The first few days

Hello from Nairobi! This is a long post, forgive me, but it gives a good idea of what work is like.

I have had a good journey to Nairobi, and an answered prayer too. After praying for a way of sleeping on the plane, I got bumped up to business class on the way from Doha to Nairobi. This involved a three course meal after midnight (I couldn't say no...), free toiletries, a free set of pjs (!) and most importantly a seat that reclined more. I was like a giggling child at Christmas. Although sleep was still hard I did actually sleep, which was almost impossible when upright before. Thank you for praying!

I spent yesterday at church. Kenyan services are a wonder. In OCC the services are in both English and Kiswahili. Unfortunately for me, it is 20:80 ratio respectively. However they sang all the songs in Kiswahili, including the women's high trilling calls (I would type them, but I can not work out how).  It was amazing, if not loud (Kenyans do love their amps!). The visiting speaker was very engaging, and despite a few times nodding off... for I was very tired... she managed to hold my attention. That was pretty impressive being that is was well over an hour long and in Kiswahili without translation. I understood more of the service than you would think, as 'bwana asifiwe' was so regularly on their lips... it means 'praise the Lord'.

Today I went into Mathare slum and started teaching. I am escorted through the slum's narrow walkways over the bridge where the pungent river flows and avoiding the more pungent full open sewers. People are everywhere and I am regularly greeted by smiling children chorusing "'ow are you'" and "mzungu" (white person). The classroom walls and roof are made of bare corrugated iron and the dim light comes from a small clear panel in the roof with splashes of sun shining through the rust holes in the walls. There are only narrow desks and benches and a wooden board painted with blackboard paint. The children worked hard and were a little shy, however I think they will warm up. I now have the plans and I have got my head round them, so I am really looking forward to the lessons. I am teaching English, Maths and Science each morning. This leaves me free in the afternoons to prepare and plan and explore other ministries in the OCC, as well as do practical tasks (such as going to the bank... it can take hours). I also got to see the new classrooms which Bradford Grammar contributed to building. I stood on the roof where, in every direction, all you can see is thousands of tiny dwellings, so closely packed together that you can't see the paths between them. Pictures will come soon, if technology obeys.

I have been enjoying settling into my Kenyan family’s home (the Bishop Ogutu’s family). My Kenyan accent and intonation has already become pretty much pretty engrained, so I am praying in my head in the same accent! Even the words and sentence patterns in this blog are Kenyan style. But I have been complimented on my clear voice, so it will help with teaching.

Please do text my English number should you wish, I can reply on my Kenyan number which is very cheap.

Prayer requests

In addition to the others, please pray for safety in the slum (there are hints of unrest at the moment) and on the roads, which are genuinely very dangerous. Kenyans pray before each journey for a reason!

For a settled stomach. I have been very careful and so far so good (thank you Jesus, a dodgey tummy with floor toilets in the slums is not a fun prospect).

Bwana Asifiwe