Monday, June 15, 2009

The Good and Interesting of Alaska

The best part of arriving in Alaska this week was meeting new family members.

My nephew Eli...Aunt Kimberly and Eli took a nap.

And my niece Bella...
It is good to be home with family and to be back in Alaska. It's always interesting to be back here because I'm reminded of what used to be "normal" for me that isn't so normal anymore. One "Alaska" moment today was going to lunch at the Stop-and-Go Cafe where we ate lunch surrounded by videos for rent. We got to eat and decide on what movies we want to rent to take home. What other place can you eat a meal in a video store? I love Alaska!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A View from Oregon

I have been back in America less than a week. It has been an onslaught of emotions... exciting, nerve-racking, fun, and sad. I will admit that I threw up from anxiety after getting off the plane. Didn't expect THAT! But my body reacted that way. After a few days I'm no longer anxious, feeling like my old self, and enjoying good company, food, and sights. Today John and Erin took me on an Oregon hike, like the good ol' days. The view is a lot different than the views I've experienced in the last year.
And some views were not so different...The crew in Oregon

The crew in Kenya

I did catch myself looking for gazelle and zebra when we passed a grassy, yellow field, but realized I was in the wrong place for that.

Instead, I saw the blue-green hills of the coastal range and beautiful flowers.

I am glad to be back in the States, but must admit that I'm realizing so much about myself and my heart with this visit. Transition is always a bit difficult, and I have spent the last few days processing many thoughts and feelings. I'm learning that it's time to close some doors in the U.S. and solidify others, time to take my whole heart to Kenya and not leave pieces of it behind, time to say good-bye to an old life I was hanging onto for the last year. (I've been reading Ecclesiastes lately. :) I really feel like God is giving me this summer to figure a lot of things out, which most of you would think I figured out when I left here a year ago. I'm obviously a slow learner - it's taken me a year to realize that the U.S. is no longer home. So here I am with an opportunity to love on all my family and friends and looking forward to seeing each of you!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Back in the Homeland!

Well, I'm back in the good ol' U.S. of A. Just arrived this evening, exhausted, but can't sleep at 1 o'clock in the morning because it's 11 am in the middle of the day in Nairobi! Hopefully, my sleepy medicine will kick in soon. Just wanted to let you all know I made it safe and sound after 34 hours of traveling. I'll post more about being back when I'm not so groggy, but for now let me just say... I can't believe I have no comments on the last post about the car! I was sure I'd get comments on that one! :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

One New Car, Two New Scratches

I bought a car this week! Wendy and I put our resources together and purchased a 1997 junker for twice as much as you'd pay in the States. "Yeah" for living in a country where everything is imported! Actually, it's a good little car to get around Nairobi, run errands, and visit friends. I already broke it in with my first little fender bender - Oops! I drove home after dark through an area I probably shouldn't have been driving at that time, surrounded by matatus (the horrible public transport vans that drive like maniacs), when I got stuck between two matatus. Misjudging the distance on my passenger side, I scraped the rear end of one matatu. Since I was a woman alone in a car after dark in a not-so-safe part of town, I continued on my way after a choice word to myself for my stupid moment. In Kenya, driving on after an accident without stopping is pretty common, especially in the dark. But it didn't take away the fact that I banged up my new little car a bit...

Two little scrapes on the passenger side. Sorry Wendy! Needless to say, I'm not driving through that part of town after dark again. Lesson learned! (So you don't have to worry Grandma. :)