Monday, September 01, 2014

A long-awaited arrival

As we took off from Wilson Airport heading north, I was pretty much glued to the window, enjoying the view as we left the city, flew over commercial and individual farmlands, caught a glimpse of the peaks of Mount Kenya through the billowy clouds, and watched as the landscape got more and more arid.  Rivers now run dry split the earth with artery-like fans, while hills that rolled slowly up suddenly dropped off in a Pride Rock-esque platform and cliff.  Circle fences of thorn bushes - pens for the animals - became visible from the air. (See here for a glimpse of my journey)

Suddenly the land that was beautiful became both beautiful and familiar.  We were nearing Korr! There are some very distinctive mountains nearby, and from the air or from the ground, I can easily pick them out. Five years! I have been dreaming of coming back to Korr for five years, and I was almost there!

We circled over the town and lined up to the airstrip.  Once on the ground, the usual crowd had gathered - an airplane is always an exciting event! The hot dry air hit me as soon as the door opened - yes, back in the desert again! A nebeyaa?  I greeted the kids and the mamas that were around as my things were unloaded.

Over the last few days now, I've been unpacking and getting settled, and reacquainting myself with my old friends, with the mamas at the church, with my way around town, and with the language. What a difference to have a base of language to build on now coming back. It's been fun to pull out what I remember, and I'm happy with how it's coming back. I will be looking for a language teacher this coming week or next to get going again on Rendille. Isabcha 'dona! (I want to learn!)

Tonight, I just came from dinner at Pastor Jamhuri's house, where I heard a little more of how he came to be working as the pastor of AIC Korr, and of how much the church is growing, especially in the villages.  What a blessing to be back in this amazing place!

I've listed some prayer requests after the photos - thank you for keeping me and the Rendille people in your prayers!

 I really CAN see my house from here!

 One of the luggas (dry river beds) that runs through town


 Rendille mamas work very hard

I'm here!

Please pray for the Rendille church, especially for the elders - the men of the village - who are the most resistant to the gospel.  

Pray for me as I navigate culture and a new role - both for me and for the secondary school where I'll be working. Everything right now - living, teaching, cooking, even speaking - is a huge learning curve.  It's great, but it's tiring.

Pray, too, for the schools as they open for the final term of the school year. Please pray especially for the primary (elementary) school, as they are in a very desperate situation.  Currently there is no food for the final term. No food means no school here in Korr, so while the primary technically opens tomorrow, the children will be sent home for a week while the headmaster and some others travel to the county headquarters in Marsabit to see if there is any county funding for food for the school.  Please pray for favour with these officials as they meet with them on Thursday or Friday of this week.  It would be devastating to have to close the school for the term, especially for the class 8 students who are due to take their major primary leaving exams at the end of this term, determining their entrance into secondary and beyond.

Thank you for your prayers!