children.

Another big thing was that I became sick with malaria; wasn’t a pleasant experience to say the least, at one point I felt like I was dying but thank God I am now well and recovered. I still feel tired and weak at times, but it can take a long time for your body t recover so I’m just bearing with it, but otherwise I am well.

I was meant to do the bungee jump, it was postponed several times due to work commitments, then I became sick so it was postponed again, I am hoping to do it before I leave! Eeeek!

I got to go to Encounter Mara which is camp my company's camp that is based in the Masai Mara one of the seventh wonders of the world. My company paid for me to go on safari there all expenses paid which was such an incredible blessing and amazing experience. I was so blessed and it was a great time including many dramas! Running from lions, nearly being trampled on by an elephant which resulted in me hurting my back, cutting my arm and cracking my camera screen least it wasn’t worse! Animals at night hyenas scratching at your tents, hippos, lions, buffalo as well! No experience like wild animals at your feet!

Me & Martin
We had this group come for 2 weeks that worked with our outreach project a school for the deaf. During this time I was in a class with 2 of the volunteers, in this class there was 3 boys with special needs. The teacher had put them at the side of the class and excluded them from the rest of the class letting them sit there doing nothing. I begun working with these children really seeing when they were invested into and helped they could do such good work and were so creative. One of the boys ‘Kevin’ had been known as being naughty and bad by the whole school due to the teacher, she spoke badly of him, made him cry, laughed at him which only discouraged him further. I then told her the reason he was behaving this way was because she had excluded him from the class so it was like he wasn’t one of them, making him think something was wrong with him he needed to feel equal. We moved the boys and mixed them up with the rest of the class, within hours there was a magnificent difference Kevin was now so attentive he was finishing before the other kids, doing more was so creative, helping others and loved to help me, one of the other boys Martin also improved, with guidance he was just at the level as the others. 

Me & Kevin
There was another boy who has more extreme difficulties, he was unable to hold a pencil or anything everyone would say oh he cant do anything leave him, they never knew his name even they would call him Vincent, Benson after persisting I found out his name was Stephen we soon see him holding a pencil he does need a lot of help but he got so excited and was so happy. Being a deaf school was so hard to communicate but it was great to spend time with these beautiful children, such children are rejected, looked upon and disowned by their parent and society for being deaf but these children are amazingly talented, being deaf doesn’t stop them being able to dance, play instruments when they cant hear sound and so much more! They are incredible! I love working with the school. I became to have such a love for Kevin with the friendship we built, by investing into him really see such a difference, he would always want to be with me. Just shows what a difference it can make by investing ‘time’ into someone, this is what so many needy children need, and someone to love them. 

Class 3 working with @ Kambui school for the Deaf

 Being with the boys in Mombasa is always good, although its been hard due to the difficult circumstances, but we have celebrated birthdays and had some fun times together despite all the difficult situations that have taken place along the way. But I still continue to love them, and to invest into them seeking God for a lot of grace and forgiveness along the way!

Summing up 5 months is not easy, so many things have happened but this is just a few stories about moments that have impacted me, grown me and touched my heart.

 Oh and riding camels!

I love Kenya, and I just don’t want to leave that’s all I can say……..

Saturday, 10 March 2012

3 months on...

It's been 3 months since I have last written a entry, what's new, what's happened? Well....

My last month in Kenya

My last month at work was a very busy one dealing with bookings, inquiries, volunteers and the volunteer house. For 2012 the volunteer housing was changing; a new house which meant a lot of budgeting, and a whole lot of hard core bargaining to furnish the house with a grand African theme! It was endless; so much hard work (harder than it sounds) working crazy hours to get it finished before I left, just hours before I headed to the airport I was still chasing up furniture etc! Was sure one Kenyan experience! Kenyan's were shocked at my bargaining quoting "your better and get it cheaper than us!".

Knowing I was going soon I tried to make the most of my time with the boys in Mombasa where we went on outings, had a lot of fun playing practical jokes which involved a lot of water, by where I kept being told it was my birthday (in Kenyan culture when its your birthday you are drenched in water!) really just making the most of our last moments, also involving a lot of sadness when it came to goodbyes without them knowing when i would return....

