Friday, December 21, 2012

Paradox - Merry Christmas and Good-Byes

I’m home in southern Alberta after being on the road for 8 weeks, and putting 12 000km on my car (It’s for sale if you’re interested).  It’s good to be home. I would say I have unpacked but really the last few days have been packing, repacking, unpacking, and piling more stuff on the floor.  Trying to pack 2 years worth of medical equipment, clothing, books and random personal stuff in 3 - 23kg suitcases is a challenge.

Aside from packing, I have been enjoying the Christmas season, I’m looking forward to spending time with family, playing games, going to movies, and enjoying good food. Throughout these good times, I’m also sad as this will be the last time for a while that I can do these same things with my family. Throughout this happiness is sadness. It’s a paradox.

Paradox was one of the topics covered in my missionary training  course. When they taught this to the kids they said pair of ducks, as that what paradox said slowly sounds like. So the kids had the "happy yay duck" and the "unhappy yuck duck". Many times both the Yay duck and the Yuck duck are in our lives. I am glad to hear feeling this is normal.
Christmas YAY duck

Good-bye YUCK Duck
I have gotten used to living away from home the last few weeks – Packing and unpacking every few days I am looking forward to settling in to my new home in Kenya, however that home is still a few months away. Just so you know where I am at here is my itinerary:
Now-Dec 27 – Home at my parents in Alberta
Dec 27-Jan 4 – Visiting my Grandma in Holland with Mom and Dad.
Jan 4 – Feb 1 – Practicum in Nairobi, This is a requirement of the Kenya Society of Physiotherapists, I am still waiting for the details of it and I pray it all goes smoothly.
Feb 4-April 30 – Language school just outside of Nairobi – during this time I will be living with a Kenyan lady in her home, this will be a good experience for me and help me understand a little more of Kenyan culture
May 1 – I settle in to my new home at Tenwek and finally get to work.

I appreciate all your prayers as this settling continues, I am sure I will continue to experience many paradoxical emotions. I am excited for the next few months and I am excited to challenge myself with new learning – please remind me of this when I am complaining in a few months.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and A Blessed New Year.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

New Faces, New Friends

I arrived in Palmer Lake Colorado last Monday (Nov 26). I am attending a 3 week course from Mission Training international called SPLICE.
2 weeks are complete and we have already covered a lot things such as interpersonal conflict, cultural types and so much more. I have enjoyed getting to know my classmates - we are diverse in age, background, education and denomination but are drawn together under the common flag of soon heading out  to some form of cross cultural missionaries. We are united by the struggles of saying good-bye to family, fundraising and not knowing what God has in store for us. This connection makes dinner table conversation flow easily and we are quick to get to many heart issues.
I have enjoyed getting to know these people the past week and look forward to getting to know them more.

Also interestingly enough this week and next week will be the longest I have been in one place since I left Edmonton Oct 28, 2012 and this will be the longest I will be in one place until I arrive in Nairobi Jan 4. Those of you who have read closely may be wondering why I'm talking about 2 weeks when it is a 3 week course. The answer is I skipped out of Palmer Lake on Thursday afternoon and flew to Minot ND. Here my entire immediate family  (Parents, siblings  nieces and nephews) met together. We enjoyed a hotel that had a swimming pool with fun watersides, had a family dinner complete with speeches, singing children and good food. It was great to be all together as a family as it has been a while. It was also goodbyes to some of the family who I will not see until I return from Kenya in 2015.

So back to now. I am loving the time here in Colorado the course is located at the foot of the mountain, below some pictures of what I took just outside the door of the training centre, where I am staying and learning.
View from the back balcony

Elephant rock out the front door. 

Garden of the gods
I also headed out to the Garden of the god's outside of Colorado Springs. There are all these crazy rock formations.

So if anyone is still reading this I should share one last thing. I received a fundraising update last week I am at 100% of the support raised, PRAISE THE LORD. This is such a blessing and it is great to go to Kenya with the knowledge that my bills will be paid. Even greater than the financial support is the prayer support that many individuals have committed to. Those of you who are now thinking: well, I guess I don't have to give anymore,I ask that you think and pray about it. You can also read this former blog post.