Caroline (sis) is my blog consultant. She recommended I write posts both about the big picture and about the details. So I’m following her coaching: an overview of what my day to day is like : )
Each day is different, and I have a lot of flexibility and freedom (my inner 7 rejoices!!). But I am so grateful God has prepared a way for me: I have a place and rhythm to my life here in Kenya. Excited to share some of it!
ps – this is a loooong blog. maybe you know i’m a DETAILS girl. I love to know what you ate for breakfast and what color shirt you wore. so I tried to include fun details but not janie-level details. comment or text or email if you have questions!! email caroline if this is a bad blogpost.
6:20a // dressed in leggings and a skirt, I love to run before most Kenyans have started their day (early morning jogs minimize the stares, boda bodas, donkeys, curious schoolchildren, oh my!) sometimes I run alone, sometimes I have a running partner when a kindred spirit visitor is here.
7:05a // my EXTENSIVE daily coffee routine. dm for details.
7:15a // life in rural kenya is loud and dirty and chaotic. I LOVE mornings to read and quiet my heart in juxtaposition to the rest of the day.
8:30a // Duka la Baraka. Shop of Blessing. one of my side hustles is to manage the small boutique where locals can sell their handmade goods to visitors. I manage the finances, inventory, shop upkeep, relationships with the artisans.
9:15a // checkin meeting with my supervisor, Dean, to discuss the week’s activities and debrief on current visiting staff
10a // Friends of Tenwek monday morning meeting. this is when I put on my camp counselor visor and encourage visitors to sign up for this or that. it’s also a time for chai and fellowship, getting to know our visitors and how to best host their time at tenwek. some visitors take initiative on involvement and some need more direction. during this weekly meeting, visiting staff can also tell me if their shower is clogged or ask how to wash vegetables or request an extra house key. we make a loose schedule for the week (tuesday – volunteer at the hospital pharmacy, wednesday – sunrise hike mount motigo, friday – wheelchair delivery in the community). dean and I also try to cultivate conversation about kenyan culture and how guests might be experiencing dissonance from what their own homeland is like.
11:15a // I might take a new guest on a tour of the hospital and the compound, always meeting people along the way. Like my friend Mercy, who gave me an eggplant from her garden last week.
11:15a (still) .. or I might work on administrative tasks. like sending pre-visit emails and follow-up thank yous to visitors. (reminder, tenwek hosts about 300 visitors a year. THREE hundred. and all of them get not one, but two emails PLUS a snail mail thank you from total cute girl :- ) I also keep track of all of the visitors in a donor management software. Another aspect to my job is grant management. FOT is able to donate money to tenwek hospital through grants. my job is to field and write grant requests, verify with proper signatures and submit to the board for approval. (no pic of this unfortunately. but I can show you my freaking baller spreadsheet if interested)
1p // missionaries around here are religious about mealtime – lunch at 1, dinner at 6:30. most of my meals are in the guesthouse kitchen (beef stew, homemade bread, casserole galore, rice, pineapple and watermelon chopped into tiny squares, green beans, chapati, curry chicken, etc). I also eat meals with long term missionaries quite a bit – like Beth, my mentor, on tuesdays. or Anna, a japanese nurse who makes the BEST sushi.
2p // new visitor arrivals & departures. I work with Gladys, the guest house manager, to welcome guests and help orient them, especially if it’s their first time to kenya.
3:15p // it’s honestly hard to write about a “typical” afternoon. I’m learning to be more interruptible. but I scrolled through my camera roll to give you a snapshot: how I’ve spent my days the last few weeks…
6:05p // one of my new 24-year-old-living-in-rural-part-of-the-world hobbies is going on daily walks. it’s honestly become therapeutic to spend 30 minutes walking the loop, listening to podcasts or sending voice memos to friends or praying aloud or just enjoying the goodness of another day coming to an end
6:30p // dinner at the guest house. suppertime is always a rich hour (or two, or three) of engaging conversation, deep laughter, such SONDER (tbt to our blog MM)
8p // my evenings look so different each day. I might play cards with visitors or drink tea and read a book (wild!) or facetime a friend back home or attend a social with long term missionaries or join african worship night (kenyans love church) or check emails or hit the hay at 9p. I started a *young adult* bible study with the other twenty-somethings at tenwek on thursday nights. there are 3 of us 😉
I cozy up under my mosquito net … and start all over again ❤