The rains have come! How many times have you heard that phrase in a missionary letter or something similar?
Never mind the repetition of the phrase – the rains really have come. Kenyan rains are amazing. Gigantic clouds, thunder, lightening, and a very hard rain almost always come hand in hand. Puddles are everywhere, the electricity goes out more than normal (causing one to question the unsettling and obvious relationship between water and electricity in this metropolis of over 3 million people), and people hurry down the road with heads covered by plastic bags, umbrellas, newspapers, or coats.
The rain is refreshing, and just as it has been over the past several months, the weather seems to match the phase of our lives. The past month has been a much more normal and refreshing one – the figurative dust from our move has settled, just as the red dust swirling around everything in Nairobi has settled with the rains (and now comes clumping in my house in the form of mud). We’ve normalized our routine, continued to solidify friendships, and become increasingly involved in life around us.
Chris’s work schedule has become much more manageable, largely due to hiring additional hands to carry the load, his boss defining an end time to the day (much better than the former ambiguous end resulting in a ‘he who stays latest is a better employee’ contest), and he has been given an increasingly defined role within the project. He’s still working incredibly hard, and will be traveling quite a bit over the next 3 months, but he’s enjoying what he’s doing and we’re managing to juggle family/marriage/work/friends/etc more and more gracefully.
I’ve become more involved with different things here, and as more opportunities have presented themselves, am beginning to pursue the possibility of obtaining a work permit so I can get more involved. There are many opportunities to get involved in mental health, and I have been quite surprised by how positive of a response I’ve received when I’ve put my ‘feelers’ out there.
The kids are doing amazingly well – Kai has leapt to a new level in language development. He is now using full sentences, frequent adjectives, and very expressive tones of voice. Some of his favorite adjectives include “disgusting, stinky, hilarious”, and “amazing”. He is also increasingly fond of referring to Chris and I by our first names – which I personally, for the time begin, find hilarious. He is also in heaven, as the rest of the kids in our compound are out of school for the month – so many more playmates! His favorite past-time is putting on his new rain boots, and riding his Red Flyer tricycle through puddles – we highly approve.
Mika is crawling! And by crawling I mean sprint crawling around the house – doing her absolute best to keep up with Kai, and accomplishing her goal remarkably well for a person who still weighs less than 15lbs. She has, within the past 10 days, mastered crawling, going from her tummy to sitting, from sitting to crawling, and from crawling back to sitting. She also has begun pulling herself up on things, and it is a matter of time before she is pulling herself from sitting to standing…she will absolutely be walking before 1 year. Amazing.
Kai & Mika play incredibly well together. We’ve started putting them together in Kai’s room in the morning so they can play while we ‘snooze’ a bit longer. Yesterday, Kai walked into our room and informed me “mama, I give Mee-tah ce-weal”. I poked my head into his room only to observe Mika crawling after Kai, opening her little mouth like a bird, Kai gently placing a single cornflake in Mika’s mouth, Kai telling her to “tew & swallow, Mee-tah”, Mika gumming her cornflake and swallowing (all under the eye of her very watchful big brother), and re-opening her little bird mouth. She is in very good hands.
Chris is getting ready to travel for almost the whole month of May, with some potential spill over into June. We’re not looking forward to him being gone, but are glad he’ll be in and out – not just gone the whole month. We have a great support group built here, and I already have ‘my people’ on standby should I need anything (which I inevitably will) .
I realize there has been a huge, huge lapse in between my last post and this one. Perhaps I’ll be a bit better at keeping up with this over the next month as I’ll have a lot more time on my hands.
The next one will also come with pics – sorry it’s been such a gap!
Until next time,