Monthly Archives: January 2013

At Home, 9008 Miles from Home.

You guys. I’m here! And what a beautiful, stressful, encouraging, exciting, challenging, and surreal week this has been!
I arrived safely in Nairobi on Monday the 14th at 10:30pm. No problem. All luggage intact. Stuffed full of airline food. Running on less than 20 minutes of sleep. 3 movies and two books complete. Ready to go.

 

I was fortunate enough to be greeted by Diane Bricker, World Concern’s former Africa Director, who now lives in Seattle but happens to be spending these two weeks in Kenya. It’s always comforting to be greeted by a familiar face.

Though I have yet to meet my roommate (she has been working in South Sudan and tends to do most of her work in the field), I spent my first few nights with two incredible German women who have spent years working with World Concern in Somalia. Again, another comfort and Godsend. I think God knew I needed some company during this period of initial adjustment (and overcoming horrible jet lag!!). Slowly but surely, I’m learning the ropes of living the Kenya city life – everything from turning on the water heater 30 minutes before showering (though, do not always expect hot water) to bargaining for avocados and bed frames. Having spent 5 months in Uganda, I naively assumed I would not have too much cultural adjustment to endure. I failed to remember that though there may be cultural similarities, I am in an entirely new country and a HUGE city. A moment of perspective: getting lost on foot leads to discovering normally bypassed gems (fresh fruit markets, local restaurants, bicycle shops, etc). Let’s just say, in my first week, I’ve only been lost a handful of times…

The Wednesday after flying into Nairobi, I began orientation at the World Concern office.

the lush view from my office.

the lush view from my office.

MY GOODNESS THESE PEOPLE ARE AMAZING. After only three days, I already feel that I am growing to be a part of the World Concern Nairobi family.

Meet Fidelmah, WC Africa's HR coordinator- she has been a HUGE blessing in assisting with my orientation!

Meet Fidelmah, WC Africa’s HR coordinator- she has been a HUGE blessing in assisting with my orientation!

Everyone has been incredibly kind, warm, and patient (this is because I ask questions. A lot of them.). Though I’m included as a member of the family, I do know that it will take some time for me to find my role in daily office life. But the opportunities abound!

Until my first field visit, I will be finishing up orientation, settling into my lovely spacious apartment, registering for a couple of trainings, working on my Swahili (I’m determined, folks!), and doing my best to continue to familiarize myself with World Concern Africa and the city of Nairobi- my new home!

part 1 of adjusting to life in Kenya: playing tourist!

part 1 of adjusting to life in Kenya: playing tourist!

Due to a high demand, here is my contact info 🙂
* please note: as much as I LOVE a good package, there is no guarantee that I will receive anything. There is also a good chance that if I do receive your package, I will have to pay a lofty tax in order to take it from the post office. A better idea: letters, letters, letters! I will respond!

 

World Concern
Kelly
PO Box 61333
00200
Nairobi, Kenya

 

Currently working on getting a local phone number – I will share it with you as soon as I do. Also, remember to follow my twitter and World Concern’s Africa twitter (of which I’m the voice).

THANK YOU for all of your prayers and support as the reality of working for World Concern is coming to fruition! I am seriously blessed by such strong support communities!

“How do you feel?”: An attempt to describe the 89 emotions I have regarding leaving in THREE DAYS…

…you got lucky, I’m going to spare you a novel’s length description of the 89 emotions I am experiencing and break it down to these four words: Teach me Thy way.

When I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious by what lies ahead, Teach me Thy way.

When I act like I can do this on my own, Teach me Thy way.

When I worry about building new relationships, Teach me Thy way.

When I am excited to find myself in a new home, immersed in a new community, Teach me Thy way. 

When I am saddened by the prospect of leaving dearly loved ones for two years, Teach me Thy way. 

When my flesh fails me, as it always does, Teach me Thy way.

When I am crawling in my skin ready to serve and be served, Teach me Thy way. 

When I finally learn to admit that my strength is not enough, Teach me Thy way.

Teach me Thy way, O Lord,
  Teach me Thy way;
Thy gracious aid afford,
  Teach me Thy way.
Help me to walk aright;
More by faith, less by sight;
Lead me with heav’nly light,
  Teach me Thy way.

When doubts and fears arise,
  Teach me Thy way;
When storms o’erspread the skies,
  Teach me Thy way.
Shine through the cloud and rain,
Through sorrow, toil, and pain;
Make Thou my pathway plain,
  Teach me Thy way.

Long as my life shall last,

  Teach me Thy way;

Where’er my lot be cast,
  Teach me Thy way.
Until the race is run,
Until the journey’s done,
Until the crown is won,
  Teach me Thy way.

 

The next blog I write will be from my future motherland, Nairobi, Kenya! I will soon be blogging much more frequently and would love to hear back from you! I will also be the voice of World Concern’s Africa Twitter account, @WCinAfrica as well as my own, @KellyinKenya.

Friends, God is so good. And your love and support is so humbling and such a blessing. Here’s to future blog posts about transformed lives, stories of hardships and challenges, documentaries of empowered communities, photos of the beauty and brokenness of humanity, and pursuing the practice of letting go of my way on a daily basis.