Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Plan (a.k.a. One Crazy Idea)

I have now moved to Kenya! A life long dream has come true. And the reality is so much more wonderful and unexpected and as reality always is complicated!

This is one of the first opportunities to be BRAVE. I have come alone, the girls will stay in the USA until January. We talk weekly by Skype and text with our cell phones (gratitude for technology!) They seem to be doing okay, I'm the one that is missing them more.

To bring you up to speed, how we got to today...

August 21, 2008 I left the USA to lead an expedition of 9 people to a small village called Mulunguni.

August 25, 2008 Plane in Guatemala crashes with 2 of my dearest friends in the world (more like family than friends) along with several others that I knew quite well, including my colleague's wife.

The next week was one of the hardest and most surreal of my entire life! Grieving for my loved ones, leading an expedition, working with a small rural community and contemplating the future all at once. I think God knew that the most peaceful place for me to be was in Kenya. That the sorrow and grief would overwhelm me, but being in Kenya allowed me to hang on. For that I am ever grateful.

September 5, 2008 As a joke, I say to Mama Rita - let's go check out a school for the girls! What if I moved here?! So we went to the Aga Khan Primary School and took a tour. From there they sent us over to the Aga Khan Academy and just jokingly I asked if they were hiring.

Two hours later, they had my CV and I had an interview. One hour later, I had a job offer and was on my way to the airport to fly home! Turns out they had a teacher leave abruptly and literally had 6 classes sitting without a teacher! Just that morning in staff meeting, they had said "Inshallah (God willing), we will find a teacher." Then, I walked in. God works in mysterious ways...

The entire flight home, I was in turmoil. I've dreamt of this for years. Yet, when faced with the opportunity, it seemed both to good to be true and excitingly scary. I was troubled with questions of can I do this to my kids, is it fair to their dad, can I really do this?

The rest is a longer story for another time. But, the bottom line is, I faced the fear and did it! God moved all types of mountains for me to be able to go, and most importantly for the girls to be able to join me!

Within a week, we packed up the house! We sold half of our things in a yard sale and the other half put into storage. Absolutely liberating! Everything I own now fits in a 10'x10' storage unit and 6 suitcases (2 for each of us girls to bring)! I am no longer defined by my "things." It is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Second only to the moment I turned off my cell phone permanently and no one could find me! I was off the radar.

Two weeks later, I received my e-ticket at 9 pm for a midnight flight that same evening! We raced to the airport and the rest is my new adventure!

I am living in Mombasa with a good friend of mine in an amazing house, replete with drivers, maid, gardener and security guard! I'm a five minute walk to the beach! I wake up to palm trees, ocean breeze and the smell of tropical flora! I eat fresh mangoes right off the tree! If I had to paint paradise, it would be Mombasa.

I'm teaching Business and Economics at a private academy, at one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever visited! The students and the staff have been overwhelmingly gracious and warm.

And this is a new kind of challenge for me... One that I think my soul was craving and is ready to tackle. Inshallah.


GWF said...

I just came into work. My freshly vaccuumed cube. Pulled up my blogger dashboard and saw your new post. I would love to see some pictures of your new life. We set up skype last night - we should plan a time when we can talk. We pray for you.

Chidodo said...

I'm trying to get photos! I have to borrow Rita's camera and get them uploaded. Maybe over the weekend...

Thanks for keeping in touch. Love you guys!

Canamerican said...

I am so glad you were able to have your girls with you on your amazing life's adventure! Tina and I were talking about you lately...all good! We miss you and hope things are going great for you! Talk soon! xoxo! Aimee