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!

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