Glenda’s Early Reflections – Part 2

Well, Hello again! Time is going so fast and our days are full as we try to adjust to new schedules and teaching assignments. We now have a few days behind us with the school schedule and are getting to know the students a little better with each day. I am teaching 4th grade and only have 10 students in my class. What a nice way to begin! Many of the elementary classes, except for 4th grade, have 18-25 students in them. I have five girls and five boys. They represent three nationalities, Kenyan, Korean, and American.

Now, let me see where I left off the other week with my “Early Reflections”from before school began. Friends took us out to a nearby retreat center in the country for lunch one day. I love viewing the country side and all the sights of people, animals, and plants as we travel.

grass being carried by wheel barrel

people hauling sticks and logs

dirt road we drove

anyone for fish?!

One person in our group ordered fish. We were all a bit surprised that it came out whole! She said it was quite tasty. Then this past Friday we went to a tea farm with other new staff. It was located in the beautiful country side near the retreat center we had visited the other day. While there we were informed on how tea was introduced to the country of Kenya by workers from India who were building the railroad back at the turn of the century. It was also explained to us how it is grown, harvested, and then processed into the rich tea Kenya is known for. During this talk we were distracted every so often by Columbus monkeys climbing around in the trees! They were eating the leaves and fruit, avocados. At one point they jumped from one tree to another making quite a racket. Then while eating avocados above our head, pieces of the avocados would come crashing down through the trees, just missing someone in our group. Those near that area quickly dispersed to other seats farther out of range of the eating monkey.

Columbus monkey eating in the tree above us

Looks kind of cute...especially with it's feet crossed. Just don't sit below...

They also gave us a walk around their property which included a small forest. The Kenyan man talking to us showed us various plants that were used for medicinal purposes, various trees native to the area, and a close up view of the tea plant and how it is picked.

Kenyan man explaining how tea is harvested

The tea plants in the photo that look dead are actually just quite alive. They have just been trimmed back so they don’t get too high for the pickers who pick everything by hand. These brown plants should be good for picking again in about three months.

tea fields

This man on his bike went passed us at one point during our talk. I am always amazed  at what can be carried on bikes around here!

biker with a load

The girls spent much of the day playing soccer with other kids who were there. At one point Anisa ran into a pointy bush and got a bit bloody, but she took it in stride and it didn’t slow her down one bit. Both girls were kind with all ages who were playing, they played gently with the young ones and every once in a while showed the older kids that they could do just about anything they wanted with the ball when they wished. 🙂

girls playing soccer, Anisa is just rounding the corner of the bit pointy bush

We were able to drink freshly made passion fruit drink. It is the best!

The best!

At one point a child found a chameleon. I liked looking at it closely and feeling it walk up my arm. It’s feet act like pinchers as it climbs. It was quite fun to watch the eyes which often looked in two different places at once.

chameleon, check out the feet

Glenda with the chameleon

John with the little guy

kind of a fun view

check out the eyes and horns

John, Karen and Anisa having fun

Then the very next day Karen got very sick and couldn’t keep anything down! That was a surprise and after 4+ hours of this, we felt she needed to be checked by a doctor because of her intense pain and the fact that nothing was staying down, even the tiniest amounts of fluid. We were told of a hospital emergency room that has opened up just a mile or two down the road so we took her there since it was after normal doctor hours. They helped her by giving her meds to help with the pain and vomiting as well as giving her intravenous fluids to help with her dehydration. They found out through blood work that she had a bacterial infection so they sent her back home with antibiotics. Thankfully, that night already Karen showed improvement and today she is almost back to normal strength.

Karen and Anisa with Ashly, our house worker

Both girls got their hair done in new styles. I put extensions in Anisa’s hair and Karen chose to have someone else do hers. Ashely, our house helper, told us of a Kenyan friend who was willing to come to our house to braid the girl’s hair.  So we had her come and style Karen’s. It looks so neat! I wanted to watch how it was done so I can learn more, but John and I had New Staff meetings all day. Both Anisa and Karen said that the lady who did Karen’s hair, her name was Betty and her 1 year old son whom she brought along was named Romeo, did things we didn’t normally do that they said would help their hair grow. Something about combing a certain way, using a blow dryer a certain way, and using a certain kind of oil. Both Anisa and Karen are happy to hear this since they have long wanted longer hair. We will see if over time we see more rapid growth with these changes. (Karen did say that this lady pulled on her hair quite hard though while going through the hair care process. Maybe mom’s style of hair care doesn’t look so rough after all!)

new hair styles!

We invited a new family over for dinner the next night. It was fun to get to know each other. Their oldest, a son, is in Karen’s grade this year. He was happy to know Karen likes the Warrior’s book series and had book #4 to lend him. He was also happy Anisa and Karen both liked to play soccer.

So, God is gracious. We have felt God’s presence as we adjust to this new culture. We are adjusting to a new home, navigating the health care system and making new friends. Thanks for your continued prayers! Glenda

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3 Responses to Glenda’s Early Reflections – Part 2

  1. Laura Flosi says:

    So great to hear your voice through your words, Glenda. And the pictures are wonderful! Missing you guys, but loving the privilege of living vicariously through you!

  2. Patsy Seitz says:

    Loved reading your post and seeing the photos. Certainly makes all of you seem not so far away. I am impressed at your close encounter with the chameleon. Felt strange to start a new school year with your family at another school, but I’m glad for the opportunities you are experiencing.

  3. Sherman Eberly says:

    Hey guys,
    Your pictures of the tea farm brought back memories from when we were in Kenya the summer of 2006. We visited the farm, had a meal and got the same tour from the same gentleman. Very interesting experience. Missing all of you here in the burg and at school. Blessings…

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