Before I knew it the time flew by had to be the quickest month ever! The day I was flying home I went to work having not packed or really realised, "oh yeah I'm going back home tonight and then it hit me!" my last day was a work function by where we celebrated eating cake, planting trees and being called to dance in front of everyone! We then headed off for a Xmas/end of year lunch with everyone which involved a whole lot of meat! Your seated and they continuously bring round different types of meat even crocodile! going round and round your table, makes you feel kinda dizzy with it all and the amount of meat! Next thing i knew i was rushing to pack and then suddenly on the plane felling so surreal and so many mixed emotions about going home, but I really didn't want to go, and wasn't ready to go....

Culture Shock 

People always say when coming back from a very diverse country, or more so when you come back from a developing country you get great culture shock. Knowing what to expect still doesn't stop it from happening especially coming back to such a western country at Christmas time where everyone is rushing around spending so much money on things that seem so meaningless and losing the real meaning of Christmas and seeing how such things never make people happy at Christmas or anytime of year. " Money can't buy happiness" spending the last 6 months with such humble people who have barely anything are rich in faith and spiritual blessings more rich and happy than a person who has great success and all the wealth and possession you could imagine. Simple seems to be the best way and seeing the real meaning and values to life. England seems so far from it all and people are missing the point they are just blind to it all. Such sadness. This is hard to be embraced by; and to not fall in to such ways but to grasp on the things that have such great value and meaning, to what my eyes were opened to and the changes that have taken place within me which can have a life changing impact and for the future...


When I was away so much changed circumstantially, within myself along with my surrounding and everything that took place during those 6 months. Amongst it all you think home is still the same but when you come back, you realise that so much has also changed at home within church where lots of new people new things that are going on dynamics, friendships change, people change. Great to see so many exciting things happening but at the same time was so hard to relate and connect to people and what was home now feeling so detached from it all. However it allowed me to reflect on who my true friends where, what this means to me and seeing the bigger picture. It has actually allowed me to be more free; and not feel so attached to one place as much as I love Bournemouth, the people and Citygate it just didn't feel quite like home anymore, and I have a feeling this is because of what maybe in store for the future.....

Nevertheless it was great being back to see and catch up with people, spending quality time with them and really appreciating the opportunities we had. Along with having to get my placement portfolio done and out the way, before I knew it it was time to fly back! All happened a little fast!
Most people were unaware I was coming back to Kenya for another 6 months and that I was back for good, so was a bit of a shock, but seemed more normal that I was away now, was all very weird being able to txt, call and see people when ever i wanted to!

So just days till i was due to go away I lost my passport, had no idea how I was getting to the airport, had no malaria tablets, no organisation at all had so many things to do in so little time. Thankfully it all worked out just in time and within hours to go...

Next thing I was at the airport staring the plane straight in the face, last minute phone calls and crazy banter with Charlotte before I jetted off! This is it another 6 months, KENYA here I come! Let's see what's in store this time...

Goodbye England!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A time of change

I am seriously getting bad at keeping a record of this!

Since it has been a while since I last wrote; many things have happened over the course of the weeks, looking back there seems to be a theme of change! 

At work many things change as my boss went on maternity leave, so there was lots of change and hand over’s to be done in how things will be run, and what will be happening during the time she has gone. This meant adapting to new ways, which has been good and allowed me to get more involved in things! Things are a little busy at the moment get ready for the new program and the changes that are being made for next year. My role is becoming more fixed with now being here for longer I have a more defined role within the business and my involvement is increasing, which is good and I am enjoying it, although sometimes will be slow with the key phrase TIK 'This is Kenya!' but I am used to and adjusted to such ways. My boss had her baby 2 weeks ago and he is adorable so cute!

