Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

LAND!














K... so, WE HAVE LAND!!!!!!

and here it is. You can see other shots in previous posts (I tried to find ones I haven't posted before).

We've officially made a deposit and are making plans to make the next payment.

Meanwhile, the owner is working on getting a surveyor to mark our ten acres with beacons (I think I've said this before).

The point is... this is the future home of Grace Academy.

Monday, September 1, 2008

OURS.

This is, no joke, the third time I've written this. Either it's going to show up three times, or not at all, and I'm getting VERY tired of typing on this defunct keyboard.

Anywho. Guess what?

WE GOT THE LAND!!!!!!!!!

The owners signed today. We'll make a deposit (10%) as soon as the banks are open in the US. It took some explaining to get the idea across: banks just aren't open at 2am on a Sunday night.

From here we have 30 days to pay in full, while the owner has 2 weeks to get a surveyor to mark our ten acres with beacons. In the meantime our lawyer will ensure that they don't sell to someone else or take it back.

I'm headed back to Oregon in just 2 short days, while Susan will work on things such as a fence and the beginnings of a well.

The payment of the land will take just about every penny we've got, and until the auction, we're really scraping the barrel. Please consider making a donation, no matter how small, to Visible Grace, to help us with extra expenses. We're so excited to be moving forward at this point! Things have gone so well in the past few weeks. (You can find us on Facebook or Pay Pal, or send a donation to PO Box 91332, Portland OR, 97291). Really. Any amount will help, and we're so grateful.

Once I get home I'm jumping headfirst into auction preparations. I need help with this too. Please.

I'll be in Portland by Thursday afternoon! If you're in the great NorthWest, see you soon!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

splendor


also: our lawyer confirmed today that the land we want to buy is free and clear and rightfully owned by the person selling to us.

in other words, we are getting closer and closer to securing the land. it's not set in stone yet, but as I like to look at it, less and less things can go wrong at this point.

we're picking up a letter of agreement from our lawyer tomorrow and bringing it to the owner. then he has a week to sign...


ps: thanks Aunt Jackie for the knitting help. : ) and others...

mystery fruit.


I have no idea what this is called in English.

more close-up

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

every rose has its thorns i guess.

pretty trees pretty pretty trees pretty pretty trees trees pretty pretty trees pretty pretty trees

artsy photo

in
this is the point in the journey where my dad, Susan and Eric eye each other and make 'what on earth is this crazy girl doing?' faces, while I think to myself, 'I miss Ange, Rach, Zac, Dave, Emmy...'

I took a lot of these. Enough to convince everyone that I've lost it completely.

TREES!


there has to be a compromise here: the flattest part of land is also the tree-est part. football field or forest?

the trustees: Ashby, Eric, Susan

we look Oh So American.


Quick update...yesterday we met with the land owner of 'plot A', or, our first choice. Dixon gave a really great speech (I'm WAY too emotional, and not so professional, so I'm glad he was there) and convinced the owner to give it at the price we wanted. Our lawyer is sending someone to the ministry of lands-placey-thing today to clear the title, meanwhile, the land owner invited us to his house to meet his mother (a very good sign!).

So this afternoon my dad, Susan and myself will meet the owner's mom. Once our lawyer has cleared the title, we will proceed with legal signage.


I am trying to upload pictures of the land, but this connection is pretty slow, so we'll see how far I get.

In the meantime- please continue praying that things fall into place. It's looking good right now but of course nothing is final. (Theoretically, if the title is clear, we'll make a down payment and sign a contract. Once the owner also signs, we're pretty much good to go. Our lawyer will mark the land so that we are sure it's ours.)

(okay, so it loaded. this is the land! It's in a very dry area...but very flat, beautiful, peaceful, safe, near the paved road, etc, etc)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

LIVE from the fancy-pants Hilton


And might I add that the internet here SUCKS. It's worse than the dial-up in the village; worse than the internet cafes in Ngong.

Anywho. Here is my dad. This picture is purely for Carlie.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

land. more notably, I AM WEARING A THICK FLEECE JACKET.


For heaven's sake.

not sure why I like this picture so much.


but I feel as if I've reached a new plateau of grownup-hood (or foolishness), because I WORE HEELS IN KENYA. (kitten heels- but still. heels.)

silapei and mama kui


I really love these women!

okay, fine. one at a time.


...the Ngong Hills. I'm obsessed with them.

you can see the hills clearly (but a bit more distantly) from our new maybe-home!

last night i had my nails painted hot pink.

