Hard to explain

So yesterday morning, Saturday, my husband went shopping with two co-workers.  This necessitates a blog post you ask.  Well, that’s the point.  Yes, it does.

I do not shop with my husband if I can at all avoid it.  We have been married for sixteen years and dating for three years before that.  We have shopped together a few times.  Not one of those times was particularly pleasant.  Some of those times were just awful.  I was with him when he purchased my engagement ring.  Well, I was in the food court while he was in the jewelers.  Awkward.  At least it was in Hawaii.

I have never seen him shop with a group of men.  I never expected to see it in my lifetime.  So yesterday morning when a car pulled up in front of our home with two manly men waiting for my husband so the three of them could go shopping I was looking for signs of the second coming.  Tears swelled up in my eyes as I watched him hurry to fill his travel mug with coffee before he ran out.  “Look,” he cried, “one of us is even keeping the others waiting.”  I had to tease the two in the car.  One resorted to the defense that, “We’re not going shopping.  We’re buying hardware.”  Oh, that level of denial only made my revelry grow.

Okay, this story in and of itself may amuse you but it may not.  The reason I chose to write a blog about it is to help illustrate why I don’t blog more.  Our entire life is different just now.  I don’t know where to start.

Do I write about:

The super cool safari that we went on?

The dirt road that we live off of that chokes you with dust in the dry season and swallows you with mud in the rainy season?

Visiting local charity hospitals where abandoned sick babies are not fed formula by bottle but are nursed by various volunteers from the community?  (The debate is not if breast is best, it’s the fact that breast is the only option.)

The Kenyan runners who train in our community and at a nearby world famous training compound?  (They don’t run, they float.)

My neighbors with outhouses?  My neighbor who lives in a mud house?  My neighbor who ran his way to an Olympic gold medal?

The awesomeness of the Kenyan night sky?

The hassles of frequent electrical, internet, and water outages?

The brown water that comes into our home when we get it?

Visiting a children’s home every week and making the most unexpected friendships there?

Starting a homeschool co-op?  Boarding schools?  Corporal punishment in the local schools?

Female genital mutilation in the surrounding communities?

Male circumcision ceremonies in the surrounding communities?  (They are quite a party I hear.)

Some of the local communities belief that twins are a curse because of the trouble they cause with inheritance customs?

Fun times to be had in the relative normalcy of Nairobi?  (Minus the treat of violence.)

Missing my family and friends back in the states?

The joy of watching my children develop friendships with people they would have never met if we were not here now?

Or maybe I should just write about how overwhelming it is when everything that you know and are use to on a daily basis is suddenly different.  How it feels to always be the outsider?  How it feels to relearn the money, the language, the driving, the customs, the weather patterns, the food, and to show respect for the local community while upholding my own beliefs.  How hard it is to be the wife of and parent to others who are all going through the same changes simulataneously while each in their own way.

I’m too tired to blog.  I want to write about all of it.  I want to share it with anyone who is interested.  I feel so fortunate to have this experience and to experience it with my family.  I’m just a wee bit tired now and would like a day in America with fast food, air conditioning, and television.

Don’t you know?  Haven’t you heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God; he created all the world.  He never grows tired or weary.  No one understands his thoughts.  He strengthens those who are weak; young people can fall exhausted.  But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed.  They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.     – Isaiah 41:28-31

10 thoughts on “Hard to explain

  1. Even with your amazing descriptions, I can’t imagine what it must be like to acclimate to this experience. I think of you often.

  2. Beautifully written, Lynn.
    Just a couple responses. Television is horrible and vapid. Movies are great, though. Do you have a DVD player?
    Fast food sounds ok, but I feel really bad after I eat it. I think after a few months you’ll forget all about it.
    Air conditioning and clean water…well, I can’t live without either. So don’t know what to say there.
    I hope you get some well deserved rest. Love reading your blog! Hugs!

  3. I love your blogs. I love hearing you express how you feel with such transparency. I can’t begin to imagine the adjustments that you face every single day. I pray your closing Scripture verses will infuse your whole being with strength and peace that comes only from God Himself. He knows exactly how you feel. I’m sending hugs ~ Love you all!

  4. You should consider writing a book when this life experience comes to an end. I am sure you must have love hate days with Kenya… But if anyone can take on the gigantic journey it is you all, you are an amazing family
    Hugs Navenka

  5. There is so much to take in and process when you are in a cross-cultural journey like this. I am so glad you can share this with your family. You all draw so much love and encouragement from one another. Funny about you and Drew shopping together. Robin and I would much rather shop separately, as well.

    I am really glad when you do write posts. I know it is hard, so I want to encourage you that it is worth it. (Even if no one read your blog – which is obviously not the case – at the least this can serve as a sort of journal or diary of this experience for you and the family.

    Blessings from your Memphis support group.

    Bill, Robin, and Marianne

  6. Lynn, what a beautiful blog post! Thank you for giving us a glimpse into this huge cultural shift and doing it with grace and your own witty sense of humor 🙂 I agree with the others that these blog posts be compiled into a book some day. In the mean time, please don’t stop writing. We need to hear, need to experience, even remotely, a different perspective on the world. And I have to believe that there is a cathartic benefit for you as well. Thank you.

  7. As usual Lynn, I love how you express yourself and the honesty with which you DO! In this blog you tossed out so many topics, any one of which will be an interesting & remarkable revelation to your readers. Thank you for giving us a part of you even when you are exhausted! Love and prayers daily, Ginny.

  8. Lynn, this is Gram Dorothy, Ginny’s friend.. Your e-mails are wonderful. I so like, all you have to say. You and Drew and the children are in my prayers everyday.Blessings and love to you all.

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