Monday, November 02, 2015

Living in Nairobi, Kenya

I am sitting at the kitchen table, thinking of how to explain what life in Africa looks like (for me), and all I keep hearing is a flying termite, trying to get into the house through the window. They are annoying little creatures. Harmless, but creepy. They come out when it rains, and you can see holes in the ground in the red dirt.

They look something like this

                                     People eat them here in Kenya, sometimes they even eat them alive.

Living in Nairobi, Kenya is definitely different than what I imagined. I tried to not have expectations, but of course I had some. The only image of Africa I had in my mind was of Ghana, and Kenya is not Ghana.
I knew we were going to live in a city of 6 million people, but it's Africa; I didn't expect it to be civilized and modern.

We live in a beautiful house with 2 other girls. We live in a compound just to be safe, and whenever we want to go somewhere, we walk 10 minutes to the main road. We use public transportation for the most part, sometimes we catch a ride with the pastor or his wife.

Public transportation is very interesting. The bus is called a "matatu". There are smaller and bigger ones. The bigger one actually looks like a bus; the smaller one is a small van with 12 seats in it. Yes, 12. The cost of matatu depends on where you're going, but it's usually very cheap. A 30min drive usually costs around 30 cents.
Some conductors can be rude to us and they ask for more money because we're white. One time we were suppose to pay 10 cents and the guy said to pay 40 cents because we're white and have money.
We also got proposed before. It doesn't happen that often which is good.
The music on matatus is always super loud and reggae, but they have reggae worship music on Sundays. You know, it's a church day.

 The smaller matatu
 Inside the smaller matatu
The big matatu

The cost of living is similar to the one in Slovenia, so are the prices of groceries. They have a lot of things imported, like Betty Crocker's brownie batter, chocolate chip cookie batter… They even have Sparky peanut butter.
Their fruit and veggies are mostly a lot cheaper than Slovenia. For example, one mango costs 30 cents, pineapple is around 1,20eur, broccoli is 40 cents, banana is 5 cents… we like to buy whatever we can on the market because it's cheaper and better.
Their milk costs twice as much as at home and cheese is very expensive. I was able to find a good cheddar cheese for cheap; 500g of cheese for 5,5eur. I also learned how to make my own sour cream because I don't want to pay over 1eur for it.
We eat out about once a week, usually on Thursdays in between 2 Bible studies. It costs the same as in Slovenia.

Most people in Nairobi consider themselves Christians, but when you ask further questions, they usually won't know what to answer. There are real believers here though, and many churches.

We just did a missions trip to Kakamega, Kenya, and were able to encourage the congregation of Calvary Chapel Shikokho and evangelize around their church. People at church had many questions about the Bible and we learned that many pastors in that area just take advantage of people that come to church. If a husband dies and the lady becomes a widow, the pastor will just come and take all of their possessions. Pastors also tell people many lies in how they interpret the Bible. One of the questions people had was if Elijah reincarnated into John the Baptist because one of the pastors told them that's what it says.
 We visited 27 people from the church, encouraged them and prayed for them 
We also found this chameleon, I named him Frankie. Most Africans are afraid of them because they change colors and they connect that with witchcraft, but I loved him! I wanted to take him with me to Nairobi, but we had 2 more days in Kakamega so I couldn't. 

The church gave us a gift when we left ~ they gave us 3 roosters. Live ones. We celebrated it by singing a worship song and dancing :)

We have 2 church services every Sunday; the first one is in English, the second one in English with Swahili translation. I really enjoy sermons in English, verse by verse. We've been going through the book of Hebrew, it's so encouraging.
I also really enjoy the worship, and the worship team is amazing. This is a short clip of their Swahili worship.

We see a lot of need and a lot of poor people, and their struggles are real. But we also see a lot of faith in these people's hearts, because all they have is Jesus. They need to rely on the Lord for everything. One of my favorite ministries here is Women's Bible study, we have it on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The ladies are usually quiet and shy, a lot of times they don't want to answer your question about the Bible because they're afraid they'll say the wrong answer, but they are amazing women, living their lives for Jesus.
I also really like our Teens class, we have it every Sunday during the 2nd service. Zala and I both got a chance to teach it and the youth is warming up to us. The girls are very sweet and the boys are more shy. I am excited to spend more time with them and get to know them better.
Zala and I also help with the tea ministry on Sundays. We make mandazies which are like donuts, and we make tea. It's fun, and we always do it with another lady from the church. It's fun to get to know them better :)
With the ladies, making tea

And since we're in Africa, I just had to get my hair braided :) I miss having long hair and I love them now, but it comes with a price ~ my scalp itches a lot. I got a lot of compliments though, especially from African women. They told me I look very smart and in their culture that means I look pretty.

Life in Nairobi is really nice. It's different than what I imagined but it's better than what I imagined. I do hope we get to go outside of the city again and serve the Lord in the bushy area :) 

No comments:

Post a Comment