January 2010

I have a serious bone to pick with CBS for not streaming this game online, but many thanks to awesome friends who understand the importance of live updates all the way to Kenya.



1. Just because they sell it, don’t mean it ain’t broke.

I was more than ecstatic to find a fan at Nakumut today.  Truly.  (The noise helps me sleep.  I know, I know – it’s a dysfunctional gene that runs in my family, a habit I cannot break even in Africa.)  So after a night of being woken up by the wonderfully new sounds of my quite wonderful new apartment, I knew it was time to search for the golden object.  And I found it!  And I brought it home.  And did it turn on?  No.  Was it the outlet?  No.  Did Nakumut sell me a faulty fan.  Yes.  Of all the things.

I had  such high hopes for you, Nakumut.

2. Apple Mango is delicious.

This doesn’t really need further explanation, except maybe that you should be jealous! Mmmmmm

3. About Africa time.

Africans are notorious for being late.  Except they’re not late, they’re just on “Africa time.”  Now, before you go crack a joke about how I was born to live in a country where people are not punctual let me just declare – THIS IS NOT EVEN THE SAME!  Today’s case:

Today, British Airways kindly decided to deliver my bag that they forgot to place on flight to Nairobi.  Oops.  At 10:45 PM, when I spoke to the man at the airport he informed me that my bag had in fact arrived and would be picked up by a taxi driver and delivered within the hour.  I believed him (my first mistake.)  The rest of the dialogue went something like this:

12 PM.  Me: Hello?  Gtonga (taxi driver)? Where are you?

Gtonga: I will be there in 10 minutes.   I will call you when I get there.

12:20 PM.  Me:  Hello, Gtonga.  You said you would be here in 10 minues.

Gtonga:  Yes, I am close.  I am close.  <click>

12:35 PM.  Gtonga:  Hello?  Are you by Steima Plaza?

Me:  No, I am at the corner of Kolobot and…

Gtonga: <click>

12:37 PM.  Me: Gtonga!  I am at the corner of Kolobot and Mburu.  Forest Road Apartments.

Gtonga: Ok, I come soon.

Me: (Soon is starting to sound awfully far away.  If I fall asleep in church tomorrow. It will not be my fault.)

12:45 PM <rapid knocking on the door>

Security guard: Can I let the man in the gate?

Me:  The one with my bag?  YES!

12:48 PM. Gtonga: I finally found you.

Me:  Yes.  Yes you did.

Ok, so in the grand scheme of things, this was not the worst misunderstanding of time ever.  The man was not intentionally trying to screw me over, like a workman Jenn was dealing with to day who just decided not to show up to fix a problem he created but had already been compensated for.  All in all, even though he was an hour late, which felt like three because I was recovering from jet lag, he did help me carry my 70 lb bag up the three flights of stairs.  So I guess, in the end, we called it even, Gtonga and me.

17 hours, three vegetarian airplane meals (which are surprisingly better than normal airplane food. who knew?), two flights and one nearly missed connection later… I can officially say that I (along with 75% of the things I entrusted to British Airways) live in Nairobi!

IJM training week was a bit like being asked to drink from an ever-flowing spring of water every single day, for six days.  At some point, you really wonder “am I going to be able to absorb all of this?!”

We started the week with a day-long session on the broad ideas of justice, focusing on the spiritual foundations for the work of justice, with Gary Haugen, IJM’s founder.  We finished off our training with more specific sessions, like how to care for our whole selves while in the field.  I am grateful for every bit as I can already see how it will be so important and foundational to the work we will be doing overseas.  I’m unable to sum the week up in one sentence, so here are four for you to mull over:

God is passionate about justice.

It is a huge category of need in the world.

His people are his plan for seeing justice realized on earth.

This work is doable.

That’s it.  It’s written all over scripture, from the Old Testament to the New and if we love the things God loves, we will be looking for ways to seek justice I our world too.

What is also true, though, is that we hold no monopoly over this work.  At IJM, our mission most specifically is to “protect people from violent forces of injustice by securing rescue and restoration for victims and ensuring that public justice systems work for the poor.”  As Christians we do this work because we believe that God hears and cares for the poor and oppressed.  We believe he uses us – empowers us – to be agents for change in this world.  But the work of justice can be done by many, and I encourage you today to look with new eyes at the world around you.