Christmas in Kenya?!

Christmas in Kenya.... yes, you heard me right! I am spending Christmas in Africa!! The journey begins tomorrow! Mama, Daddy, and I will be traveling to the Atlanta airport in just a few short hours so I can hop on a plane to Africa. :)

I ask that you join in on this great adventure with me! I will be attempting to blog alot more this trip, and I would love for each of you to follow along!!

I would also like you to pray for a few things...
1. Pray that this trip would be about nothing other than the love and grace of the Gospel.
2. Pray for safety as I travel.
3. Pray for opportunities that I may share the love of Christ.
4. Pray that in everything God would receive all the honor and glory.

Psalm 19:14 says, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer." I have been meditating on this verse for quite sometime and this really is my prayer- that everything I do would be pleasing to God. That is what I want this trip to be all about- completely pleasing to the Lord. Would you join with me in prayer for that?

I am so excited that God has given me another opportunity to be in a place that I dearly love. I am ready for the adventure. I am ready for the journey. I am ready to show the love of God in another place. Thank you in advance for all the prayer you are lifting up my way!!

Love you all!


The Final Call!

Habari! Ninaitwa Chloe Mwende. Ninakaa Lucky Summer na familia ya
Wambua. Nimekuwa nchini Kenya kwa miezi mbili iliyopita. Mimi ni
mwalimu wa Highridge Baptist Academy!
Hello! I am called Chloe Mwende. I live in Lucky Summer with the
Wambua family. I have been in Kenya for the last two months. I am
a teacher at Highridge Baptist Academy!

The days I have dreaded to see are finally here. My time is up. Tomorrow
will be my last full day in my Kenyan world. Agh! Why so soon? When I left for
Kenya on the 31st of May I thought that two months would be LONG! I thought
they would go by rather slow and that I would be ready to come home. I was
very wrong indeed. My time here has passed by in a hurry. Two months was
not long enough. My home is here in Kenya, and well I am just not ready to
head back to the states- a place that I feel like a visitor.

I know I haven't written a blog in quite a while, but I was very attimate in not
missing anything in the last few weeks. I wanted to soak up as much of this
place as I possibly could. Because I have missed telling you a lot, I could be
writing this blog for hours sharing with you all my many stories. Let me just
share what has happened in this last week, and I will tell you about the rest
when I see you! ;)
This week has been full of excitement, joy, sadness, and tears. I taught at my
lovely school on Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday I went to the Massai
Market with my friends Maluki, Walter, and Maureen. It was SO MUCH FUN!
After taking them to a delicious lunch of chicken and chips (french fries), we
headed to do some shopping! The Massai Market is an outdoor market. People
sell all kinds of things, and of course they love selling to muzungus! Walter and
Maureen were concerned with my bargaining skills. They didn't really believe that
I could do it, but boy did I prove them wrong! I would go up to a sales person,
introduce myself in Swahili, ask them how they were, and then go on to buying
things. The people selling things would look at me funny, and begin spatting
off in Swahili, "Darn, this is no muzungu! This girl acts like a Kenyan." That brought
joy to my heart! They realized very quick that they could not sell things at a price
they would normally sell to a muzungu. I talked one man down from selling me things
at a price of 8,500 to a price of 2,500. I talked a lady down from 10,000 to 1,500!
Walter and Maureen were impressed! ha. They told me I was better than they were!
They even told Mama Joe when we got home that I truly had to be a Kenyan.

On Thursday I met with Jack and Bert Yates (the IMB missionaries who helped
me to come here). It was so wonderful to see them, share with them, and listen to
their advice!