One of my friends here was far from God; they were really living in a life of sin, and life full of brokenness and pain, which was leading them into many devastating circumstances all of which was having consequences. For some time I had been helping them; I was talking with them about Jesus, the gospel and really opening their eyes to the way they were living and how they could have a life of freedom, joy, happiness, peace, unconditional love and so much more if they choose to, if they choose Jesus. 3 weeks ago they made that choice and they committed where they fully accepted and asked Jesus into their lives. This was an incredible moment seeing them make this commitment, and how far they had come to reaching this point, which was a battle at times and wasn't always easy but just incredible. I could see God's hand on them from the beginning, and how God was clearly working things out in their life and beginning the transformation. Since they made that commitment I have seen God completely transform them, they are a completely new person, their heart and desire has changed. Yes they have things to work through and they are not suddenly perfect, but they are a working progress and God is doing such a quick transformation which is immense. Being a part of their life; being used by God in their life and their journey is such a privilege, words can not sum up this truly can't give enough credit! Is truly amazing how God can break into a situation and someone's life and saves you from the life of destruction and gives you a life of hope. There is more than hope now, God is amazing!

I have really seen God at work in people's lives and changes happening. Some of the boys here really struggle; they struggle with their relationship with God, whether they believe etc and what really understanding their purpose in life. I bought them the book purpose driven life and 2 of the boys have just completed it and it has just transformed their out look on life and their way of thinking, and they now really know what their purpose in life really is. Knowing that they were created by God; for God and that they have a great purpose in life, bigger than they can imagine. Incredible how it has completely changed their way of thinking and you can really see it from the way they talk, and the things they now do. Amazing yet again how God has really worked through this!

Along with seeing other people's relationships developing and changing through God, I have also been experiencing God in new ways. Where I have been learning more than I would back home in my normal setting, where I would class my self as 'too busy' to spend time with God etc. Here my lifestyle has completely changed meaning most of my time is not spent with God which is a complete transformation to before. Its such a great change; I have had to become dependent more and more on God, relying on him in ways I never imagined, fully trusting him, and just being with him. Now I can't imagine not spending the amount of time I do with him, now I know what I was really missing out on. God has really shown and changed my perspective in many areas. 
My lifestyle change was something I found hard to adapt to to begin with, used to being so constantly busy with no time to myself then going to non busyness and so much free time on my hands, became difficult and such a big change for me to get used to. The culture here is also very slow and does things in a very different way and a very different pace which is also a change that i had to adapt to, but it is now something that seems normal to me!

Going with the theme of change I also dyed my hair and I’m no longer blonde!

Despite all the changes and busyness at work what else have I been doing amongst it all. There was a a random bank holiday here so I took a long weekend in Mombasa where I got to spend time with the boys we even headed to the beach which was actually my first time going to the beach since I have been in Kenya! Shocking I know! But it was good fun messing around and playing games! This weekend just gone was my last weekend with them as they will all be sent off to their relatives place now they have closed school until the new year, also being the Christmas season. We went out for lunch, and saying goodbye was surely one of the hardest things to do. The words they spoke to me really touched me, and reflecting on our time together. As hard as it was to say goodbye and leave them, I know this is not goodbye for long.

I now have less than a month left in Kenya; whereby I would like to make the most of it not sure what I have planned just yet. Although one of my great backpacking friends has just got back from India so I am looking forward to catching up with him!!
Thinking of the time I have left really saddens me. I don’t know how I am going too take or adjust going back to England, things being different and so many things have changed. I guess only time will tell, sometimes we need change to learn and grow. As one season ends, a new one begins. Where I am sure I will adjust to more change and learn new things as I settle back into English life!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Growing in season

So it seems another month has nearly passed, I am really loosing sense of time here, and knowing that I have just over 2 months remaining before I will be returning to England is now a sad thought!
At the beginning I thought I would be ready to come home by the end of the 6 months, but the thought of going back home now is just a sad thought, as although I miss certain things from time to time I have not truly been missing it like I thought I would be. I have a really sense and feeling like I am at home here in Kenya, although there has and is times that I get upset with things here and just want to go back, I do really love it, but I guess what I really love most is the people.
The love I have been given for Kenyans, there is people in particular who have truly impacted me and changed my life since the moment I meet them, I now cant imagine my life without them. I have such a heart and passion to help them change their lives around through the love of Jesus Christ, knowing that I have also became a major part of their life cant be put into words. Being able to talk truth into their life and encourage them down the right route, the only route God's path. Being able to share a testimony of hope and love into them, plant seeding seeds that are building their faith and seeing the growth slowly start to take shape is just amazing. I am looking forward to seeing what God will do next......

