Sunday, May 16, 2010

Life is growth

Life is just a chance to grow a soul. ~A. Powell Davies

Life goes on. With it, new things continue to happen each and every day.

When I started this blog - my idea was to share my experiences, challenges, and successes as a volunteer. This has kind of fallen to the wayside was I have not really typed much in the recent past. So it's about time for a new blog post.

So let's play catchup, what's been going on with me: for those who may not be aware, I have a puppy named Baraka (eng: Blessing). Baraka was actually named not by me but by some friends who are on internship here from the states. (thanks!)
There are some pictures of Baraka on my Facebook page and I'll try to put some on my Picasaweb album if I remember :)

Let's see what else is going on..Well recently, I had a chance to visit the Kenyan Coast on a planning retreat for a youth leadership project I've been helping out with and I must say that in my travel I realized how much I've accustomed myself to living where and how I do.

While I was away (for just a few days) I really missed the simple things of life. Perhaps this is because as humans we tend to find patterns that work for us and that we like and stick to them. For example, I have a simple routine of leaving the house early to eat breakfast in town before going to school. Simple, right? Well, when we don't have school - April, August, and December when school is not in session - I miss that early morning walk and exchanging greetings with the people as I make my way into town. In fact, so much time had passed without my daily ritual that some people upon seeing me and greeting me made comments such as "kama sikuona, nilifikiri ulienda" (eng: since i had not seen you, I thought you had left [gone back to the states]).

Even still, the way the faces light up upon seeing me, even after a few days (or sometimes a week if I don't make it into the market) reminds me of why I'm here and who I'm here for.

As I write this, a new school term has begun and with it new challenges and new joys. Each new day I feel more and more like this community is where I belong - the place where I am meant to be doing what I am meant to be doing.

My hope and prayer is that no matter where life takes me I will continue to feel this way.

Happy Belated Mother's Day

Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together. ~Pearl S. Buck

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

To all my mothers, grandmothers, and future mothers in the world:

The day called Mother's Day is the day for you: It's a day for us, your children, to remember and appreciate everything about you.
Everything you do, everything you have done, and everything you will do for us.

Sadly, we as humans do not say "Thank you" as much as we ought. Especially to the people who matter most in our lives: Our teachers, our spiritual leaders, our parents.

So even though Mother's Day is only once a year, don't think that we do not appreciate what you do for us every single day of our lives. Deep down inside, we would not be the people we are today without our mothers.

Having said that, I would like to have a special shout-out to some of my mothers and grandmothers that have been especially influential to me in my life:

My mom who has guided me and helped me every step of the way. Through the good times and the hard times. She has never given up hope on me and for that I am eternally grateful.

My Kenyan mama who taught me about Kenyan culture when I first arrived here. She has helped me to understand how to live a simpler life than I was used to in the States. With her help, I've been able to adjust to life in Kenya.

My local mamas and grandmas (that is the many ladies who look after me in this town): my local mamas and grandmamas are always helpful and grateful of the little time we chat. When I go to the market for example even if I don't buy something from a particular mama just the greeting and brief conversation makes the world of difference to them.
Additionally, a special shoutout to the non-Kenyan local mamas (one of whom has traveled out of Kenya for a bit): Thank you for all your help and support. Asante sana, nimeshukuru sana.

My Scouting mamas and grandmas: Throughout my life there have been a great number of ladies who have helped me as I've been involved with the Scouting movement (both in the US and in Kenya). My Scout mamas and grandmas have helped guide me in many different ways as I have continued to develop into the person I am today. A big thank you for all your support throughout the years.

Lastly, for all my other mamas and grandmas not mentioned in the above text: you are also loved. I am grateful for having met each and every one of you.

Blessings to all mas and grandmas in the world.