Truth be told, right now, the end of our trip to Kenya feels too raw to blog about the three weeks there. The smell of the body wash we used, the sight of foods I ate before I got sick and the clothes I wore en route to the hospital can turn my stomach. Not because the trip wasn't amazing before I got sick - it was. But the experience was so hard and scary; it has left us reeling a little bit.
Years ago, I got the stomach flu on Christmas Eve after having had a sweet potato for dinner. I couldn't eat sweet potatoes for years. And now? I love them! I'm hoping that, as we get a little space from the trip, I'll feel more eager to reflect upon it and, eventually, will remember how joyful it was. Because the three weeks before I got sick were amazing - we learned SO much! Someday, I feel confident Kenya will be the sweet potato of trips :)
However! While we were there, I recorded some of my favorite moments from the trip as they happened. I wanted to share a few of them with you!
15 Moments I Loved in Kenya
1. Brushing our teeth outside under the dark night sky. Looking for shooting stars and the dippers and shouting them out with foamy mouths.
2. Sitting on the cool front porch each morning, eating mango and oats and PB and instant coffee. The breeze blowing across our faces as the hot sun rose.
3. Eating mango on the big cement rock outside our office. We didn't have a knife so we cut it with our teeth. We were both covered in sticky juice. When we finished, we fed the extra to a skinny horse and watched him go crazy.
4. Going for an evening run and discovering a new village. It was so lush and green with palms and gardens and tiny Kenyans yelling at us. Watching the sun set as we finished - it's pink glow descending behind the rolling green hills and blue mountains. The sky turning purple as it dipped into the horizon. It looked like a watercolor painting.
5. Rocking baby Paul to sleep in my arms. Feeling a chunky baby bounce and laugh and coo after seeing so many sick little ones was such a joy. Swaying in the shade of a big tree, as the breeze blew through on the sticky day. Feeling his sweat drip down my arm as he snored.
6. Riding on a piki (motorbike) between two Kenyan men. It was the first morning I'd spent apart from Chris. As the wind caught my hair I realized I could do this trip - I didn't feel nervous anymore. It was the first time I didn't worry about why we'd come.
7. Walking one of the little boys to school. He was so shy and wanted us to walk near him, but not with him.
8. Filling up our water bucket each night to shower. Knowing we were only using what we needed.
9. Teaching the girls at church about worth. Watching their eyes light up as they understood. Helping them see their strengths and why they were lovable.
10. The amazing colors every day - the red dirt roads, deep brown dirt, lush green landscape and bright blue mountains fading into the sky.
11. Cooking dinner with our door open while kids jumped rope and played soccer as the sun set. Hearing their laughter and happy cries of "Mzungu, Mzungu!"
12. Working out on our last night. The power was out but the moon and stars were so bright it didn't matter. Looking up at the stars and feeling so content. And sweaty!
13. Arriving at the lodge. Omg. The views! The animals! The mango juice. The coffee!!!! Everything was amazing and so perfect. Swimming in the pool and feeling clean for the first time. Everything smelled good there. Even the air! We were absolutely overflowing with joy. I didn't even want to listen to music because the birds and hippos sounded so amazing.
14. Watching the sun rise and set over the Maasai Mara.
15. Chris running back from the pool yelling for me to go see the stars with childlike excitement. He couldn't believe how bright they were at the lodge.