After meeting with Jack and Bert, I went to teach at another local school. It's called
Lucky Shamir and they teach around 350-400 students from Baby Class-Class 8.
It was so neat to see another school and how it was run. The kids at this school
arrive around 7 a.m. and don't leave until 6 p.m. Can you imagine if I told an American
student they had to stay at school that long!
So today, Friday, was my last day at school. My last day at Highridge Baptist Academy.
This morning I went around to each class to spend some time with them and tell them
goodbye. It was truly one of the hardest things I have ever done. Looking in the eyes of
the children that only wished I could stay. Telling these kids that I wouldn't see them for
a year or two. Listening to these kids sing all the many songs I taught them. Seeing
these kids begin to cry because their teacher was leaving them. One of my favorite
classes at school is Class 1. As I went to their class, half of the pupils couldn't even
look at me because they were sobbing so much. Oh how I hated leaving them! This
afternoon we had a staff party where we ate lunch and fellowshiped together. After I said
a few words to the staff as a whole, each staff member got up and shared a few words
of encouragement to me and how much I had meant to them. I hadn't realized how
effective my ministry here had been until I heard what they had to say to me. Teacher
Anne (she teaches the nursery class) told me that she had never seen anyone love
kids like I did. She said, "Chloe, you love these kids more than we do. You have shown
us the way we need to interact with these kids. You have given them more hugs than
they have gotten in a lifetime." She just went on and on, and all I could do was cry. Mr.
Mutemi (Principal Moses) said that I had brought unity among the staff because I treat
everyone the same and have shown them how to treat each other. I have become so
close with the teachers and staff at school, and leaving them is heartbreaking.
Some of them said some quite funny things, so I think I will break away from the
sadness and share them with you. :) David (he is the accountant at the school, and
one of my closest mentors) stood up and said, "This girl, Chloe, she is not like other
muzungus who come here. She is different. Her skin is white, but her soul is black!
She isn't Chloe, she is Mwende!" Mr. Mutemi began to tell a story. He said, "A long
time ago, some American farmers wanted some slaves to work their plantations. So
they came to Africa and took many young boys and girls to work for them. After years
of working, they finally became free men and women. Some of the slaves went
back to Africa, but some remained in America. Chloe, you must be one of those African
women who stayed in America, and now you are ready to come back to Africa!" hahaha.
Sophia (teaches in the salon, and walks me to school) began to sing to me, and then she
said, "Mwende, I am certain that you will be back here permanently in just a few years.
You know when you come back you will need a husband, and lucky for you we have many
single male teachers here. Girl, the ball is in your court! Take your pick! Oliver, Brian... and so
on." Then men then began shouting, "Oh YES. Amen sister."

After the teachers said a few words we began a time of singing, dancing, crying,
and praying. At the end of the day, it comes back to praising our Savior. When the
party was over, we circled up as a staff, held hands, and prayed together. Emotions
were high, but the comfort of God was near!
I didn't end up leaving school until 5:45! I could not exit the gate to walk home because
so many kids wanted to give me more and more hugs. The teachers finally had to run
the kids out of the gate to go home. As one of my Class 7 girls, Samiya, was giving me a
hug, she said, "Chloe, thank you for showing us the love of God." I began to cry because
that was an answer to prayers. My prayer for this trip was that I would share the love of
God with these students, teachers, and the people of Kenya as a whole. To hear one
of my students tell me the exact thing I had been praying for was too much. Wow.
Glory to God that my ministry was a success! Glory to God that I have been able to be a
part of His Great Redemptive Story!
I will miss my kids, my teachers, my family, and my Kenya. I will miss the sound of
kids snapping their fingers and yelling, "teacher," which sounds like, "cha." I will miss
my kids of Korogocho yelling, "Muzungu, how are you," as I walk from school. My kids' hugs.
The sound of my children laughing. Drinking tea with Maureen, and laughing at David's jokes.
I will miss walking into the staff room seeing my fellow teachers. I will miss jumping up
and down playing until I am covered head to toe in dust. My home. Cooking with Mama Joe.
Reading to Melissa. Long conversations with my Pastor. Going without water for sometimes
4-5 days. Not knowing when the electricity might go off. Hearing the rooster outside my
window every morning at 6:47 a.m. I will miss the dust, dirt, and mud.
I could go on and on, but well you may get tired of reading. All in all, I will miss my Kenya.
I have been blessed to be here, and I could never say thank you enough to my God
who has sent me here for a purpose. A purpose of making His name known. You know,
my mom called a few weeks ago and told me that if I thought God wanted me to stay
here in Kenya right now, then I could stay. She said that I needed to be where God
wanted me. You have no idea how happy that made me. I was jumping for joy at the
fact that I have parents who support me, my dreams, and the plans God has for me. As
much as I wanted to say YES to staying, I know that is not the path God is leading me
down right now. The day before I left for Kenya I got a scholarship for school that
equalled the exact amount I needed to pay for this next year. I am pretty sure that was
God saying come back home! At least for two years to finish school.
God has huge plans for my life. The journey has started, but the path is long. Being on
this journey to Kenya has taught me more than I could have imagined. I am not the same
person I was, and I hope you will be able to see that when I return. You know I hear many
people say, "I left my heart in Africa," but for me my entire self has been left here in Africa.
Going home will be tough, and when you see my crying hopefully you can understand why.
Rhianna wrote me an e-mail that said, "Chloe, I know you love us here and
you love being with us, but when you hang out with us, you seem to not be totally there. Your
are physically here, but emotionally and mentally you are in Africa. When you get to speak
about Africa, your joy begins to shine. When you are in Africa, I know your heart has been
reunited with its love." Ree is right when saying this. I love you all, but I believe God has
greater purposes for me. Greater than being in the U.S. Greater than living an American
life. My desire is to live a Kenyan life sharing the love of God all around me.
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

