Remembering Kenya…

October 2004, It seems so long ago. Yet it seems like yesterday. Three years ago I was in my flat in Nairobi, working for Church World Service. Three years! I was scared and excited. I was alone and fearful. I was in Kenya.

There years ago I had just returned from my first fray into the wilds of Kenya. I went to a primary school (Murang’a) around Thika. I snapped photos as Andrew and I delivered a few desks to the school. They were getting ready for the national exams or visit from officials. The kids were excited by the desks and a buzz ensued.

We left the school, it was lunch time so Andrew and I stopped to take lunch at “The Blue Post Hotel”. We ate a buffet style surrounded by waterfalls and the greenest grass I had ever witnessed. Which is not difficult when one is from Los Angeles.

It is fun to remember this and other moments that I have from my time in Kenya.

Fast forward to October of 2005, I am back in the states. Now I am in Austin, Texas at seminary. I am having a hard time here. I write this at a very low moment. “I have been giving thought to leaving here. I have doubted my decision in coming here. I still am shaky on my purpose here. I am resolved to stay. I must not give in. I hunger for new vision, new purpose! For this I must endeavor to complete this first year at the very least. By the grace of God and with the help of this community I struggle daily to be a part of I may stand on the shoulders of the giants that arose before me.” Little did I know that I had me my partner, let alone that within six months that we would recognize our mutual need and desire for each other and go on our first date.

To October 2006, I am knee deep into seminary. I am still longing to return to Kenya. I tend to remember Kenya at this time. Why?

I look to some haiku I wrote in my flat on lonely, Tusker filled night.

I pray for help now.
Father, son, Holy Spirit…
Who can feed me?

Big belly, hunger
Torn, tattered shirt, clean.
Smiling at me.

Golden Lager Beer.
Distinction brings pleasure.
White Cap in Kenya.

I hate mosquitoes!
Bite, infect, malaria.
Buzz, Buzz in my ear.

It is now October 2007, I am still remembering Kenya. I discovered that a few friends of mine here at Austin Seminary have a friend that is serving in Kenya at Church World Service. The place I once served. I remember. I long. I hope. I no longer do it alone. I pray Micah has the time of his life. I pray that he to is transformed.

Praise be to God and this amazing creation. The world is indeed smaller than we think.

2 thoughts on “Remembering Kenya…

  1. dforbess says:

    Hey Ryan – It’s interesting to hear you reflect on Kenya with what feels like resolution (to me). In a way, I wish for that kind of resolution from my trip. But I still don’t have it. In fact, I often suppress the remembrance because it pains me that it was so long ago, etc. Eeek, it’s even hard to think about it now. I better go do the dishes or something.

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