Sunday, February 22, 2015

East or West home is best - but where is home?

Last week I said see you later to Kenya. My last few weeks were busy with pizza parties - I should really start my own pizza kitchen as I am becoming quite good at it. Finishing up the last few things at work and saying good-byes. I was blessed to be surrounded by such a wonderful community of missionaries and Kenyans while at Tenwek and in many ways Kenya is home.

I am now on my way to my other home however rather than fly home going west I got on a plane and went the opposite direction. Travelling farther away from both Kenyan and Canadian friends and family, I went east. Here I am in the tropics, people speaking a language I don't remotely understand, the food is completely different - rice and noodles for breakfast? Where is my Chai and Ndazi? That being said, Thai food is quite tasty. I ate supper with two girls from China last night and one of them ordered fish and chips - really, surrounded by all this good food and you are eating fish and chips?
I am enjoying life at a little resort outside of Chiang Mai. I have not yet done the things people expect one to do while in Thailand. I have not left the resort since I arrived Friday night (it's now Sunday afternoon). Instead I have spent time doing a bible study on transition (Life in Motion). I am enjoying the study and it is helping me process the hellos and goodbyes. I am also just enjoying the beauty of God's creation and life not being dictated by an alarm clock, cell phone or pager. It has been wonderful. The place I am staying is perfect for this. My books and I have lots of trees, benches and rocks to sit on. Right now, I am sitting on my porch under a thatch roof, looking at the mountains ahead of me and hearing the birds sing. These few days have been a beautiful gift. The intent of coming to Thailand was not for this vacation but I am very thankful for it. The real purpose for being here is the conference that starts on Tuesday. I will be with other medical missionaries from around the world. There are many lectures and I am to deliver two on my own and assist in the third. I am looking forward to meeting with so many other medical missionaries. I will also reconnect with some friends who God has sent to other areas to serve.

So here I am. East. I will keep traveling east in two weeks to make it home which means I will have traveled around the world.  Home in Alberta, I was offered a job last week. I will spend two weeks at my parents and then move back to Edmonton. Home right? I'm not sure. I am not who I was when I left. Friends in Edmonton have also changed. I am afraid that I have forgotten to work as a Respiratory Therapist in Canada. The situation in Tenwek meant I functioned a little different than a RT in Canada does. So will it be home? It will be just like Kenya is home. Home is where you make it, where you lay your head at night, where you belong to a church family, and where there is a shoulder to cry on.

In closing here are some pictures of good-byes and a little of Thailand
These 2 little guys chatting at my good-bye party

Cardiac surgery was happening as I was leaving, This little guy was bored

One last bi-PAP lecture before I headed out the door

Good-bye Cake from the awesome nurses

Gifts for  a proper send-off

Part of the awesome nursing team in HDU I am going to miss these people

Being prayed for as I depart

Where I am now, relaxing

more relaxing

and more

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Last few things

I am leaving soon so here is an update so read through for my thoughts, plans and my one last adventure before leaving.

Preparing to leave Tenwek, it's strange. I am excited to go home to see family and friends however I am also sad to leave my  friends and people who have become like family to me. Many will be here when I return in 2016, but many will not. I have many missionary friends here who's time at Tenwek will end while I am not at Tenwek and their plans are not to come back to Tenwek but to return to the US or head to other mission fields. Also while I am gone will I will miss weddings and babies of friends here. So I have mixed feelings.

Anyway so those are my thoughts, here are my plans. I am leaving Kenya Feb 19, and flying to Thailand. I will be attending and speaking at a conference there for missionaries from that part of the world. It's a two week conference and I will be spending some time processing the transitions I am going through. Also I will be visiting a friend who lives there. March 8 I fly home to Canada I will spend a few weeks staying with my parents to catch up with the family. From there I hope to move back to Edmonton I am applying for a job up there, please pray with me that it all goes well. I have also applied to the mission agency Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB). I will have to travel to Colorado for an interview with them, not sure when that will be yet. Once I am approved (the Lord willing) by Reach Beyond I will start raising support again and other preparations for coming back to Tenwek in 2016. I have a place to stay in Edmonton but need some wheels. If you have any good ideas for a car for only a year let me know. I need something reliable, and I don't want to have to buy a new car just to turn around and sell it a year later.

So as promised I also had one last adventure that I would like to share with you. I visited Chogoria hospital which is up by Mount Kenya. I enjoyed visiting some friends up there. I also joined some other friends as we took a quick adventure to see Mount Kenya. I was warned that even though we were close we may not be able to see it as it is often obscured by clouds. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. We also spent a night at a mountain hotel by a watering hole. It was fun to just sit and watch the animals. Again the pictures can speak for themselves.
Mountain and Wheat Fields this reminded me of home

stared this guy down. Little unnerving with the big eyes