Well, my blog has come to an end. I can't thank you enough for all the many e-mails,
messages, and written cards you have sent this way. Thank you for walking this journey
with me and for praying with me each step of the way. I love you so much, and I will see
you in just a few short days.


Mimi si Muzungu! Mimi ni Mkenya!!!

If you stay in Kenya for too long.... they may try and make you Kenyan!
It's a good thing I am perfectly okay with that! :)

The last week has been full of busyness and excitement! In one of Miss
Kim's notes she left me she gave me some words of wisdom. "Don't deny
your quiet times and don't deny your rest. You will be of no help if you
aren't spiritually on top and plenty rested." Well in order for to obey
that advice, I had to give up something. I decided to give up the blog!
Blogging takes awhile, and well it was causing a lot of tiredness!!

At the start of the week, Sunday, I did wear my
new Kenyan dress! :) Everyone told me I looked so
"smart," which is their way of saying pretty. They also
assured me that I am becoming more Kenyan each
day! Pastor even gave me a new name. Because
his family is from the Camba tribe, he game the
Camba name, Chloe Mwende. Mwende means
someone who is loved! :) :) I now introduce
myself as Chloe Mwende. :)

On Monday, the kids at
the centre had a holiday which
meant that I also got a holiday!
My job for that day was to take
Melissa's cousin, Stacy, to the
barber shop to get all her hair
shaved off! I did not want her to
shave her head, but Pastor insisted!
He said that he doesn't like seeing
her cry when she has to get her hair
braided, so he said shave it off!
When we got to the barber shop,
Stacy started to get a little scared.
She said, "Chloe, can we just go
home and wait until my daddy can go
with me?" I felt bad but I made her get
it shaved right then. I knew that if we
went home and Pastor saw that her
head wasn't shaved, then it would be
me that got in trouble! ;) After she got it
done, she ended up liking it!

Tuesday and Wednesday I taught at the centre all day!
I taught Math, English, Science, and CRE to 6 classes!
Tiring.....yet so rewarding! Many Muslim students attend
the centre. It's been so neat ministering to them, and
seeing God change their hearts.One of the girls told me that
God was going to punish me because I have put too many
holes in my ears. As much as I wanted to laugh, I was able to
refrain myself. Instead, I just love on each child and try to show
God's love. Many of the older girls have come to me and have
really opened up in sharing their lives. We have shared many
laughs and even more tears. God, may you continue to show
yourself to these girls. Please pray that God would continure to
use me to share His grace with these girls!

On Thursday, Pastor, Mama Joe, Mama Grace, and me headed to their rural home in
Mwingi. It is SOOOO NICE! It's crazy to me that Pastor Wambua came from absolutely
nothing but because of his faithfulness to God, God has chosen to richly bless him! I
told him and his brothers to write a book! I enjoy hearing all of their stories! I admire
Pastor more each day. His entire life is a ministry, which is what I desire for my own
life. This first picture was his house when he was youger. The second picture is his
new house!