Looking back at these past months I just see I have learnt so much in so many different areas. I have learnt so much about Kenya and Africa in general seeing the bigger picture, and the long term sustainable results that is needed in the development and help that is offered. Really seeing the damage that can be done through what people thinking is helping people but in fact it is actually causing more damage than good. Really learnt lots in this area and has really changed and impacted me through many first hand experiences I have faced, along with the knowledge I have been given.

There have been times over these last few months I have questioned God what are you doing?! And some of which I still don’t have the answer to, but I just know and see that through it my faith has grown stronger. I have had to seek God in new and bigger ways, and that I have truly just become so dependent on him alone. Learning more and more so that he is my helper the one who sustains me, the one that is always there, the one who is my strength, my encouragement, my everything he is indescribable his love is just so amazing! He has been my all in all I have had to face and pass through during this time. I have had so much time with God that I would not normally have at home or would not make for as I would be too 'busy' being here has given me unlimited time with God and its been amazing learning and growing in his word and seeing how much of a difference it makes, and I just realise what I was missing out on before!

As time passes I am really realising how much I have learnt and things that are changing within me. There is so much I could list and when I really think hard I am sure the list will become even longer! But I am sure its not the end of it either....

When God is all you have, you realise God is all you need. 

Highlights of the last month

 Thinking back as to what’s happened over the last month is hard so I will just talk of a few key things that come to mind and maybe the most recent.

At the end of September I went Tanzania with Toni (who I used to work with) and her family, who invited me along and truly blessed me. God really provided for me to go and was such a blessing and an amazing opportunity to see more of Africa and God's beauty.
Although as always and it being Africa it didn’t start with a smooth start! So we reached the border, first off we have to go through the Kenyan border to be able to leave where is where i faced the problem of not being able to leave! The guy was just trying to find a problem that was not there, questioning me and arguing with me which ended with him getting so mad that he refused to stamp my passport so I couldn’t leave. After a long while he unwilling did so. We were then forced to bribe our way out as they then were not letting us take the car across. To then enter the Tanzania border where we were then trying to be bribed again! It is such a common thing and seen as everyday life her so much corruption goes on! After 2 hours or so we finally were in Tanzania and begun our journey again!

Tanzania is very different to Kenya in terms of the cleanliness of the place, the people are really different and a really different atmosphere, so different! And these people are soooo lazy!!!
We wer first staying in a town called Moshi which is right by Kilimanjaro, although this time of the year its rare that you see it and is always covered by the clouds but one evening we were lucky to see the top of it, it just looked surreal like it was floating in the clouds, it was unreal! So beautiful!
The following day we went to the area of Kilimanjaro, well the foot of it where we see where the Masai's used to live being taught about their culture and traditions. We even went into under ground caves of where they would hide, we had to crawl along as it was so small and they were telling me cows used to fit in there! and oh my I screamed when it was filled with BATS flying around me!! Worst thing ever!! Finishing off by going to the waterfalls before we had to head off to a wedding!
African weddings are so different to weddings back home with so many processes and traditions that have to be followed! Although this wedding was even more different than a kenyan wedding with 3 people getting married at once which was just weird and the reception went on for numerous hours cake cutting first, roasted goat with chefs dancing all very weird!

We also went to Ngorongoro national park when we was there driving through the crater was just beautiful and getting to see a few animals along the way although the majority seem to have been hiding!

There was a lot of driving and travelling around highlights seeing more of this beautiful place, mountains, more of the rift valley too. We passed through many masai land there is this one masai who has 36 wives and over 300 children, that many children that he had to open his own school!
Crazy guys trying to marry you, telling you that they love you and so on many funny stories with this!

It was good to be there but i was feeling like I wanted to go home and it felt time, when I arrived back in Kenya I jsut felt like I had reached home and was just so happy to be back!

This weekend a couple I work with Maureen and Dan got married, was good to actually go to a wedding of the people I know.  The wedding starts at 10am and goes on all day, was a long but good day, was beautiful despite all the funny traditions they have to go through!

Work collegues

Still busy at work getting ready for next year, with opportunities opening up to me and getting involved in new ways so has been good. Will soon be involved more as my boss leaves to go on maternity leave in a week or so, so will be interesting to see what happens next! 

I have been facing many financial difficulties which has been a struggle for me so if you could please pray for me.

