I miss Kenya. A lot.
I'm not entirely sure why.
It may be that it's 2:30 in the morning and I have been sleeping all day so I am wide awake at night and my thoughts just go to other places (run on sentence anyone?).
It may be it's because I am in my bed and am feeling sorry for myself because of multiple broken relationships, a horrible migraine and stomach flu, and dealing with this awful snow. (I have watched half a season of Grey's Anatomy today. Pathetic much? So addicted!)
Whatever the reason is, I cannot seem to stop thinking about Kenya.
In the summer of 2011, I had the opportunity to live, teach, and do service in the village of Taru, Kenya. (talk about the middle of nowhere!) For many weeks, I was literally removed from the world. I saw things that I thought I would never experience. I felt things that cannot be put into words. My whole world was rocked. I came back a completely different person, with a completely different perspective of my life.
Fast forward a year and a half and I find myself in a rut.
Frustrated with many of the closest people in my life, hurt over a stupid boy, dealing with death, and stupid sickness, I find that my problems, although they are big, are nothing to the constant battle my friends in Kenya face every single day of their lives.
This has been a hard year and a half for me.
I don't say that to get sympathy. I simply say that because it's been a huge transition. A lot of physical ailments have brought me down: kidney stones, flu, strep throat, stomach flu, migraines, etc. My fellow teachers keep explaining to me that it takes a few years for your body to adjust to being around kids all day. And now, I completely know what they mean. I have been more sick in this past year than ever in my entire life. And let me tell you, it is not fun. I have transitioned into working full time. And it's not just a 9-5 job. Teaching is a career that sucks a lot of energy out of me. It is 12 hours a day. I know that other people see me and believe that I have more energy than anyone, but I assure you, I do not. And I come home every day after teaching, completely exhausted because I put my everything into those kids. And I have had to learn to balance my life. I have been hurt by many guys in the past year and a half. And I know that may seem trivial, but I am convinced that heartbreak and feeling inadequate to the opposite sex is one of the most aggravating, difficult feelings in the world.
And I have dealt with a lot of death. Friends, nieces, etc. I have felt a wave of millions of emotions throughout this past year and a half...and I have, yet again, had to remind myself that my struggle in this life is learning how to deal with those emotions.
As I have been praying, literally all day today, I kept saying: "Please help me remember that these trials have been given to me so that I can come out stronger."
Because, Faith is all we can hope for at the end of the day, right? Faith to be better the next day. Faith that He will take care of you. Faith that everything in this life is happens for a reason.
At least, that is what I explained to many of my dear Kenyan friends about. I reminded them of that many times as they sat on the ground and cried over the death of one of their fellow villagers due to AIDS. And, now, although my trials may be different, this is what I keep telling myself:
We will be stronger because of our pain.
Aren't they beautiful?
I will get back there!
My classroom is currently working towards saving money to send to my students in Kenya. Every 10 days that they read, is a dollar towards this student. This has really motivated my students to practice their reading and to help change others' lives.