Pastor and I went for a walk around his land. He had the best view!! On his land he has a small
shamba where he grows beans and maize. We piced some maize, roasted it, and then ate it!
It was SOO YUMMMYYY! Mom, lets roast corn when I get home. K?
Funny story from Thursday:
So I wne to use the squatty potty. Oh squatty potty's....... Anyways, I was a little nervous
going out there because Pastor's house is in the bush and it was night time, but I grabbed my
flashlight and headed to the potty. I made it out there, closed the door, and used the potty.
Well, when I got finished I turned around to open the door, but the door would not open!
It was completely stuck!! I pushed on it, kicked it, and even tried to run into it. Nothing
would open that door. I began to cry because I was starting to get scared. All I could think
about was me being stuck in a squatty potty in the middle of the African bush at night time
and no one being able to hear me. Finally about ten minutes passed and Mama Grace found me.
She started laughing. I did not find it funny at first, but now that I think about it, I guess
it is pretty funny. How often do you get stuck in a squatty potty in the middle of nowhere?
hahahaha. :)

Friday after breakfast Mama Joe and Mama Grace headed outside to put somechemical
on the beans and maize from last year's crop. Before they could put the
chemical on the beans, they had to throw the beans in the air and let the wind carry
away the chaff! They even let me help! It was soooo neat. I couldn't believe the way
they use the simple things like the wind to do the job. After finishing putting the
chemical on the maize we had to carry it back into the house. At first, Mama Joe
wouldn't let me help because they bags were so heavy, but I finally talked her into
letting me help. :) By the way, the food that Pastor and his brother's grow is not
sold for money. They have chosen to give it away to people who need it instead!
Like I said, his whole life is a ministry.......

Who new that donkeys could be used for something?!?!?! haha. In Mwingi, everywhere
you turn you will see many donkeys with water
jugs on their backs. It is so dry there; therefore, there is no water. People have to travel
for miles and miles to find water. Some people even dig
15 feet or more in the dry
river beds to find water! We definitely take it for granted the fact that we can just turn our faucets on and have plenty
of clean water.

We came home from Mwingi today around 4! I was able to get a long massage from the
drive. It was so BUMPY!
So, that is about all that has been going on over here! I can't believe a month has
already passed. :( It feels like I just got here. :( :( :( :( If one more kid asks me to
stay, then well, I may just have to stay. Mama Joe told me today that I was not
leaving! Mom, looks like you have some competition! haha. I love you all! I
hope you have had a great week!
Happy Birthday to Mama and Bubba!!! :) :) :) Eat plenty of birthday cake for me!


Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!

I am so sorry that I have done such a terrible job with keeping you guys updated!
Blogging is hard for me, though, because it takes time and well there are just so many
other exciting things to be doing!! haha. I am going to try a lot harder now to keep you
updated! I promise!!

Because I talk a lot about the food to you all, I wanted to show you a few pictures!! The
first picture is Somaki (fish). IT IS SOOOOO GOOOD!!! The second picture (well there was
supposed to be a second picture. Sorry it's not there!) is Kachambaru (avocados,
tomatoes, red onions, carrots, cilantro, lemon juice, and cucumbers).
YUUUUUMMMMMMYYYY!!! These two food have been my favorite! :) If you can't tell,
this next picture is sugarcane! I had my first experience of eating it on the way to Mwingi.
Pastor Wambua and I were driving along and as we entered a town, he stopped on the side
of the road and people began to crowd around the car! They all had different things in their
hands-oranges, bananas, peas, tomatoes, and sugarcane- that they were trying to sell us.
Pastor bought a large amount of sugarcane and we began eating it! I have you know, I only
ate a few pieces, but he ate two whole bags!! haha. :) I had trouble biting it because my teeth
aren't near as strong as a Kenyans. I made more of a mess than anything!

Like I said on facebook, riding motorcycles is the way to go!! Charles, me, and my best
buddy Saul! They are a little scary because of all the bumpy roads, but definitely fun!

Who says
we can't
be father/
At the
church in
(not sure if
I spelled
that right),
each team
was asked to
plant a tree.
One from
South Africa,
and Nairobi.
I was so excited when Pastor askedme to plant
the tree
from Nairobi!

