Well…here I am again…at HEART in Kenya. And how sweet is.
It is hard to believe that just a year ago, I was venturing to Kenya for the first time as an intern with HEART. Now I am here as intern coordinator, and it just feels like home. All the sights, sounds, and smells are no longer foreign, but evoke memories from last year, and flood my heart with joy and compassion. Clouds of dust from the roads clog your nostrils. Garbage burns on the streets. Roads lined with potholes throw you around the vehicle like Indiana Jones. Traffic clogs every round-a-bout in Nairobi… It is good to be back.
My first few days were spent settling in, recovering from the long journey from California. I had the privilege of meeting with Vickie (HEART Founder and Executive Director) for dinner to discuss the interns and their various projects. It was a very sweet time (nearly 3 hours!) of not only discussing intern projects and getting excited for that, but sharing dreams. I adore seeing the ways God works in her heart and how He still gives her dreams. It reminds me of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2: “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” What a delight to have a heart-to-heart with a woman that is so earnestly loving the Lord and loving others.
Aubrey, the first intern, arrived the evening of June 17th. Ashlee and Brittany, the following two interns, arrived the next evening (June 18th). As the interns arrived, my job was to make sure they became familiar with the compound and were able to settle in smoothly. Since both sets of girls arrived late in the evening, I usually encouraged them to sleep in the following morning to recover from the long journey.
The interns, however, anxious and ready to get to going in Kenya (which I love!) woke up in time for church on Sunday. (When in Nairobi, we typically attend a church just down the street called Ridgeways Baptist Church.) Sunday afternoon I had the interns join the Bayside Team, who arrived early Sunday morning, for orientation—where they are essentially prepared for anything and everything they may encounter here in Kenya including cultural “do”s and “don’t”s, living conditions, money exchange, etc.
After that, I met with the interns to discuss what their time here is going to look like. I introduced them to each of their projects and gave them a basic schedule of the next 6 weeks. It was fun to see each of them get excited about their projects as well as the projects we would be accomplishing as a group. It had been a long time coming of essentially “studying” these girls, getting to know them, answering their questions, and finding a project for them that would benefit HEART that they could be stoked about accomplishing. Watching them light up when I announced their projects was well worth it.
The interns started off their week at HEART in the office organizing files. Although not the most fun activity in the world, they did wonderfully. The Kids for School (KFS) Project requires a file on each child with medical information, guardian and sibling information, a goat census, quarterly check-ups, and photos. It is crucial that these files keep up to date, but because there are over 1,000 children benefitting from the KFS Project (meaning 1,000+ files), the task is time consuming and easier said than done. So the interns helped begin to organize the files, so that they could continue to be organized by anyone who could lend a helping hand in the near future.
Pole sana (Very sorry) for taking so long to get blogs up, but you will have to be gracious with me as I blog in chunks. Right now, the interns and I are off to Nakumat (the local supermarket) to run some errands and purchase supplies for a HEART staff luncheon that we are organizing. I will blog about my adventures to the WEEP centers in Bulbul, Ngong, and Kibera and my adventures to Upper and Lower Taita Hills when I return. I am certainly kept busy as an intern coordinator! Please understand I am essentially “on the job” from 7:30am to 10:00pm.
Thank you all for your prayers and support. I have some “God stories” that I look forward to sharing with you soon!