Monday, May 12, 2014

a song & s'mores!

In order to help my swahili tongue to come along and be able to praise Jesus by knowing what words I'm singing I've joined the choir. I was very honest that I have no vocal abilities but I want to learn the songs and I'm willing to dance. It actually took them convincing me to get up in front of the people. I was perfectly content singing my heart out right where I was sitting. It's now completely normal and I love it! This last week in particular I loved the chorus that we sang. I was able to record the sound on my iphone and editing so you can enjoy! I sure hope it works.

And having an american teammate, we have been experimenting with cooking american food! Our latest adventure and success... S'MORES!!! Here is proof:

I promise you I'm still working! School is going really well. We are getting back into the routine of school again and my roster continues to increase in numbers. I'm up to 15 kiddos but they are such a joy! 

I started a women's bible study meeting once a week. We are talking about what it means to be a woman of faith. I've been so encouraged as I prepare each week. Please pray for God's direction and blessing over each of the women as well as our time together. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My 26th village bday

 Here in Kenya the happy birthday song goes, “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Daniella, Happy birthday to you…How old are you now? How old are you now?” and then you answer. Family and friends in San Diego have always made my birthday a special day so I was definitely missing the quality time with family and friends that come during this time of year.

But God didn’t disappoint here. First there was a wedding! The kids from down the road did a great job dressing up one of their brothers and sisters and celebrating together. I was blessed to be their “photographer”.

Over a cup of chai I opened a care package from Laura which was a mixture of Easter candy (oh how I love my peeps!) as well as a few birthday surprises. I walked with Mama Clemens and my newest American teammate back to Mama Clemens duka (or shop) to buy oil and eggs to make cake and ended up staying for awhile (not really a surprise anymore), sharing a soda and talking about birthdays, getting married (funny topic for sure), and laughing a lot. I love sharing moments like that with the people here and it made it all the more special to do so on my birthday.

When my teammate and I returned my Kenyan mama was preparing dengu (or green grams) so we thought it was a good time to fry some ugali Kikuyu style! I made some ugali and let it cool. Then we worked as a team her making some cakes and dipping it in an egg mixture of egg, tomato, onion and garlic and then putting it on the chapati pan with some oil. I then was in charge of not burning the pieces, flipping when they had reached perfection and removing to enjoy. There was some definite hesitation and maybe some lack of faith but they were a hit!

After lunch it was to the kitchen to prepare cake! For the last (too many years to count) I have had a funfetti cake on my birthday. Thanks to so many of you from home I was fully prepared. My Kenyan Mama has done a great job teaching me how to bake over a jiko so I was on my own this time. We created our “oven” using a piece of tin and some sand. I mixed the cake mix and put it in a sufuria and then covered it and put more sand and some coals on top. Perfection doesn’t begin to describe how well BOTH cakes turned out! Seriously, perfect.

After baking we enjoyed a few minutes of relaxing outside under the mango trees before our weekly praise and worship church service. After Church it was back to the kitchen to begin preparing tacos! It was a team effort, I was pouring with so very much sweat but it was so worth it!

We prepared two types of chapati (white and brown flour), two types of beans (refried and black), two types of meat (chicken and hamburger), and two types of rice (Mexican and white) with onions and tomatoes to top them off. Pretty sure even as I took bites I still had a smile on my face, I was in heaven. I managed to eat two but that was forced… how in the world has my stomach shrunk living in Kenya??

We were so stuffed after dinner it was a joint decision to clean up first before cutting the cake…I may have been the motivator in that verdict, I really had no room left!

After dishes and filling a few yellow junkins of water it was not only time to enjoy cake but also sleep! The cake was just as perfect if not better than any cake I’ve had cooked in an oven. The pink frosting (thank you Laura!) may have persuaded my taste buds a bit though. J Seriously such a special day and so glad to share it with so many different people here in the village that I get to call home for this time.

God has done so much in this last year I couldn’t stop praising him for what He had accomplished. A great last few months in America, not only leaving on my faith departure date but doing so fully supported (you all are amazing!), getting a few months of coast life mixed with some Nairobi breaks, a beautiful thanksgiving that included a turkey, stuffing and my favorite, sweet potatoes. Christmas was a special time to remember Christ’s birth and gave me a renewed spirit for why I am here, 3 consecutive months in the village, getting my own classroom of kids and so many more memories and adventures that it would take too long and you might fall asleep…

But really, I am so incredible grateful to be here. I know its hard, especially during my birthday and holidays alike to be separated from family but I know without a doubt that this is where I’m suppose to be and this is what God has created me to do. Knowing that so many of you are apart of my team through finances and prayers I know I’m not here alone. (That and so many of your pictures hang in my room that even though I don’t hear your voices I see your smiling faces so often!)

Happy Birthday to me! Who knows what next year will hold??

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