Saturday, February 7, 2015

Two Weeks In Pictures

It was hard to know what to write about first since our arrival here. We left two weeks ago and haven’t really updated since our arrival. So, we decided maybe it would be fun to show you what we’ve been up to these past two weeks (and even before) in pictures.

Bob and Andrea worked until the end of December. We then had a wonderful week with Andrea's family and then began the very crazy process of packing. Unlike previous packing experiences, for example moving to a new house, where essentially everything gets boxed and moved, in this situation, we had to decide what was to come to Kenya, what we wanted to keep but store at our house in Rhode Island, what we wanted to get rid of, and of that, what we should sell and what we should donate or trash. This makes for a tough organizational process.

Madison with our packing piles

Once we had decided what we should bring to Kenya (we had "definite" piles and "maybe" piles), the trick was how to best pack it so that we ended up with 10 bags (our limit), each as close to 50 lbs as possible. We did pretty well. We had 10 checked bags, ranging in weights from 47.5 lbs to 50.5 lbs. We packed it all up (it took 2 vehicles to get us and our luggage to the airport).

In the airport with our bags

Packed and ready to go

Our flights were blessedly uneventful. We had no immigration or customs issues and all of our luggage arrived with us.

Arriving in Nairobi

We stayed in a beautiful guest house for a couple of days. This gave us a chance to adjust to the new time zone (8 hours ahead of Rhode Island). And Madison wasted no time in finding trees to climb.

Climbing Trees
Do you see the monkey?

We then traveled to Tenwek where we were able to spend a few days meeting people, touring the hospital and looking around the grounds. We met several of the residents and many of our coworkers and the people with whom we will share life.

View from the hospital
Area around Tenwek

We then spent several days at the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) conference. PAACS is an organization of surgical residency (training) programs throughout north, east, west and central Africa and is the organization through which we will train general surgeons at Tenwek. Being at the conference gave us the wonderful opportunity to meet some very impressive residents we will soon have the privilege of helping to train. Bob was even able to give a lecture.

Bob lecturing
The residents
Other faculty

It has been a fun couple of weeks, though certainly with its share of learning experiences, misunderstandings and frustrations (more blogs to come). This week we start our language schooling. We will be spending the next 2-3 months learning Swahili. We are excited and nervous. We are praying that we will be able to learn quickly and retain well as we really desire to speak the language.

We value prayers - for adjustment and transition, as we begin language school, for our relationships with each other as well as others with whom we work and interact, and for the remainder of our financial support.

We appreciate you taking the time to share in our journey and are excited to bring you further updates of life in Kenya!