Local Time in Korr, Kenya

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ingo Ingurinit

This is my new "Ingo" (Auntie), Ingo Ingurinit. Last year while living at the Kuku House, Ingo Mary helped us out with laundry, dishes, and just generally cleaning up after us four girls. However, this year she's working down at Nick and Lynne's house so we hired one of my favourite mommas from church. Even though she's pretty traditional and has little experience working in a white ladies' house, she's such a joy to have around, especially on those days you can't face another round of dishes...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Megan and Emily Meet Korr

Canadians, eh! Here to help do teacher evaluations and curriculum assessment at the nomadic nursery schools. Megan (on the left) and Emily (on the right) are the "Canadian Goslings" I mentioned about a month ago, however these ladies are actually 24 and 23 respectively so we can't call them the Goslings anymore.

Megan has a great laugh and energy that makes me feel like an old person (no offense Grandmas and Grandpas) but is, of course, a favourite with the kids. Emily is the kind of person who makes you feel like you're super funny and interesting because she's so sweet. So, between Tamara and I and these ladies, we've got a pretty full house which I like.

There's also a new guy named Deven who's working at TSS with me as the Biology 1 and CRE 1 and 2 teacher. His nickname was chosen after I met him so I know for sure that "Geek Squad" describes him well as he showed up in Korr with enough gadgets to build a bridge out of toothpicks and a certain knack for all problems concerning the internet. He's kind and a very motivated science teacher so I think he'll do quite well in TSS.

Well, looks like I've got a great new team! I must admit that I miss the Korr Girls (Jamie, Alicia and Ruthie) something awful, but I really am excited to work with these people and learn what I can from them.

The New Oven

We're not very high tech these days now that we've moved back into "Kuku House" (the unofficial official Short Termer house.) As the pioneers in this set up, we four girls are lacking in a few things, which actually doesn't make our lives difficult, but just a little different.
Case in point, this is our oven.
Laura Propst gave us this old safari camp stove that sits just over a burner on our stove top. It's made completely of sheet metal, so this little bugger gets HOT! There's a thermometer that sits inside, but I'm not so sure it works. Really, I just turn on the burner, set the stove on top and then wait for stuff to bake.
Here's Megan and Emily's biscuits - the very first thing to be baked in the oven! Yum!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Yeesoo a 'doossamaache

Jesus heals.

In the third term of school in 2010 I ran into a whole bunch of nasty - bad attitudes from the kids, primarily. In fact, my experiences in the last bit of 2010 were enough to make me seriously reconsider my decision to return to Tirrim Secondary in 2011.

I'm glad I took a chance.

I'm starting to see that my return may, in fact, have the distinct purpose of being a time of healing because in the past 8 months God has really been fixing some serious wounds from last year. This past June I had a long talk with a boy called Jonathan who was one of my problem kids last year. He told me he realized that holding onto anger with circumstances and with me was eating a hole in his heart. He said he had decided to release his anger at me, and while he never really said he was sorry for the way he acted, I was so happy to see a proactive desire to set things right.

Then, just the other night my former student, Elias, showed up at my door.

It wasn't just me who had had issues with him last year, in fact I really was just on the fringe, but disciplining him fell to me and that's where the drama started. Long story short, he was expelled for failing to comply with his discipline and left behind him a sour taste in my mouth. Then suddenly he's on my doorstep telling me that he's realized he was very wrong for having such a terrible attitude, for saying such rude things, and for just generally carrying on the way he did. He said he had recently been to a sport camp where they had been talking about peacemaking (some boys had tried to start a fight on the soccer field), and he was suddenly convicted of how he had acted toward me and that he needed to do make peace. He was terrified out of his mind to come talk to me because, in Rendille culture, people generally don't let go of wrongs against them, and so coming to me was literally risking a beating (children are beaten for disrespecting elders.) It was quite brave what he did, really.

He adamantly offered me his apologies and asked for my forgiveness in return. It was very readily given. Not only am I happy to discard of bitterness, but it's a joy to see this once troubled boy growing up, recognizing his faults, taking responsibility for his actions and allowing God to soften his heart.

To be able to have conversations like this with my students and tell them that I really do love them despite their mistakes and that I believe God is changing their lives...

I'll take teenage angst any day.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Friend, Tana

The pretty girl in the middle is my dear friend Tana. I met her last April just as she was arriving in Kenya while we were both trying to survive the awkward and repetitive dinner table conversations of a missionary guest house. I only got to hang out with her a couple of days in Nairobi before I went back up to Korr, but then, as Tammy and I came down to the city again for our holiday, Tana invited us to stay with her! What a BLESSING this girl is. Not only am I saved from those terrible dinner table conversations, but I also get to hang out in a cute little home with an awesome lady. Fancy lunches on the porch (like the one seen in the picture above), shopping, coffee dates, day trips and such were all ways we enjoyed Tana's company.

As much as I dislike Nairobi, I have really enjoyed this trip almost entirely due to Tana's hospitality.

"Good on ya Tana!" (An ism from Tana herself.)