Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Way Things Are & Phase 2

Happy New Year! I hope it was ushered in with cheer, ones you love, and hope for the year to come. Kenyans love the New Year - to them it's the start of endless possibilities, and not at all constrained by whatever happened the year before. Their overt optimism, the true belief that maybe, just maybe, this year will be the year when everything finally takes a turn for the better - is noteworthy.  The realist & pessimist in me recognizes our annual recognition of Earth's haphazard spin around the sun has no actual impact on the outcomes & possibilities of the coming year. But still, it's nice to be surrounded by the positivity of an entire country.

I've been amazed at how quickly my eyes have become accustomed to the various shocking factors of life here - how I no longer see all the things or people I pass, how I no longer acknowledge or even consider the 'goodness' of the various aspect of life around me. It's easy to become numb, or complacent, or busy - maybe even just distracted by other more close range things. The grocery list, the budget, the social plans for the day (or the desire to have social plans for the day).

But over the past few days, several things have jumped out to me. Things which cause me to acknowledge that just because things are does not mean they should be.

It's an obvious lesson - a redundant one. Perhaps it builds on the other redundant & obvious lesson I've blogged on before - seeing those in need & when possible helping them. Some things that are, obviously should not be. Other things that are, obviously should be. But then there is this gigantic category of things that are - and whether they should or shouldn't be is an incredibly complex question.

I'll refrain from giving you examples because even in attempting to think of some good examples, I could hear the voices contradicting me - voices which are mainly my own. It's a difficult question & a difficult reality - to recognize that in my daily going abouts, I routinely see things (the circumstances of an individual, the choices of those in power, the inefficiency of a major organization) that make me pause - Those things are. But should they be? I'll let you decide. I'll decide too.

In other, non-musing news, we've started what we're calling Phase 2 of this transition process. Chris went back to work today after a nice holiday break (thanks boss!) & with it came the realization we are no longer brand spankin new. We have an apartment, we have it fully furnished, I know where to go grocery shopping, we have some friends, with the exception of 1 pillow& 1 finishing seam I have successfully sewn all of our couch covers & throw pillow...we are no longer new.

We anticipate Phase 2 will contain a lot of routine setting, friendship making & establishing, & overall feeling more at home here. We are excited for that. We still need to find a car...the good news: Kenya's currency has experienced a 20% increase in strength in the past 2 months. The bad news: we get paid in US dollars - which means our purchasing power has experienced at 20% decrease in strength in the past 2 months. Short of wishing for rapid inflation, we're hoping something comes through! We're both hoping we can find this vehicle for sale...

Keep your fingers crossed for us :)

The kids are doing pretty well - Kai's fighting off some series of bug bites & comes to me a couple times a day, with a very concerned look on his face, saying "mama, mate itchy doe bye bye". Some antihistamine cream is so far doing the trick...

He's made a break through with potty training and is now informing us when he has to go to the bathroom - it's amazing. He is also learning how to cook, count, & measure - we're having a lot of fun together.

Mika has officially rolled over several times, both from front to back & back to front. She's a champ when it comes to solid foods & is sleeping 'through the night' (8 hr stretch for her first part of the night) - she's a doll.

Kenyans love our babies - they think they're incredibly interesting, love to talk to them, hold them, and ask us questions about them. On our way to a camping trip last week, we stopped in a little town outside of Nairobi to get some firewood. A woman was looking in the car at Kai & Mika asleep in their carseats, she turned to me & announced "it's a baby." I smiled, and said "yes, it is." She looked at Kai again, shook her head, then turned to me and said with incredulity in her voice "Is it real?" I'm usually gracious & composed with unexpected questions (or I think I am), but this question was so unexpected. I couldn't stop the laugh, but assured her Kai was real.

I'm looking forward to starting Phase 2 of this transition - people we meet often ask what I do - I tell them I'm developing myself. And it's true - I am developing myself as a person, as a seamstress, as a hobbier, as a cook, as a mother, as a wife, as a friend. I am developing my ideas, beliefs, passions, priorities, and ways of managing life's bumps, bruises, & breaks. There is very little an individual can do or think that is extraordinary - but the sharing of it can be extraordinary, or inspire the extraordinary in others.

I'm off to bed - my children already have a 3 hour head start...

I will post an "Our Apartment!" blog soon - I've received quite a few requests for it, and have held off only because I want it to be more finished than not when I introduce you :) Soon! I promise.

Pic from the week:

1 comment:

  1. All well said, Sarah. Actually makes my head spin a bit processing what I know about the place you write about. Like I said - the day I stop noticing those in my surroundings is the day I shouldn't be there anymore. May we never have blind eyes and hearts to those around us no matter where we live just because of our own days plans, etc.


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