Girls’ Post: Top Things we miss about Kenya
Things have been quiet here on the blog as we traverse the Southeast having conversations going late into the night, giving hugs and hearing about the challenges and joys our friends and family are facing. We are trying to see as many people as possible while creating stability within the five short weeks for our girls – so we hop from state to state, unpacking and settling in and then starting over again. The girls have done great – but now at week three we talked for a little bit about what they are missing. . .
- Avocados: The first thing Madeline said was avocados. I think it may be more of the category of fresh, fresh food from the market – avocados for 30 cents, tomatoes and onions and carrots from the market, fresh bread from the oven. . .I do miss those giant bowls of guacamole and the friends that accompany them. I miss the hosting it represents. We have been the beneficiaries of meal after beautiful meal, but I also love creating that place of welcome, and look forward to bringing people around our table in Kijabe again.
- Buddy: We had never had a dog until this Fall when adopted a Rotweiler-German shepherd puppy. The girls’ have done a great job training him, feeding him, and walking him, and they love watching him grow and having him welcome them home. Our friends that are staying in our house while we are gone are taking care of Buddy for us, but it has been difficult for them having him apart from our family.
- Walking everywhere: Although this isn’t their favorite when we are in Kijabe, they have missed it every time we have come to the US. We love being everywhere in less than 10 minutes and almost never having to get in a car. While we have loved the convenience of having so many needed things at our fingertips, they miss the views and the stars and the simple walk to the next place.
- Freedom: Following the walking, the girls love being able to run from place to place. With a quick shout out the door as they leave or coming home when they are hungry or ready for bed. They control their schedule in Kenya, where we seem to control their schedule here. . .
- Team dinner: Once a week, we meet with our Serge team to eat, check in, to plan, and keep track of how each person is doing. The girls love the hugs, the genuine interest in their lives, and the time they get to hang out with the high school students on the team. Our team pulled off a surprise graduation party for Madeline the last day and help us stay sane in the midst of everyday life. Our team is changing a lot in people in the fall and it will be a new chapter for us, but the rhythm remains the same.
- Davises: The Davis family has been a huge part of our lives in Kenya from almost the first week. The girls renamed us the Shavises at one point. It is the main place the girls walk and our lives intertwine on so many levels. Adam, their 16 year old son, and one of our favorite people, has been very sick in California for the last few weeks and being away from them for these few weeks. Their oldest daughter is going to come live with us in the fall and the girls are already plotting all their FaceTime dates with Lydia. . .
- Closet – no suitcase: This was Belle’s biggest one. . .living out of a suitcase has it’s challenges – we have the army clothes roll down and have added summer clothes from Goodwill to account for the southern heat. . . I ordered a few sundresses from Amazon and friends cleaned out closets to get me tank tops. Shelly handed us pool bags when we arrived complete with new suits for the girls and sunscreen. But they do long for their own space – and we always acquire quite a few bags as we traverse the country in their effort to make small pockets of the world their own. (below was what we brought back from Kenya to America.)
- Michelle: We have a few people in our lives in Kijabe that have become like family, and their absence when we leave Kijabe is palpable. Michelle lived with us for several months this year and has become a friend and sister. They miss her and ask about her often. . .
- Community: When I asked Madeline what she meant but such a grown-up sounding word, she said, “I just miss running into people on the street that you know – not getting from one place to another because you find someone else you are glad to see.” We do love Kijabe for that reason – and that relationships take precedents over time and appointments. It is hard being away – missing the big updates and the small ones. We will be glad to be back in our home and our yard where you never know who is going to walk in the door next. . . We are treasuring every moment we have in the US with family and friends. The time is too short, but what waits for us on the other side of the world is pretty amazing too. The list for David and I is slightly different from the girls, but the ideas are the same. Friends, community, purpose, beauty. Our roots are growing deep and we look forward to what the next chapter of our journey holds.