...as in Barbie-doll, bubble gum pink.


More importantly:

I really, really truly really REALLY think we're getting somewhere in this land buying process. And on that note: yes, everyone says they have at least this much trouble trying to buy land, and yes, I have people helping me, and no, I am not discouraged.

But I am afraid I'm starting to sound a bit girl-who-cried-wolf-ish. It's not that we're not serious about buying land. It's that Kenya is insane. And even with a broker and a lawyer on your side, you can still run into dead ends. And being white and a girl, few people take me seriously and MANY people try to take advantage of me.

But, so: We found 10 acres of beautiful, flat, tree-filled land. It is of COURSE a bit more expensive than we'd like- but still within our budget. And we actually met with the owner and obtained a copy of the title deed.

Monday we will meet with our lawyer and begin the process of clearing the title and ensuring that it is in fact for sale and rightfully owned by the rightful owner. From there it's only ('only', ha!) a matter of having our lawyer (my beloved Frank) write up a contract and negotiations with the owner.

Before I leave for the States (in 10 days!) I expect to be able to make a down payment and sign a contract.

Susan and everyone else involved with this project have agreed: though the entire thing will take time, this part is the hardest. From here, things will snowball. I hope.

I am trying to upload pictures but siwezi. Na sijui kwanini.

Miss you all!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

pressed for time, as per usual

um...I've never been this busy in Kenya before.

anyway, I only have about 4 minutes to update everyone, because Susan and I are supposed to meet someone somewhere in, like, 2 hours ago.

But I thought I'd make sure we're all on the same page here.

First of all, the beautiful, perfect land I first posted about? Too good to be true. It's not for sale. (I really don't understand WHY we are being shown land that is not for sale and it sort of makes me want to throw a temper tantrum, but anyway, that's for another day.)

So: we've been looking at a few other places. We've seen about 9 in the past few days. And even met with some of the land owners and even gotten as far as acknowledging that the land is a)actually for sale and b) within the right price range and c) owned by the person who says they are the rightful owner. Imagine that! (I now know how to say 'imagine that' in 3 languages.)

We are hoping to narrow down our choices in the next day or two. We are meeting with our lawyer again Monday (I think I'm in love with him, I'm serious) and will have a few title deeds, etc to show him. He will then begin the process of making sure the land is free and clear and actually for sale. From there we will negotiate.

In the meantime, Susan and I have made a bit of headway on things such as: opening a bank account here in Kenya, registering for electricity once the land is ours, and digging a well- which will prove to be a lengthy and expensive process, but we've AT LEAST figured out a budget and the proper, legal procedure.

So, in some ways I feel as if we've gotten NO WHERE but in other ways I feel as if we are making major headway. We're so, so close to breaking through on land-buying, and we've learned so many things- things which are now possible, because VISIBLE GRACE IS REGISTERED IN KENYA.

More later, my friends. Peace out!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

you know you're kenyan when...





...you don't even flinch when you're 45 minutes late to a friend's wedding.

...you can't get a single errand done without running into at least 4 people you know by name.

...you are packed into a matatu (mini-van type bus) that is seemingly full- and when four more men want to get in you know there's more than enough room.

...people sit down for a meeting and begin discussing things in Swahili, without even asking if you need them to translate or switch to English.


The internet cafe is closing, so updates on land etc will have to wait till tomorrow!

Monday, August 18, 2008

there was a chicken on my bus today.

A live one. Just so we're clear.

Today Susan and I did boring grown up things such as: visit the Ministry of Water, visit the Ministry of Electricity, eat pizza, and buy syllabi at a bookstore.

Also, this computer won't let me upload pictures from my flash, and also also, I have one of those cuts on my tongue.

The end.

Friday, August 15, 2008

mimi nikohapa, na nahisi baridi sana

I'm here. And boy, is it fun to travel for 30 hours straight.

No, really.

Furthermore, Susan and I have already staked out The Perfect Plot of Land:

It's basically the same as everything else we've looked at, BUT:
~great location
~TOUCHING a paved road
~ALREADY has elec and WATER!!!
~full-grown trees, more space, less shrubbery (SHRUBBERY!)
~flat enough for a soccer field or, you know, for me to lay out my yoga mat.

The only catch is, it's more money than we have right now. (But far less than the Really Really Expensive Ones we've looked at in the past.) Susan and I are meeting with the land owner and his son and our mutual friend (better known as Baba Andrew) on Tuesday. So, IF the owner agrees to let us pay the remainder on, say, October 5th (ahem), then we're gonna go for it. We'll ask for the title deed, ask our lawyer to clear it, sign a contract, and so on and so forth. Pictures to follow, OF COURSE.

