kenya requires extra eyes. a pair for scanning the dirt as we walk, searching out footing among the shale and the gullies, the writhing streams of ants.*
a pair to watch for motorbikes or matatus that send us leaping to the side of the road, where rain-plowed trenches meet brambles and barbed wire.
a pair to crinkle at the kids who run up to say, ‘how are you?’ and then flee in a knot of giggles when we’re silly enough to answer.
a pair to blink and nod at the mamas sitting bent and serene beneath strings of bananas.
and a pair to take in the hills and the tulip trees and the bright spots of bougainvillea that festoon the landscape like so much confetti.
maybe it’s just that i’m new here, with loads to take in, but i hope i never stop seeing kenya.
we’re winding down our last days of training here in machakos. about a week back, we hiked mount iveti (super fun except for the bees that got riled up and zapped a bunch of us good). we sardined into matatus that climbed slick along fogged-up roads all the winding way to church. we sang hymns in kikamba and ate goat stew and rice with the elders. we’ve grown familiar with–if not entirely fond of–drop toilets, and we’ve learned the prevailing rule of survival in kenya: if you believe in toilet paper, bring it with you.
classes this week have been good. we’re delving into world views and finding that there are no easy answers. this afternoon we got a glimpse of what God is doing in creative access nations, and it’s enough to give your life for. He’s always and wonderfully enough.
next week we’ll head to kijabe and settle into our dorm apartment–at this point it could be the scruffiest shack on the planet; we’re just so ready for some permanence.
yesterday i walked behind a lady who didn’t have shoes, and the shoulder of road there was rocky and spiked with glass and thorns. but she smiled like the day was bright and cool, like a walk under a cloudless sky made shoes extraneous. maybe she was right.
maybe she’ll teach me a thing or two.
*so you are probably thinking: ants-schmants, but those guys bite like baby crocodiles and leave behind bloody marks on one’s unsuspecting legs. bad ants.