Moving to Kenya is like getting married

Posted on July 28, 2012

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By John

Moving to Kenya is like getting married. Every time I have been in Kenya before has been for a fixed amount of time and then I leave. Quick little romantic dates— six months, two months. I always knew I was going home, that I was going to go back to a place that was familiar. I was merely “dating” Kenya.

Now I am committed. I have said “I do” and cannot take it back.  All the little annoyances that were easily overlooked when everything was new, feel like they are suffocating me. I am angry that they make me introduce myself in front of the congregation on Sunday mornings. I am not happy that I am given the “Muzungu” price at the market, easily three times what a Kenyan would pay. I already feel tired of being stared at. I wish I could blend in.

These things are not overwhelming in themselves, but they are not escapable. Like marriage, I am in this for the long haul because of love. Just like the first few weeks of marriage, I am in a period of expectation realignment, culture shock. It happens to everyone, but I thought I was immune. I thought having already spent a collective 8 months in Kenya I was ready to just step into our role here.

I was wrong. I am thankful for our three weeks at Africa Based Orientation. To re-acclimate to Kenya to readjust my expectations. It will take time, but just like marriage, in the long run it will be worth it. Marriage is far more rich a blessing than mere dating.

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Posted in: Africa, John