Hello everyone! This is my final update from Kenya. Kate and I leave tomorrow at 1:00 to fly to Entebbe. Mercy is also leaving tomorrow evening, so we are all mourning our departure and trying to enjoy the last few hours that we have together. Since the last post:
1.) Saturday was the wedding. It was so beautiful. We got there at about 11:00 because Mercy and Faith were ushers. The wedding was supposed to begin at 12 but, as most everything here, did not start on time. It began at about 1. The service was absolutely amazing. I feel like I know the couple really well, even though I have only really talked to Nyam for about 10 seconds and never talked to Yos. I got to hear their full story at the bridal shower and am just really encouraged by them. They are really cool people. Anyway, the wedding was followed by a meal. Then all of the women went out and danced and sang to welcome the couple to the reception. That was really interesting. There were speeches and they cut the cake (which was beautiful and had sunflowers!). Finally we left at about 7. Weddings here are a HUGE deal. There were sooooo many people there to celebrate together. Everything here is a community event. It was really cool to see.
2.) Saturday night there was an evening party for Yos and Nyam. It was basically for the younger folk and included...DANCING!! It brought me back to the days of high school dances. I had so much fun.
3.) Sunday morning we went to church. Basically the same as last week.
4.) Sunday night we went to a confirmation party for a couple friends of the Okaalets. They were very welcoming and we had a good time. They fed us well...which seems to be a theme here. It was a nice evening. Like I have said before, everyone is just soooo welcoming.
5.) Today Mercy is getting her hair braided, so we are just chilling for awhile while she does that. Yaya!
Ok. So I have told you what we've done but not really how I feel. So here goes...
It has really surprised me how much people have accepted us. I wasn't really expecting to become so attached in just a 2 week span. Mercy's family really feels like family. I am really not looking forward to leaving them. I love them so much and it just feels like a second home. Mercy's friends are amazing as well. It seems like I have known them for much longer than I actually have. They have allowed us in to their circle of friends and that has been such a blessing. There are so many that I will miss. A huge part of me wants to stay here in Kenya for the remainder of the semester rather than leaving. I am hoping to be able to visit again sometime soonish.
I am also excited to continue my adventure in Uganda. It is going to be hard to open up to people there as well knowing that it is just going to cause me more heartbreak in the immediate future. However, if I have good friends in Kenya, I might as well have good friends in Uganda as well. The same trip can hit both places quite easily. I am really excited to meet all of the American students who I will be studying with this semester. I am still quite scared for the homestay, although staying with Mercy's family has been good preparation. Mercy's parents actually grew up in Uganda and are Ugandan, so I'm thinking there will be major similarities between the two situations.
Another part of me really wants to accompany Mercy back to the States. I could really go for a Dairy Queen Blizzard. Not going to lie.
So. I guess I am just feeling really conflicted. I hate that I have to leave these people I have come to love. I am excited to continue with this adventure. And I am missing home. Ick. But, I'm going to push the thought of leaving out of my mind and focus on making the most of the present.
Love you all. Miss you. And I'm wishing you could all experience Nairobi with me!