Week 46: Goodbye Kenya

What a beautiful, painful, and celebratory week, my last week in Kenya.  I walked back through the doors of the schools which I had been going to my entire year after not going for a month (two for two months).  I was no longer Mr. Incognito to all of the smiling faces until I began to explain that I was leaving the next week and this was my last class with them.  I was under the impression when I left for Lodwar that I would have two weeks back in the schools, but the unusual timing of our closing retreat in Uganda had taken another week from time in schools.  Therefore, I walked in to smiling faces, explained that I was leaving to confused faces, and left to a mixture of faces.  I explained to them that I was sorry that I was only back for one class, but that it is the way life is sometimes.   Leaving each school was very difficult.  I was thanked many times at each school and I felt closure as I left and believe that the students did as well.

They have been the main focus of my time in Kenya and I am sure that as I continue to chew on my time in Kenya I will miss them more while realizing what they have taught me, nobody else could have.

St. Hannah’s Girls Basketball Team
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St. Hannah’s Girls Secondary School
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St. Hannah’s Boys Secondary School
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St. Nicholas Primary School
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The biggest goodbye for me was leaving African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) which has been my home and office for the past year.  Friday, we had a very nice going away party for me where each person spoke and I closed with a lengthy speech about my year in Kenya.  What a blessing they have been in my life.  I wish that I could transfer my experience with the people at AEE to others, so that they undertood how amazing the people of AEE and Kenya are.  I will miss them and look forward to the day when I will get to see them again hopefully.

African Evangelistic Enterprise after my going away party:
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During my last week, I also got to meet up with Nick from the Mark and Nick duo (I climbed Mount Kenya with Mark and his now finance, Karen).  Any who, Nick’s girlfriend, Maggie who is from Stillwater, OK, has been in Kenya for the past month visiting Nick and I finally got to meet her and see Nick again.  She has been in Thailand for the past year and so it was nice to talk with people my age about our experiences at different places in the world besides Oklahoma while still speaking in our Oklahoman accents, it was great!

The Oklahoman Trio (Maggie, Me, and Nick):
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The day before I left Kenya, I got to meet up with some friends from Austin College who are working in Nairobi for a month.  They are both members of the Christian fraternity I was in during college, Chi Tau Chi.  It was great to meet up with people from AC and talk about our friends on a first name basis.

The XTX/Austin College Trio (Emily, Me, and Daniel)
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Cosmas and Robert’s Last Adventure (for now)

Cosmas and I had our last adventure to visit his newish girlfriend, Nelly, on the other side of town.  As always, it was an adventure and great to see Cosmas before I left Kenya the next day.  At Nelly’s, we watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition and I saw some of Ugly Betty for the first time.  Not what most people from the States think we do in Kenya, but for some Kenyans it is.  Until next time Cosmas.

Nelly, Me, and Cosmas:
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Before we leave on the plane, Phyllis makes us a good big meal to send us off on a good note.  As my posts from Christmas and Thanksgiving have told you, Phyllis can cook incredible food, in taste and quantity.  She has been a great supervisor and friend.  I’m gonna miss Phyllis and her family.

Phyllis’ Mac and Cheese (The best I’ve ever had):
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The Apple Pie for my going away party:
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That’s all for now.  I will continue to blog about my memories from Kenya as they come to me.  Until then, I am taking a European detour on my way home to visit my dad’s only cousin in Paris and one of my best friends in Edinburgh with a few other detours in between those two.  I will blog about those experiences as they come, but for now I am focused on saying goodbye to Kenya.

So, goodbye for now Kenya, thank you for all of the joys and sorrows, new friends and new ways from which to view the world.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.” –Semisonic

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