ALSO, GUESS WHAT: my daddy is coming to Kenya next week! For a whopping 4 days (don't tell him there's no wireless internet at Susan's house). I'm so excited for him to see my life here- and meet Susan- and see the land we want to buy- and whip us all into shape so we can get some work done. He gets here Saturday the 23rd...

That's all I've got for now. Miss you all. More soon!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I plan to start packing ANY MINUTE NOW

I'm leaving in a few hours for Kenya again! I'm very excited. I'll be there until September 4th. Visible Grace is now officially registered in Kenya, so I will be able to secure land in some way. I'm hoping to make a down payment and sign a contract, as well as meeting with our contractor and getting a bit more of our budget figured out.

I'll be posting here when I have the opportunity, and will upload pictures when I get a chance.

Please leave comments or send me texts (rumour has it they cost a quarter)! I love hearing from you guys when I'm over there. My cell number is... 011 254 721 930508

Ashby

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

sigh

So, long story short, because someone is waiting to take me to view yet another plot of land...

When I called KLM last week to change my flight to 16th July, both the operator and myself made mistakes.

My mistakes were: I did not get her name, and I believed her when she told me she had booked me on the flight I wanted.

Her mistake was: She did not actually book me on the flight I wanted.

When I figured this out I spent a couple hours in their office in downtown Nairobi. I spoke with no less than four people, and the conclusion they came to was this:

My only option is to come home July 4th.

So...I'll be back in Oregon this Friday.

Pray for miracles! I have a lot to do before then.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

oh, Saturday.

First of all, happy birthday, Rica! Enjoy your strawberry shortcake.

Second of all, happy wedding day, Miara. Wish I could be there.

Third, I FOUND OREOS AT THE STORE TODAY. Double-stuf chocolate oreos, to be exact. It's not my fault: I had to go to the American Grocery Store for to buy White Person Face Wash, because my face is...imploding? Exploding? Whatever: it's not pretty. (Don't tell my Grandma; she'd be quick to tell you that the reason my face is breaking out is BECAUSE of the oreos, but I don't believe her.) The fact remains: I'm really happy about these cookies. And the face wash.


But I digress. A story for the birthday girl, per her request:

Once upon a time, I called a woman who was in possession of a beautiful stretch of land just below the Ngong Hills, south of Nairobi. Actually, we talked a few times. I told her I would like to meet with her once we had made some progress in our registration process, so that I would something to show her, and then we could talk about the logistics of buying her land.

Several phone conversations later, in fact, approximately 36 hours before I was due to leave Nairobi, when my bags were packed, my gifts purchased, my goodbyes goodbyed, my return promised, my registration underway, my lawyer paid, my welcome-home party planned, etc, etc, I recieved a phone call.

Apparently, and I really have no idea why I was not informed sooner, and I'm told it would be impolite to ask, apparently the land is no longer for sale, because she and her husband have used it as collateral to take out a very, very, very large loan (too large for our money to be of any use, she said).

So, back to square one. And here's the thing: deep down, I knew this land was more than I could afford. The dollar's dropped, the price of land has increased, and this location is, well, hard to beat. I guess I was hoping the owner could somehow be persuaded to drop the price, like, drastically. But there's nothing I can do now, save look for new land.

I'm amazed and blessed, as usual, by the way the women in Susan's church will bend over backward (where did that phrase come from? I've been wondering) to help me. Susan and I have recieved phone calls daily, with news about a new plot that is for sale, an owner they know, etc, etc. It's encouraging. I'm optimistic.

Now, the decisions: less land, in a more expensive location? more land, in a remote area? hold out for electricity and water, or pay to hook it up ourselves? two smaller plots, one for the school and one for the home? a remote area, which surprisingly has electricity, or a very (expensive, and) populated area- up a hill, with no electricity or water, but neighbours that we know and love? hills, plains, mountains, valleys, trees, bushes and grass: these are the things that cling to my heels as I crawl into bed each night.

I honestly have no idea what to do, and I'm very blessed by the people who have been quick to remind me that God is in control. It's a good thing, too, cuz if anyone else were in control, I'd up and leave.

I just wish God would, like, send me an email, or text, or something... (Lori! how many times have we had this conversation).



ps: after twenty minutes of waiting for pictures to upload, I'm giving up. But really, they all look the same: slightly hilly plots of land covered in dry grass and acacia trees.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

and...scene.