All in all despite everything, I love being here and learning and growing in all kinds of things.


Thursday, 15 September 2011


The last few weeks seem to have gone pretty fast, although at the same time they seem to have felt like they have lasted forever!
So what have I been doing over the last few weeks....

So since I last posted I have been to Mombasa twice more enjoying my time with the boys getting to know them more and our relationship growing, and really seeing depths of them they have never opened up to anyone. I feel so privileged to be apart of their life and thank God for bringing us together and for me to be able to help and encourage them through this time in their life. The staff and people have been telling me that they have really noticed a change in the boys since I have been coming, and that they really love and listen to me like no else. To see a change is massive! All praise to God!
I have also been building relationships with the staff and things have changed and really not being so much of a war anymore, although it’s still not easy. The directors have let me take the boys out for lunch one weekend before they all went back to school and clement was off to boarding. Was a really nice time and nice to be out of the home for once and was such a long time since they had done such a thing. That day I got to go to church with them and see some of them perform a dance on stage, I was so proud of them and they are such talented dancers!!
The day finished with giving them the football shirts I had got them, their faces were priceless their love for football is so different from the children back home and how they were so appreciative of it!

This weekend got to take the boys shopping to one of the biggest markets in Mombasa, and I have to say it wasn't the most pleasant experience having rained that morning. Wearing sandals in the mud and slipping everywhere is never the greatest experience! We then went to Wild Waters which is a really big water park the boys loves it and although the generator broke and there was no power for the slides to work they still had a blast!

So Mombasa is always a good time for me but the time is so short and the journeys are so long but it’s all worth it! I am now more used to travelling by myself nevertheless there has still been some stories!
One thing about Mombasa you have to be careful of is the street children they seem to be more forceful and aggressive and will just try and grab your bag or hit you. So you do have to been on your guard and really firm with them. The worst is when their parents stand there and just send them over. So there has been some issues, you really have to be careful and just keep your eyes open at all times and don’t be fooled to trust any random person.

I had my boss dogs for a long weekend and I have to say these dogs are mental! I have not known dogs like them they certainly have unique characters. They drive you mad, but they are so entertaining at the same time! So was a stressful and interesting few times with them escaping all the time chewing everything possible including a cooker!

At work we are busy making changes and adjustments for the new year so am involved in this right now, the company have taken a lot of my ideas on across the board was is really positive and encouraging and they all seem really pleased with my work which is great. I have also been involved in a lot of marketing and social media stuff, accommodation for volunteers, lots office based stuff been doing for project profiles, welcome, end packs etc. So has been keeping me busy. Has now become a way of life seeing so many volunteers coming and going always so different, and is interesting the diversity and impact each group brings. You can never predict how a volunteer is going to be and some really aren’t easy to get on with!!

Work can still be challenging sometimes but I am just so thankful for this opportunity and all that I am learning. 

In fact an opportunity was opened to me with a job offer in Zanzibar......

There are many things I am still struggling with and feel I am constantly being challenged here, a lot of the time I don’t know what it means or the purpose of it but I know something is happening. And I know it’s a real faith building time especially in the area of money. I just keep focused on the fact I am here for a reason and seeing the bigger picture in it all. I know I am learning and experiencing things I could not imagine but I'm looking forward to seeing the fruit that will come out of it.

When I went to the Power Women's group this week they really encouraged me, we were doing a bible study with them from 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 and just encouraged me that we go through all of this but God never leaves us and its a time where God is shaping and moulding us, it really made me think that this is a stage I am going through and really being encouraged by this as he never leaves me in such times but instead is shaping and perfecting me with the great craftsmen he is!

Tomorrow is the 3 month mark, knowing I have already passed through so much and learnt so much I am looking forward to seeing what the next 3 months have in store for me......

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Last time I wrote I was really struggling and finding things difficult, although there is still challenges and things going on, I feel I have become stronger in persevering through the challenges I am facing. It can be difficult but being positive and having faith in the situations, and really pushing through is what I have had to do! It is a real faith building time and learning to not worry and carry the weight by myself.

So what have I been doing?...

