So I'm really bummed! My internet here is so weak that there is no way I can upload pix or videos! (friends who wanted to skype me, this also means that skype will not work) :( I really wanted to get to show you guys everything! But I'm afraid I cant. :'( Darn. I guess I'll just have to use words...
Orientation week! Yeah! We got a tour of the base, and it's pretty huge. We walk a lot. A LOT. We walk almost everywhere and almost everything is spread out. There's a girls dorm, guys dorm, guys shower, girls shower (which is really just a bunch of stalls where you bring your bucket of water and attempt to remove the layer of dust/sunscreen/bug repellent that has built up over the last few days), guys toilet, girls toilet (and actually the bathroom situation isn't so bad! It's kind of like a port-a-poty back home. I was afraid I was going to be digging a hole.), dining hall, kitchen, base office, staff houses, children's foster home, children's school, and our classroom. Everything is built out of some kind of brick and very simple. There are shrub like trees all over that are covered in huge thorns, they live on very little water. They seriously look like the trees from The Lion King. Absolutely beautiful in their own kind of wild way.
Kenya has been experiencing a drout right, so everything has been rather dry and dusty until it rained yesterday. Dirt paths connect everything on the base. However, November is their monsoon season (yay?) so they are hoping for some good rainfall this year to help relieve the stress.
So the neighbor guy has his own minagery with lions, cheetahs, an eagel, turtles, ostritches, goats, and buffalo! :O And he is totally cool with people just coming by to check them out. So during free time we did. It was pretty amazing! The cats are still wild, and only chainlink and barbed wire seperates you. ...Yes, I pet the lion. Of course they said not too, but seriously, when am I EVER going to get that close to a lion again? Not at the zoos back home! I just couldn't resist. ;) The guys were enjoying proviking it and making it growl at them... made for some good pix! :D
All my new Kenyan friends mock my dream of riding a girraffe... I guess giraffes are hard to catch. >.< So I'm not holding my breath on that one.
Roommates! Lets introduce them, shall we? :D In my room is Fran from Southern California, Katelyn from North Carolina, and Carol from Nairobi, Kenya. These 3 ladies are absolutely fantastic and I couldn't have asked for better roomies! They have been a constant support and abundance of friendship to me. They are helping me to make the cultural adjustment much easier.
Most of us girls got braids this week. This involved walking to town, going to numerous shops looking for hair to match (which is rather hard in dark buildings. we need extensions cuz without textured hair, the braids wont stay), starting the braiding process then realizing that we don't have enough hair and walking around for the rest of the night with half a head of long braids, and finally getting them finished the next day. They look AMAZING! I may want to keep this look up when I get home. :)
-for generous and unselfish attitudes amongst the team; whatever one does not have, often another is willing to help out with. This has been an encouraging blessing that we would like to see continue.
-relief of homesickness amongst the team; many of us are having a difficult time with the lack of ability to contact and communicate with home.
-continued unity; though English is spoken by all students and the rules suggest that we all speak it in order to bond easier, it is not most of their 1st language. So many students drift back to their native language with others that can speak it. This can cause grouping that boarders on cliques, which is very unhealthy for a team.
-ease of transition; a lot of us are having difficulties adjusting to the culture. We all knew this would happen, and will continue to be a challenge for a few months, but if the stress of it could be lightened as much as possible, that would be so, so, so nice!
Thank you all for your prayers and love!