My friend Daina, who was the headmistress at the nursery school where I taught in Mbita, says I am her 'sudden traveler'. She claims I only gave her 24 hours notice when I went to visit Uganda 4 years ago. (This may be true, I can't be sure, how can I be bothered with remembering such mundane details?) She also remembers that I come and go from Kenya and within Mbita itself with little warning. (She doesn't exactly have an email address.)

This conversation reminded me that last year, I bought a ticket to New York about 36 hours before actually leaving. When I said 'I think I'll go to New York tomorrow', people thought I was joking.

What can I say? I like spontaneity. (I like it in concept, that is; the actual word is proving to be rather difficult to spell.)

My point is this: I am not actually leaving today. I have decided to extend my trip for three more weeks. The main reason is that we are unable to buy the land I originally intended to buy, and I am going to spend the next three weeks searching for a new location. The added bonus is that we should be through with our registration process by then, and I will be able to view our certificate with my very own eyes.

The downside is that I will miss the following: Book club (sigh), Matt and Ciara's wedding, and my very own welcome-home party (Sorry, Ange). I will also have to figure out how to pay my bills through July and get rent money to my roommate (Sorry, Ginny!). But other than that, things should work out okay, and I am of course looking forward to spending more time here in Nairobi.

Oh, the other thing I'm worried about is that this is cutting into my auction-preparation time. By the time I get home there will only be about 2 and a half months till the auction! (OCTOBER 4TH OCTOBER 4TH OCTOBER 4TH) Oh yeah. And July and August are the only actual months I enjoy living in Oregon. Too bad I'm spending my summer there, enjoying winter here. Oh well, right?

The delicious irony here is that my bags are already packed. I have never, NEVER, in my six trips to Kenya and back, various other missions trips, study abroad in Europe, and four years of venturing to San Diego and back, EVER, have I packed more than, say, 12 hours in advance. As I got more and more accustomed to traveling, I confess this time was often cut down to, and I am not exaggerating, about 2 hours before actually leaving for the airport.

And this time, I packed on Monday. MONDAY. I wasn't even supposed to leave until today, WEDNESDAY. Do you see what I'm getting at here? "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today", my foot. I'm changing it to "Always put things off until tomorrow, because you will just have to unpack anyway".

Please pray that the next three weeks are fruitful. Ideally, we will find land we want (and can) buy, meet with the owner, get the land title paper deed thing to my lawyer, obtain proof of registration as a trust, and...dare I hope? Pay a down payment on the land.

But this is all a bit optimistic, given our steady history of setbacks and obstacles. So we will see what God has in store for me.

Miss you all!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

a photo essay of kim, by ashby, age 27




a photo essay of susan's living room, by kim, age three






ps, please don't tell my dad that i let a 3 year old use his camera. thanks.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

new beginnings cereals shop.

(that's probably my favourite name of any store here so far).

I guess it's been a while since I've given a real live update on my work here, so here goes...


I have a new lawyer, a good one, named Frank. He is working to register us as a trust, which is a much faster and easier process than a non profit. We have trustees: three of my Kenyan friends (including Susan), my dad and myself.

I am meeting with Esther, the owner of the land we seek to buy, on Friday. We need the title papers from her to show our lawyer, so he can confirm that the land is really truly buyable.

I have met with the cost consultant (who is advising us on everything from well-digging to construction working to road-paving). He is the one who recommended a construction manager, who is going to supervise our building plans (Angie) to make sure they're Kenyan-proof.

This is a bit of the chicken-and-egg scenario, because the cost consultant wants to visit the land site, which he can't really do until we convince Esther that we really are buying the land, and we can't really convince her we're buying the land until we finish registration, and that's just a waiting game, but while we wait, our lawyer AND the cost consultant want the title papers, and Esther doesn't really want to give those up until we're serious about buying, and we can't convince her we're buying until we're registered...okay so it's not so much chicken-and-egg as it is the old classic 'I don't want to have to wait until we're registered to get working on all this other stuff' routine.

You know. The usual.

Anywho. What else? I've bought some awesome things for the auction. And I'm not quite sure how I'm going to fit everything into my suitcase. And...yeah, that's about it. I don't know what else to tell you guys.

Please pray that things fall into place! We can of course continue to work on everything once I'm back in the States (we'll have to, obviously) but I worry that things will move more slowly than they already are, once I'm gone. Out of sight, out of mind, as it were...