This blog wouldn't be complete if I didn't post some pictures of my beautiful children that I get to spend
each day with!!These are all my boys!! Yes, I am claiming ALL OF THEM! These older boys like to make
fun of the way I talk. They continually try and copy my accent! They have learned, though,
that if they make fun of me too much I will chase them down and tickle them! haha.
This picture is my dearest little boy, Bilal.
He is my helper inclass one!

Yes, that is an extremely big beetle. He thought it would be funny
to throw it on me. I didn't laugh. ;)

Well, I hope this blog will allow you to take a step on this jouney that I
have been on. I am truly having an amazing time! I wish I could express
to you just how great it has been!
By the way, the dress making class finished my African dress today!! :) :)
It's SOOOO pretty! I am going to wear it on Sunday, so I will post pictures
then! Maureen took me shopping in the city today for accessories, and boy
was it fun! Maureen says I look more and more Kenyan each day. All I
have to do now is paint my skin with some charcoal! hehe. :) I hope you all
are doing great!! Thank you for the prayers and all the comments you have
beenleaving! They help me not miss you so much!


Can I please stay?!?!

Hey everyone!

I hope you are all doing well! I know you are all praying for me, and I just
want to say thank you for that! Things on this side of the world are great!
Oh how I love it here........ Well, just so you all know, I cried for the first time
this week. How will I ever leave this place?!? Hmm....

The past few days have been good! The team from North Carolina is here
and have been doing a VBS at the youth centre. I have also been helping them.
To be honest, it is a little weird to have other muzungus around. I was pretty
much getting used to being the only one! haha.

Anyways, we are currently in Mwingi which is about two and a half hours east of
Nairobi. We will be doing ministry here until Sunday!

So... here are the exciting things I have done in the last few days.
1. I have ridden a motorcycle 3 times in the last 2 days!!! SO MUCH FUN!
2. I have been cooking with Mama Joe. We have made ugali (flour and water
mixed together), chipati (kind of like a flour tortilla but better), somaki (fish),
kachambaru (a yummy to my tummy kind of salad dish), and many other Kenyan
dishes! I cannot wait to fix all these dishes for you guys at home!
3. The dress making class is making me an African dress!!!! I got to pick out the
fabric and design, and the class at school is going to make it! :) Sophia is also
going to take me shopping for some shoes and jewelry to wear with it! :) YAYA!
4. I met with Jack Yates on Monday. If you don't know who that is, he is an IMB
missionary here in Kenya. He has been here for 30+ years and helped me to get
my school to sign off on this trip here so that I can use it for school credit! He is
such an amazing man! He gave me the best advice, and has invited me to stay
with him and his wife for a night next week!
5. I have found another kid I want! haha. His name is Nathan!!! I think he makes about
the 100th kid I want! hmm.... how many kids can I fit in my suitcase?!?
6. We have pretty much decided that I am no longer a muzungu, but I am a Kenyan!!
My skin may be of a white person, but my heart is of a Kenyan! I am fitting more and
more into this culture everyday!

I will try and post a few pictures tomorrow! I hope you all understand just how long it
takes to do that! It could be an extra hour just to load pictures.

I hope you all have an amazing rest of the day! I love you to the moon and back!


Crossing the color barrier...

Okay all you people who have been impatient.... here is your blog :) :)

The last few days have been good! I got sick to my stomach on Friday, and had to leave
the centre early. It did not make me happy, but I needed to rest. And now I have a cold!
Pastor Wambua has said "Bless You" to my sneezes more times than I can count. Satan is
going to do anything he can to keep me from loving on people, but I refuse to give in!

So, I was trying to decide what I wanted this post to be about. I could tell you every little
detail of what's going on, but instead I want to tell you what's on my mind. I am pretty sure
by now you have all figured out that I love this place. It is actually fun to wake up each
morning for a new day. I enjoy going to work because I get to work for my Lord and Savior
doing something I can't get enough of- teach kids who want to be hugged and loved on and
you know I can do that!!

