Monday, April 11, 2005

Kenya Email Update #7

Hi everybody! What’s up???

I’m just enjoying a relaxing Sunday afternoon here in Nairobi. Thought I’d hop on my computer and finish this update since our power just came back. It seriously goes out at least once a week. I picture this evil little man sitting behind a large switchboard, laughing as he vindictively turns the power on and off at random. Poor guy. I should probably send him a letter or something. :)

Anyway, I want you to know that it’s getting harder and harder to cram everything into these bite-sized email updates. It just seems that whenever interesting things start happening, I have less time to write! Do I even need to mention how fast March flew by? I turned 22 and didn’t even notice! We spent my birthday visiting Will (the other American intern) who had been in a pretty serious car accident (he’s ok now). It really shows one of the big differences between our cultures. If the same thing had happened in the States, we would have all been trying to figure out who was going to send him a party favor!

One cool thing that did come from my birthday was that I was treated to dinner at a restaurant called Carnivore. It’s an all-you-can-eat gluttony-fest of meat (No surprise that most of the people eating there were white tourists)! They serve beef, chicken, pork, ostrich, crocodile, camel… Yeah. I even ate the crazy stuff… It’s becoming habitual. Anyway, at Carnivore, Waiters just walk around holding big skewers of roasted meat, carving off pieces for whoever can still cram more animal flesh into their already bulging stomachs. Good times!

Speaking of meat, I had another memorable first a few days ago. I got to see my lunch slaughtered before my eyes! We were out at Camp Malta, which is a team-building site owned by Tanari-Trust (Mo’s company). In good Kenyan fashion, we were having Nyama Choma for lunch. Will and I saw these two guys with machetes escorting goats to a corner of the property. Like real men, we were mesmerized as they killed, hung, and skinned the animal that in a few hours would be our meal. How cool is that?

On the way home, I introduced the people in our van to Twizzlers (my grandparents sent them to me). I was the only person there who had even heard of them! I explained that in the States, we always have Twizzlers when we go on road trips. After devouring the bag, we pulled off at a roadside kiosk and asked if they had any more. They must have been fresh out. We bought mangos instead.

In other news, the internship is going full blast. Right now, I have the responsibility of finding and training a production team for our church plant’s Sunday service, writing dramas and promotional materials, making a detailed map of our district, helping to organize the activities for the GCC team coming in June, and participating in a counseling class, discipleship group, and numerous intern meetings. That’s about it… except for the research, event planning, teaching and counseling that I do. Oh, and I’m studying Swahili on the side… and serving refreshments at worship concerts… and finding clipboards for volunteer sign-ups next Sunday... (It really doesn’t end!)

It’s funny. I think after a year living in a foreign country, the most valuable thing I’ll learn is not cultural adaptation or different paradigm of ministry… it’s time management! Seriously. You should see my calendar. It’s so organized it hurts. If someone told me that Microsoft Outlook was a direct gift from God to man, I wouldn’t be surprised.

I think I am finally able to grasp the fact that I’ll be here the whole year. I’m starting to see the bigger picture, and I’m realizing how awesome this year will be for my development. I come home at night filled with the stuff I’ve learned about myself – my leadership style, my emotional weaknesses, my spiritual gifts, my opinions, my past mistakes, my purpose in life, etc. That doesn’t even include the things I’m learning about ministry, cultural worldviews, church planting, and how to be a good uncle to a couple of absolutely crazy boys!

Thanks a billion for your prayers! I’ve had a few really tough emotional experiences that ended well, I believe, because of your dedication to pray for me! Keep it up!

I attached a little picture that I made with Photoshop (it puts to shame the last picture I attached!). If you like it, I can make more of ‘em. I’ve been taking a lot of pictures. Keep your eye out for a little email I’ll be sending soon. It will announce an AOL Instant Messenger chat session I want to do some Sunday Afternoon (well, it’ll be afternoon for you… I’ll be up in the middle of the night). I’ll just open up a chat room to answer questions and talk in real time with you guys! Cool huh?

May your wives be many and the wind be always at your back! Sounds like a cool Kenyan farewell. But it’s not. I just made it up. :) Sorry for the letdown!

Have a wonderful April!!! Bye!