Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Language & Laughter

I am in the process of the learning the local language, Mabaan. It's been a rather difficult learning process for me but I am going to keep trying. At times when I don't yet know the Mabaan word the Spanish word comes out of my mouth in its' place. I am sure the local women must think I am a bit strange. Plus, I am still working on the correct pronunciation and my tongue and lips don't work well to make these new sounds.

Just yesterday I am sitting around with several ladies practicing my Mabaan lesson for the day regarding numbers, “to have” and “to want” verbs with the appropriate conjugations, and family vocabulary. As one of the older girls is making coffee (pray that I will grow to like it) I am asking them the names of the animals in Mabaan. I learned the words for goat, pig, chicken, and dog. Now I am pointing to the young calf across the way who is just “Mooing” loudly. Well, I don't think the women are understanding my new question so I just let out a “MOO!” The women just erupted in laughter. And then I started laughing at how ridiculous the whole situation was-- women sitting around, drinking coffee, and here I was a foreigner making animals noises.

 I think even by American standards of a group of ladies at a tea party- my behavior was hilarious! We all had a good laugh!! I have still yet to learn the word for cow but I am going to find out!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kenya to South Sudan

Room mates in Nairobi- Canberra, Jodi, & me

Departing from Nairobi, Kenya

Flying over the Nile River in South Sudan

View from plane- arriving in Doro

Inside my tukul

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I have arrived. . .

Just a quick note here . . .

I have arrived to my new home in South Sudan. Thank you for your support- glad we all made it here and with all our luggage (well it's more like cargo). I was able to bring with me 100kg then had to carry it all to my tukul (mud hut).

After a long day of traveling and 3 stops along the way we arrived to my new home in Doro. Got a quick tour of camp- the important things first like the bathroom and the shower. For dinner tonight the team cooked chili and cornbread- it was yummy.

 Then I was able to take a shower outdoors under the stars- it was kinda cool!!  But the weather here is NOT cool.  I was told that earlier this week it was over 125 degrees! I sure hope that the HOT weather stays away for a bit longer especially since this is the beginning of the hot season. Also, so I have time to adjust to the hot temperatures.

Hope to post a few pics from my new home soon. But for now I am off to bed after a long day in my mosquito-netted bed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January 15th

Jambo (hello in Swahili)

I haven't learned any Mabaan yet, the language they speak in the village where I am going to in South Sudan. I am told currently the plan is for me to fly from here in Kenya to my base (Doro) on Jan 23rd. I will stay there in Doro until late April/ early May. There is a SIM conference for the entire SIM team here in Kenya at a retreat center in early May for 1 week. After the conference I will stay in Kenya for a bit of R&R to gather groceries and supplies before going back into Doro for another 3 months or so. And all of this could change any day from now but today at 5pm that's the plan. 

Currently orientation is going well. Meeting with everyone on the SIM team from personnel, logistics, finances, the director, and more! It's kinda overwhelming learning about so many new things and trying to prepare to go into Doro. But kinda exciting at the same time. I had have a phone here in Kenya however today around 3pm the service provider dropped my line-- so I am working on getting that fixed probably tomorrow. Currently I am using free wifi at the mall in the food court area! Kinda cool to think they have wifi and malls in Africa yet no Starbucks (well at least yet!)  They do have quite a few coffee shops here and even a KFC. Also, there is yogurt planet at the Galleria Mall that's just like FroYo or Orange Cup back in the States. 

 I finally have been able to sleep through the night, even though I was wide awake at 6am. My new room mate Jodi is from Portland and also a nurse too! She works with adults and we are both going to Doro, She is committed to go for 6 months working there as a nurse. 

Well that's all for now folks! Gotta get going before it gets to late and make dinner too! And tonight's dinner won't be rice or beans.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Saturday the 12th

Today was a great day! Other than waking up super early (4am) still adjusting to the time zone change of 9 hours. Had a relaxing morning. 

Then for brunch homemade French toast. Then hanging outside in the beautiful gardens, dogs got a bath, and soaked up some sun. Next up for the day-- swimming! It was a great day for a swim. The sun made the pool warm enough and swam for about 30 minutes. 

Afterwards ran some errands to the grocery stop, passport pictures, and picked a 2013 calendar too. Came back to the house and took a nap before dinner. I just couldn't stay awake any longer.

Dinner we had chicken tika, rice, potatoes & salad. Then for dessert, since it was Bob's birthday, we had apple cake and ice cream. Oh and we watched "Three Amigos" with Steve Martin & Chevy Chase. 

All in all it was a wonderful day. I only hope that I can stay awake during day time hours and sleep when it's still dark outside.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Jambo~ (Hello in Swahili)

Just wanted to let y'all know I have arrived in Nairboi Kenya!! Me and
all my bags (all 5 checked bags) arrived safely and intact!  Chilling
with Bob & Patty Meredith and of course Felix too! Enjoying these next
few days to adjust to the 9 hour time change and getting settled.

Will be meeting up with the SIM team on Monday. Then orientation for 2
weeks here in Kenya or so then off to South Sudan.

I will try to send out updates as often as I can but the electricity
has been off lately.

Love you!

ps- any one have any news on how the Spurs are doing?

Monday, January 7, 2013

I am leaving on a jet plane . . .

Howdy everyone!

Just wanted to let y'all know of my future plans . . . 

Departing for Africa on Tuesday Jan 8th. Please pray that I have no travel delays and that all my luggage arrives safely! In addition to my luggage I am also taking 2 large duffle bags full of fleece blankets for the nutrition clinic. I am departing from Houston then onto London then onto Kenya. I will be there in Kenya for about 2 weeks for orientation before I go onto South Sudan to my new residence aka a tent. Before I meet up with the SIM team in Nairobi I will be able to hang out with the Meredith family, missionaries with The Navigators.

Also, many of you have been asking about a blog or online updates. I have a blog that I will be using again to put updates about my trip. I used it before so it has a lot of travel pictures from recent years from my days as a traveling nurse. My hope is update the blog twice a month, maybe more, depending on the internet speed.

Attached is a picture of me and my new friend Maddie- she cut my hair! Was able to donate 2 ponytails each about 12 inches.

The second picture is of my mom and I at a recent  Spurs game vs Dallas Mavericks! And the SPURS won :)

Happy New Year!!!