Saturday, September 26, 2009

Enter the Zebra Village, the Deaf, and the Monkeys...

The past two days have been a whirlwind!

We finally made it out to the project where we will be working. I don't think the word challenging quite covers what we will be experiencing the next couple of months; no electricity, a hole for a toilet, and a two hour commute to Nairobi. Eek! David has quite the vision for the orphanage! He took us on a tour of the land, which is about 20 acres, to give us an idea for what it will eventually look like. Given how passionate and driven David is, I believe he will accomplish it....but it will be quite a struggle. He wants to have solar power, water storage, animals, a garden, and much more. In order for them to become self-sufficient they will need a lot of money and a lot of help!

David took us to another project where he has volunteers working. It is an orphanage and school with up to 30 deaf children! I was so excited about this! I tried talking to some of the children but they were a little shy. Also, some of the signs were different. When they introduced themselves I thought they said, 'My name is not, so-and-so'. A bit confusing but at least my name sign (the name you recieve from a deaf person) isn't something embarassing. The children are brutaly honest about your looks and personality! From the moment we started our tour, to the moment we sat down to lunch, we had children hanging off our arms and grabbing our hands, smiling at us the entire time. Ah...I hope I can go back there again.

This morning, Julius and David took us to a local park where there are monkeys. David told us the monkeys would sit on our head, but we didn't believe him (just yesterday he told us he had seen a hippo on the side of the road and there wasn't). However, when David put a nut on Sara's shoulder, a monkey jumped right up there and ate it. To say Sara was surprised is putting it lightly! I happily took pictures while she stood with monkeys on her shoulder, grabbing nuts from her hand or her head. There were some classic facial expressions. The monkey's are forceful little suckers. One monkey pried my hand open and stole the entire bag!
Tonight we are staying with Julius' parents and going to church with him and his family. It should be fun even if it will be a 3 hour service. Then, tomorrow we head out to the Zebra village and get to work!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Arrival to Nairobi

After a rather stressful beggining, due to checking luggage, and close to 22 hours of travelling, we are here! We were picked up at the airport by David who took us to his house for dinner. Though we were well fed on the flights, we happily ate what his niece made for us and drank some "Blood Juice" (for more information on this, see Sara's blog as I'm sure she went into full detail...) We drank so much, I'm pretty sure I almost burst. And Sara was convinced we would pee red.
Later on we had to take our bags up 4 flights of stairs (this took a couple trips since we have so much) to David's office where we stayed just for last night. The first thing David said to us was, "You have a lot of luggage!" And we agreed.
This morning, David and Julius brought us breakfast and what they call English tea which is basically water, milk, and sugar. I actually liked it! We went to the store to get some essentials where David laughed at us for bringing coffee all the way here. Apparently they drink it here too! : )
This afternoon we will be doing a sort of orientation and hopefully make it to the orphanage tomorrow. More to come later. Sara's giving me the "Wrap it up, Mathiesen" look. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers! I'm really excited to get to work!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"The best way to find yourself is to
lose yourself in the service of others."
Mahatma Gandhi