2 weekends ago I went to Kitale to visit Toni (girl I was working with) and her family, Kitale is a western and very rural part of Kenya, which is so different from the rest of Kenya! This was the first time I was travelling alone so leading up to it I was a little worried about the journey being a femal mzungu. So I had to travel to Nairobi where I was then to catch a 10 hour night bus to Kitale and arrive the next morning. So I arrive at the bus station 3 hours before and had which felt like the longest wait ever have especially when everyone is staring at you! So I am waiting and the announcements begin; but they are then all in swahili and I have no idea what they are saying, slight problem! So I am asking so many people but they have no idea begin to worry I have missed my bus! After asking everyone possible and nearly thinking i had to go to Kampala in Uganda to reach there first I finally find the bus, was rather stressful! 10 hours later I arrive well after nearly getting off 2 hours earlier than needed.
Kitale is so different from Mombasa and Nairobi so quiet and clean in comparassion, and so much green land! Every town is like 2 hours apart! So we travel to Toni's village where she has a farm with every animal and vegetable possible!
We walked around her village and they had never seen a mzungu before so I had so many kids following me more adding on the whole way round. The news just travelled and people were racing out of their homes to come and see me! These woman were like wow this is actually a miracle! Some crazy lady trying to get me to buy an ostrich egg of all things, some people are so random!

Later in the day we went to this town where I was told 'its not far' in Kenya that is usually not the case! So we get on a matatu and it took us like 2 hours not far at all. When we were to leave we discovered there was actually no matatus at all so we had to go to the next town along and still none, we finally get one but this big storm begins so much thunder and lightening! The matatu is packed with like 30 people and sounds like its about to blow up any minute in this big storm, actually thinking I may die soon! The weather just gets worse and then begins to get foggy and cant see anything so the driver suddenly decides he is not going any further so we have to get out in the middle of nowhere and walk to this station for shelter. We are then luckily able to be picked up by Toni's dad or we would have been stranded! So just some of the events that weekend and sunday evening came and was time to begin the long journey back...

Last week ha there was many funny moments! So having your hair done in Kenya is probably not the wisest thing to do! So a volunteer decides to dye my hair for it then to have turned white and the roots of my hair have gone orange!! Worse case scenario ever! So there is no way of fixing it so I just ahd to try and cover mny hair up and deal with it! So the next day it was attempted again so it fixed some of my hair, but not all of it so it is now a worry as to whether my hair will be normal again!

The Tea Fields

Living in Limuru we are surrounded by the tea fields with it going on for endless miles! There is a couple nearby that have their own tea fields and host their home to you where they educate you about the tea making process and so much more information about tea that you would never know existed! For me not being a tea drinker was not as benefical.. But was interesting! Kenya's tea is a world export exporting its tea to many countries. All the tea will be sent to Mombasa to be auctioned before being realeased. Mombasa is the biggest tea auction in Africa.
We then were taken on how should we say a very interesting 'tour' of this forest where we were told the most random facts about these trees that I dont think could even be true!
We were then provided with lunch over many akward and strange stories from the couple who were a typical old couple full of stories! Was a very intersting experience.....

The weekend came and I was off to Mombasa second time I was travelling alone, but yet still did not manage to go smoothly! So I arrive in Nairobi and the man who calls the buses tells me to wait inside and that he will call me when my bus arrives. So I am waiting and waiting and he keeps telling me my bus is not there. He then tells me to come and after checking my ticket again for the third time its then that he tells me ''oh no, your bus has gone, I thought you was on this one! You will have to get a cab!'' Cab to Mombasa no way, it was his fault so luckily I was able to get the spare set on the last bus. So travelling and being alone is never easy as a mzungu! And I dont think some people will ever loose the mzungu matality sadly. The weekend allowed me to spend time with the boys and to meet up with a friend I meet in Mombasa last year. Lots of drama as always but is always good to be there! Before I knew it was time to travel back sadly, the long journey begins travelling to Nairobi then catching 2 Matatus and walking a 1km I finally arrive back and then have to go striaght to work no time to recover! And the week of work begins again!

Work is progressing and also challenges but also part of the learning experience. Being able to bring new ideas for the future direction and changes to take place is good, so will see how things progress with that!

It now begins to feel like England was a long and distant memory, and this is my life now and that I have been here forever so strange!