I have so much more to say about HEART and its work in Kenya, but I am sure you are anxious to hear more about what Val and I were actually doing. Well, things just were not always exciting, but let me at least tell you about our first morning in Africa.
I got up early, of course, as if I wasn’t eight hours out of my time zone. I woke up, wide awake, at 5:30am that first morning and almost all the other mornings. I wandered around the grounds a little bit, absorbing the peace and quiet of the compound. Soon, however, the neighbors’ roosters were crowing and stray dogs were barking. I snuck back into our room and wrote in my journal on the bathroom floor so that I wouldn’t wake up my roommates. Once I got into my routine, I used that 5:30am time period to send e-mail home.
I took a quick and welcomed shower after the water warmed up in our bathroom’s private hot water heater.
The rest of the team eventually got moving and we had breakfast around 8:00. All of our meals at HEART were excellent. Again, I hate to mention it to those who thought we were roughing it the whole time. The first morning I had French toast, sausages, mango, and monkey-fingers. Monkey-fingers became one of my favorite Kenyan foods. They are short, squat bananas, a little denser in texture than a regular banana and just a wee bit sweet. We had them at every breakfast, along with other fantastic fresh fruit.
I think it was that first morning, after we were all finished eating, when Dave and Jen gave our devotion assignments. We were warned at one of the team meetings prior to the trip that we would each be expected to lead devotions one morning. Naturally, I had prepared mine well in advance, only to find out that I wouldn’t get to share it until well into the trip.After breakfast, we gathered all of the donated supplies we had all brought with and laid them out in the dining room. Oh, my goodness, the tables full of stuff we had. There were t-shirts and underwear for little kids, lots of children’s multivitamins, a few boxes of exam gloves, band-aids, antibiotic ointment, baby wipes, notebooks, crayons, toothpaste, I just can’t even begin to list it all. And the seeds from Cerny’s greenhouse that I snuck illegally into the country which I still get excited about when I think of where they ended up.