Something that has really been on my mind for the last week is just how much I want to
overcome the barriers of this white/black thing. You know, every day I walk to school and
what happens? I get stared at. Yes, I realize that being white is kind of odd in a predominately
black country, but why else do I get stares? I wonder what goes on in the minds of the people
staring at me. I wonder if all they see is my white skin and the money I spent to come here, or
do they see my God?
I've been pretty overwhelmed with all the kids at the centre. They bring me so much joy! I
have even learned a ton of their names! One thing that I have loved is that most of them no
longer see me as this crazy muzungu, but most of them see me as Chloe- their friend, their
hug and love for the day, and their teacher. They are starting to see "me" not just my skin.
I'm sure
you are
what the deal
is with the
pictures of
the hands,
but I just want
you to look
closely. I want
you to see
more than
just the hands.
In these pictures you see my white hand and my little girl's black hand, but is that all you see?
For me I don't look at the differences between our skin anymore. Does the difference in our skin
really make us different?Take the picture on the left for example, look at my hand with
the blue bandaids (I'm okay, just rubbed a few blisters on my hand! My skin is not quite as tough as a Kenyan's), do the blue bandaids change what my hand is? No. My hand is still a hand. So, does
the color of my skinmake a difference in what my hand is or does? NO. I'm a precious child of
God just like these Kenyan children are. We are different colors, but really we are the same.
Meet my beautiful sister Melissa! Can't you
see how much we look alike?!? This little girl
and I have soooooo much fun together.
Graceface, being with her makes me not miss
you so much :( Melissa is 10 and full of life!!
She plays with myhair everyday, she chases
little kids to tickle them with me, and she has
the best sense of humor! I love my little sister!
One thing that has meant so much to me the last few days is that Pastor Wambua has
now started introducing me as his second daughter. I am no longer a guest, but I am a
member of their family. :)I am not just a white girl to them, but their daughter. Why does
color matter, right?
This is my little girl...yes I did say that. She is my
little girl at least for a little while. Her name is Jennifer
and she is 3 years old. One day I will have one just like
her! Everyday when I getto the centre she runs to me
and gives me a huge hug! She thenholds my hand until
I have to leave her. Hint Hint... she is the hand in the
pictures above! We play together, she knows my name,
and we even tell each other "I love you." My sweet little
girl :) :) :)
I won't go into lots of details about the last few days, but Saturday Pastor, me, and Joab
went to see my brother, Jeff, at boarding school. It was about 3 hours away and in a completely
different side of Kenya. We drove through the mountains! Mama Joe and Melissa visited my
other brother, Joe, at his boarding school. After a long day of visiting we left to pick up a
group of 7 people from North Carolina at the airport. They will be here for 2 weeks along
with a missionary family from South Africa. They will be doing a lot of the same things we
did last year. Today at church one of the men preached and Bosco translated. All I could
think about was when Daryl preached at Baptist Chapel! Good times :)
Well, it's been quite a long few days. I am going to get some rest! I have a busy week! I will be
teaching at the centre Monday-Thursday. Wednesday Pastor Wambua is letting me take a
motorcycle to school! YIPPEE! Thursday afternoon I will be leaving with this group of Americans
to Mwingi (another part of Kenya) to work at some of Baptist Chapel's mission churches
until Sunday!
I hope you all have a fantastic next few days! I hope to post again maybe mid-week!
My prayer this week is that as I go from place to place here in Kenya, instead of seeing the color
of my skin people would see the glory of my God. I want them to see my Jesus.


My Kenyan Birthday....and life for the past couple of days

Let me just apologize for not posting the last few days! Not only have things been crazy busy

here, but when I wanted to write a blog either the internet wouldn't work or the power was out;
therefore, I could not post! So I am sorry! This next blog may be a little long, but I want to update
you all on the past few days. it goes!!! Let's start with my birthday!