Peace, people. And for those who are keeping track, I'll be home next Thursday, around noonish.

Monday, June 16, 2008

for heaven's sake. one more picture. for reals this time...


It was scary- to get on and off, the camel drops to their knees, and I do mean DROPS. You feel like you're falling, like an insane roller coaster, with no safety belt, and the roller coaster is growling at you...

and finally, a shout-out to my baby!


These are (this is?) my friend Nephat's curtains!
Miss you, Blue!

what's up-date



Busy day, and I'm exhausted, but I just wanted to post a few pictures...

side note: i'm tryin REAL hard to get the captions to match up to the pictures, but the internets are being difficult. i'll leave it up to you to discern which picture is of Kamugu, which is of an ostrich, which is of a tree, and so on. i trust you're up to the task.






This is Mbita (the village I taught in) at night, and during the day time. Pretty, no?







An ostrich.













This is my friend Kim. I was carrying him in the sarong, like a real Kenyan, but he climbed out (while I was standing. It was sort of traumatic. He climbed around to my front. Rather like a monkey, that one.


















Kamugu. He's a nut.



My FAVOURITE animal in the world!







And a close-up of a giraffe- this might be my favourite picture ever. (I think this looks like a self-portrait, like the giraffe was holding the camera!)




Sunday, June 15, 2008

happy daddy day

I just wanted to take a minute to wish a very happy father's day to any fathers who might be reading this, especially MINE! (I love you daddy).

I hope you all have a wonderful day and feel blessed by your families!

And yes, I did ride a camel yesterday. It was awesome.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

two more



pictures, some good

You guys, I'm annoyed. This computer is annoying, this internet connection is annoying, and I'm not very familiar with my camera OR with blogger, ANYWAY, the point is, here are a few pictures.

my beloved Susan.
her ridiculous nephew Kimani...
a rainbow.
a tree.
and...the view from my (Susan's) house. This is one of my favourite pictures.

That's it for now. Miss you all!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

ironically, the first hot shower i've had in weeks was here in the village.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

alright alright alright

Prison was kinda anticlimactic, you guys. But, since I've gotten a couple requests, I'll describe it:

...okay, I can't. Seriously. To describe it I'd have to start from scratch. Because, it's Kenyan. It was just a Kenyan experience.

Apparently the Langata Women's Prison is one of the most 'respected' in Kenya, known for treating the women well and helping rehabilitate them. The women from Susan's church were basically giving a chapel service, as well as providing tissue, soap and clean underwear to each woman there. (My question is, if they treat their women so well, why don't they provide them with tissue and soap?)

So, I wrote this:


we sit shoulder to shoulder
we pray
i'm offered a translator
and it starts:

the pastor thanks God
for his grace and mercy
as the girls sit
six to a bench
in white robes,
and plastic shoes

we are here to teach these girls
about The Lord, i'm told

i disagree.

the young mother
who nurses her baby
in the front row:
this is grace

and the girl
who gives up her chair
and stands in the back:
this is mercy

who will teach us, i wonder?
we are too busy giving
to recieve.

Monday, June 2, 2008

things i know to be true:

~Nairobi has changed and yet is still the same. still crowded, noisy, pushy and dirty. but the street kids are gone, the police are ever-present, the traffic is worse, the litter is better, and the fruit vendors aren't allowed to sell at the bus station anymore.

~I'm told that the average 'day laborer' (entry level jobs, or people who make minimum wage) make 250/= a day. that's just over $4.

~ a loaf of bread costs 38/=, or about .65 cents. a bus ticket in Nairobi costs about 75 cents. and a gallon of gas is $5.79.

~in other words, inflation is on the move, and the minimum wage is not a living wage.

~Madaraka Day really doesn't mean much except that school is out.

~since coming here I have finished the following books: Dreams from my Father, The Catcher in the Rye, The Long Loneliness, and Three Cups of Tea. I liked them all.

~I have to do laundry and I don't want to.

~I am going with Susan and some of her friends from church to visit (and probably preach at and sing to) the prisoners in Nairobi Langata Prison on Wednesday. this should be interesting.

~my friend Roy (a Kenyan here in Nairobi) is getting married on the 21st. this, too, should be interesting.

~Nairobi's latest trend in music, a horrid mix of disco, r&b and rap love songs, makes me want to stick forks in my eyes. rusty ones. I'm just saying.

~I really miss goldfish crackers and skittles.

~and Ella.

