Today, we returned to work. A few days of rest on the coast, a day to unpack, and a day to jump back into the full Kenyan swing. Our first day back was a reminder that every day in Kenya is an adventure. Perhaps we are just more aware of how out of control we are. Like when your semi-distressed friend calls for directions, and gets pulled over by the police for talking on the phone… and you go to meet him and find out that he has been arrested and so you go to the police station together- but that’s for another time.
The streets are different. What once was a round-a-bout has been under construction for the last two years. Just in time for our return, the construction is complete. A fully operational “overpass” as part of the Thika super highway project. With “do not turn” signs in every place where one would normally attempt to create a convenient route. (Complete with a picture of the commonly created routed, with a think red line across it.) There are even painted lines on the road, creating the illusion of lanes. And, it seems that generally, people are staying inside of them. Perhaps its because only two cars can fit side by side at a time. Either way, traffic is still traffic, but the main roads have greatly improved.
It’s good to return to normal, however chaotic it may appear. To eat Ethiopian at our favorite restaurant. To drink a Stoney (a soda – like ginger ale – but extra heavy on the ginger.) To greet our colleagues, and receive a continued celebration of our marriage.
Life continued while we were away and Missions of Hope now has a hair salon (for skills training), and is about to open a learning room to provide extra assistance to kids with various disabilities within our programs. Our friends at MoHi have gotten married, had babies, and lost loved ones. Things have continued to move and cycle and grow and change. And we have too. So we drive up improved roads to familiar buildings, and leave through alleyways that seem to have remained frozen in our absence. Past the same glue boys, chapati vendors, and greet colleagues turned friends. This is a bit of our normal, and we are grateful.