I could not have asked for a better 19th birthday!! I don't think there could be anything better
than getting to celebrate my birthday in a place I absolutely love. I missed you all, but thank
you so much for understanding why I need to be here! Also, thank you for all the many birthday
cards :):):) They were sooooo sweet!
So my day started out very early. Joab came to get me around 7:30 a.m. to go to the city. We
decided to volunteer at New Life Christian Home (the orphanage we went to last year) and
volunteer for half of the day. It was so much fun! This orphanage takes in abandoned babies
that have HIV/AIDS. Seeing the sad faces of the kids when they come in and then the happy
faces they have after a few months is amazing! Mama and Daddy, I found a baby girl I would
like to adopt! She is 6 months and her name is Hope. I told her that I could be her mommy :)
Can I have her for my birthday? Please! haha. I know that one day I will have the chance to
adopt a beautiful African child. I will just wait for God's timing, though.

We were able to play with the toddlers and then help feed the babies. Can I just tell you that
I got spit up on, thrown up on, and a bowl of baby food dropped on me. I would say that it was
a successful morning!

When we got done at the orphanage, Joab took me to eat pizza! It was definitely a nice change
of food! It even tasted like American pizza! YUMMY!

After a long day of being in the ciy, we came back to the house for dinner. Melissa (my lovely
little sister), Mama Joe (my Kenyan mother), Mama Grace (my Kenyan Aunt), Sophia (my
friend- she also walks me to the centre every morning), and Joab (my brother and best friend)
all ate supper with me! Afterwards, they surprised me with a cake and sang Happy Birthday

Kenyan traditions for birthdays are very different. After singing to me, Mama Joe gave
me a knife and let me cut the cake. I then had to get a piece of cake and cut it in many pieces.
I took one bite and then fed each person in the room one bite. It was so neat. I felt united with my
family! Also, no one can have a piece of cake unless I say so!! HAHA..

Ha! My cake was pink :) :) :)

As I was thinking about this coming year as a nineteen year old... all I could think about was
what else I could do for God. How else can I bring glory to His name? As I was reading my Bible
for the night, I came across Psalm 19:4 which says, "May the words of my mouth and the
meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, My Rock, and My Redeemer." I am
making this my prayer for the next year. May everything I do be pleasing to my Lord! I am
praying that this next year be even better than the last! I am thankful for life, and I pray that
God would use me in such BIG ways to better His Kingdom!

So... the next thing I want to tell you about is this picture below....

If you know me, you know that I LOVE CHICKEN!! Any kind
really... I could eat it every single day for 3 meals a day. Well,
I had never seen a chicken die so it didn't hurt my feelings to eat
it, but now I have seen the light! I have seen a poor innocent
chicken be happy and alive for one minute and then get caught
and have its head sawed off. This chicken was my neighbor's pet,
but not for long!!! Hmmm.... it was really sad :( I even teared up!
I feel like this whole trip so far has been a lot about chickens.
Today, I picked up a little chick because remember I said that
no animal is scared of a human here. Not even a muzungu
(white person) Hahaha. So I picked this little chick up and all
I could think about was the hen I saw yesterday that got its head
taken off. I don't think seeing this is enough to make me not eat
chicken again, but it will make me think twice about eating it!

For the past two days (Monday and Tuesday) I have gone to the youth centre to teach.
Monday I was with grade 4 and today I was with grade 1. I LOVE IT!! Monday I got to teach
English and Spelling. It was wonderful. Maybe one day I will end up living here and teaching
at the youth centre! Today in the 1st grade I read them some Bible Stories, played a million
games, and sang many songs! I also sat in on a Swahili class. Since I am not advanced in this
language, I have been invited to sit in everyday with grade 1 so that I can learn the language.
can already say many sentences and many common phrases. The kids love it when I try to
speak Swahili, and they LOVE teaching me new words to say! At the end of both days, Saul (my
best friend at school) and I filled water balloons for both classes. First we had a water balloon toss
which they loved. Then, we filled some extra balloons and threw them at the kids! It was a surprise
attack! Today, Saul threw balloons at the teachers! The kids and teachers both loved it! Miss Kim,
I think they were a hit!!!!

Don't these kids just make you happy?? I get so excited to tell the children tuo nane kesho (see
you tomorrow) at the end of everyday! They have truly stolen my heart!

Well, I LOVE YOU ALL!! I hope that I have not tired you with this long blog, but you know me...
sometimes I just have quite a lot to say! Kwaheri (Goodbye) :)


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