~a friend of mine just put me in a really bad mood. I sort of feel like screaming, even.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Holy glory, this internet connection is slooooooooooooow...

I know you're all on the very edge of your seats, waiting for news about my lawyer. So I'll tell you.

I found my way to downtown Nairobi BY MYSELF (a feat not beccause Nairobi is that bad, but because I have absolutely no sense of direction), and met my friend Roy. We had lunch (chicken pot pies and LATTES!, of course) and then went to meet with the lawyer that came highly recommended from a friend of his.

Our lawyer, Frank, is really cool. He seems really nice and intelligent and serious about helping me. I dunno- I am generally trusting of, like, everyone, so who knows. But I liked the way he talked. He seemed genuinely interested in helping us.

We'll see. Anyway, he's going to get back to me in the next few days with some information about what he advises and what it will cost us. If we hire him, he's in it for the long haul- registering us as an NGO, helping us negotiate and pay for land, helping us with permits, etc etc.

Keep praying please!

I miss you all and hope you're doing well. Send me some emails or texts, for heaven's sake!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

say goodbye to jet lag...

...I do believe I slept through the night last night.

And the award for Most Improved in the area of Technology goes to my mom, who figured out how to leave me a comment on my blog! Good work, mamaci! I miss you and love you.

So, this morning we walked for miles. Okay, two. We walked for two miles and neither Susan nor I was used to it. Also, the sun came out. Yes, hooray, the sun! -but oh so hot, sindiyo?

After a veeeeeeeery long church service, in which I journaled, read half of Amos, and listened intently (to the 10% of the service that was conducted in Swahili), Susan and I walked home with a few others from her church. (We were visiting another church, see).

On the way home my attention was divided between the gorgeous scenery, lamenting the fact that I forgot my camera, carefully choosing my footing along the rocky and dusty road, and listening to the man next to me.

We discussed politics, mostly American. We discussed McCain's penchant for war (ha!), Bush's bungling of the US's relationship with, you know, the entire rest of the world, Hilary's stubbornness, and Obama's Kenyanness. We discussed the primary in Oregon (thanks for the statistics, Ange!, superdelegates, and blacks in America.

As we veered downhill, past cows, goats, children, hills, maize and trees, our conversation moved toward the topic of men in Kenya. He asked me why men in the US worked so hard when men here were so lazy. He asked me if women in the US had a need for fellowship and camaraderie the way women here so desperately did.

I didn't really have answers for him. I've been thinking lately about the roles gender will play in my children's home here. I'm tempted to take only girls, because they tend to rise up to expectations and will meet their potential. Women will use their education to make a difference in their communities.

But the boys need teaching, too. We need to teach them to become men. To fight for their families, for their country. To desire change.

I'm a visionary. I need someone to come alongside me and help me get things done.

Sigh...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Nimefika nyumbani!

Hello all! I'm here! It feels so good to be in Kenya again.

My flights were looooooong and painful- my knees were KILLING me- but as always, it is so fun to read and watch movies and just relax for 2 days! It's like a mini vacation.

Now I'm here, in Ngong. I'm staying with my friend Susan (as per usual) and it just feels so...so right to be here. It's funny. I was thinking about all the things about Kenya that don't make sense for me. I HATE it when people are late to things- and people here are experts at being late. They make the latest latster from the States seem prompt.

They eat meat.

They are morning people.

And there are others which I can't think of right now. But in spite of any list I might come up with, Kenya feels like home. At times it can seem counterintuitive to want to be here- but my heart knows.

My heart feels content.

I will try to update when I can. In the meantime, I have a cell phone:

+254721930508
so you can text me and tell me how much you miss me. : )

And I figured out how to update Twitter from my phone here (that is a bald-faced lie. Nathan Hagglund figured out how I can update Twitter from my phone here.). The point is- you can follow my Twitter updates there on the left, or, if you're into that sort of thing, I believe you can get my updates sent to your phone.

That way, when I send a text from my phone that says 'oh my gosh, I'm about to get swallowed by a girafe' you will know about it RIGHT AWAY.

Grace and peace to you all. Hope you're all doing well!

Ash

(PS It's about 11am Friday morning. Let's see if my blog posts in my time or yours...)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I'm outta here!


I can't believe I'm finally going to Kenya. It's been way too long. I dream about it. I catch myself speaking in Swahili to people here. And I look at my pictures constantly.

In other words, I'm ready. It's time to go back. I leave in two days! And I have about eight million things to do before then. So...I'd better get off my computer.