Saturday, December 17, 2011


We're headed out of town for a little camping trip, and we are very excited. It will be our first 'break' as a family since Mika was born - the first time when transition won't the focus of almost every day. We are in desperate need of a break.

Kai has learned how to make crying 'sniffs' due to his heightened exposure to a teary mommy, and I'm hopeful this little jaunt out of town will set a new precedent for a more peaceful existence in Nairobi. I sat with Chris last night and just had a great big boo hoo over every single challenge I face every day. The majority of listed challenges resulted in Chris struggling not to chuckle, which he managed beautifully. And while it was a huge relief to 'let it all out', it was also a good reminder that the things that overwhelm me are probably more worth a chuckle than a sob. Or potentially, worth a chuckle and a sob.

Several of the things I listed:
I never know how long errands are going to take because inevitably something will go wrong, I just have no gauge of how directly it will affect me, or how long it will take to solve.
* stuck behind a stalled vehicle (nobody here pulls off the road when they are in an accident, have car troubles, or are waiting for someone...and most roads are only 2 lane, 1 going each direction...or 2 going 1 direction while the other direction is just screwed)
* cash register at the store will jam
* cashier decides it's time for a social break half way through ringing up my items,
* store employee thinks they know what 'journal' means, and spend 15 min finding the perfect 'journal of African slum art' book - not what I was looking for...oh, and you don't have what I'm looking for

Parking lots are insane, and usually the car is so close to other cars that getting the kids out of the car is not just difficult, but actually worth receiving some sort of accolade for - perhaps this is also contributing to my weight loss...bare necessity.

Kai. While he is 20% of the joy in my life, he is an immense challenge while running errands. I often lose sight of him momentarily while in the store - and usually find him with some store employee in some state of destruction or undress...Kai is in a state of destruction or undress, not the employee. Thankfully.

My solace in regards to losing Kai at the store is that every store has a guard at the front entrance, and they won't let him leave the store without me...when in doubt, I just check with the guard, and I can usually find my son. Kenyans are wonderful with children.

Life in Nairobi continues to be a challenge, and while we are slowly making friends (now defined as the people we don't have to tell our names, how long we've lived here, or what organization Chris is working with) we recognize we still have 5 months until the transition experts say we are out of this phase of transition.

So, with all these thoughts, with the knowledge that perhaps some of the greatest challenges are still ahead of us - we are going camping. A quick get away, and an opportunity to take a deep breath.  We'll take lots of pictures - Kai's first African animal experience, and Mika's first camping trip - yeah!

Happy weekend to everyone.

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