Current tunes: Africa, Toto
Current Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Is it weird that I sort of like in flight turbulence? Sure, it can be unnerving, but every little bump is a good reminder of the fragility of life, how lucky I am to be alive, and ultimately it means I’ve got something good. That I am fortunate enough to feel like I have something to lose and people that care for me. Ha, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, you really feel all that from a little jostling in an airborne tube shaped can of sardines?” Well, I have a lot of feelings. Sue me. But really, it just reminds me that if my days are numbered, then I better be putting them to good use. And for me I think it means being a good steward of time, talents, and blessings by exploring cultures and and caring for/getting to know people. Over the last two years I have lived in four different cities and have had the pleasure of crossing paths with all walks of life. Just thinking about comparing the chill vibes of San Diego, the culturally diverse and progressive ways of San Francisco, and the amazing history and tough East Coast attitude of New England makes me feel like I’ve switched countries rather than cities with each move. And most recently my heart has been overwhelmed by the sweetness of my new Carolina family. While I only spent three short months working at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina, I was scooped up into the arms of a small group of young professionals from a church I connected with at the beginning of my move.
While I enjoyed eating my body weight in flaky biscuits, made wonderful friendships, and had time for a lot of self reflection in the quietness of the South, for some reason I didn’t feel the yearning to extend for another few months like I usually do…which leaves me where?
For the first time since I started traveling, I finished a contract without having my next job signed and ready. Nope. Instead I decided to take six weeks off to go home for a bit and also hightail it to…AFRICA. In fact I am starting this post in the Amsterdam Airport on a two hour layover (give me all the stroopwafles now please).
So why Africa? Well If you look back at some of my posts from a few years ago (click here!) you’ll find that Africa found me in the summer of 2015 right before I started travel nursing. I guess I’ve been so consumed with planning my next steps that I’ve forgotten how to just enjoy the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I have been having blast hopping around and eating my face off. In the last three weeks I was a crazy woman and somehow squeezed in biking along the pastel mansions of Charleston, SC, ghost touring in Savannah, GA, beer sampling in Asheville, NC, pretending to enjoy spring time snow in Boston, MA, and visiting with some cousins in Pittsburgh, PA…Houston, I already know I have a problem and I’m definitely not complaining. I just think I’ve spread myself a little thin. (PS a belated post on my Southern road trip and all the tasty treats that were had is coming your way soon.)
And in all honesty I left Boston feeling pretty internally weary, a little disconnected from my roots, and out of touch with the person I want to be. The person I know He created me to be. So I internally knew what my next MOVE should be. And that’s to not. To sit. To be still. And let God work.
While this technically doesn’t support me being physically still, for the next three and half weeks I’ll be living in Kenya and partnering with a small medical ministry called Hope Matters International. I will be living with the founders, Michelle and William Kiprop. Michelle is a Nurse Practitioner from California and moved to Kenya in 2007 with a heart for the African people she had met while serving abroad during school. She later married William, a local Kenyan, and together they have fostered an organization that strives to provide holistic care for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those living in their Kenyan community. While their main platform is health care and education, they also have out reach programs supporting agricultural education and care for orphans. If you’re interested in learning more about their work in more detail or would like to help fund our cause, please click here.
While I only have a few weeks there, I’ll be working at Village of Hope Medical Centre in Kipkaren Village of Eldoret City. The clinic is often packed and sometimes short staffed as Hope Matters runs off of donations. Village of Hope treats basic illnesses/injuries and offers diagnostic, laboratory, treatment, short-stay admissions, and pharmaceutical services and is the only access to health care for many of people in this community. I will also help start laying the foundation for and doing community research to get the ball rolling on the hospital, YES HOSPITAL, that Michelle and William have been striving to build in this area. There is definitely a huge need and I am thrilled to be a part of this process even if it will be quite some time before this dream will come to fruition…crap boarding to Nairobi. BRB my people…
(8 hour flight and several thousand miles later…)
Guys, I just sat next to a nurse on my 8 hour flight that was born and raised in Kenya but now works in Seattle! She even gave me a little Swahili lesson, specifically going over medical phrases, and wrote them all down for me so that I could be more effective in the clinic. I also made friends with a Canadian paramedic that was sitting across from me. He is coming to Kenya for what he calls a “volucation” (volunteer vacation…yea totally stealing that and coining it in the Miriam Webster Dictionary) as well. Coincidences? God is good, people.
Anyways, that’s all for now. When I get back to California I’m just going to have faith that a door for the right job at the right place will be open and waiting for me. Prayers, good vibes, and thumbs up emojis are all appreciated. Thanks for tuning in and follow my Africa updates here on TDD. Well that is if I have decent wifi…I have internet access right now in this guest house in Nairobi but starting tomorrow I’ll be in a much more rural village so it may be every few days that I even get some subpar access but am kind of looking forward to being unplugged for a while. Raise your hand if you your smartphone usage is starting to disgust you and makes you want to ralph when you realize how long your hand has been in the cramped iPhone grip hold. Guilty as charged.
Okay, after 26 hours of traveling, homegirl needs to sleep since I have one last commuter flight tomorrow from Nairobi to Eldoret. Can’t wait to cuddle up with my mosquito net.