[22] things I learned in Kenya.

1) People aren’t joking when they say you can get malaria, so you should probably not laugh when they call somewhere a “malaria prone area.”
2) Kenyan schoolchildren will never ever get sick of having their picture taken. Even if you do it every single day for 2 months.
3) When you say “hello” to most people in Kenya, they will usually answer “I’m fine” and the sooner you understand that, the better.
4) Kenyans are the best dancers in the world. Ever. Period.
5) Loving Jesus has nothing to do with where you are in the world, as long as you are in His will. He doesn’t love me any more than He loves you because I served Him in Kenya this summer.
6) Elementary school children will try to rub your skin and see if it will turn their skin white…everyday.
7) “Cold” and “Hot” have completely different definitions in Kenya than they do in America.
8) Just because someone calls you “my sister” does not mean they like you…it means they want you to buy all of the stuff from their store & charge you way more than it’s worth.
9) Regardless of what my 5 year old brain thinks, all animals do not love me & in fact most of them will run away and/or bite me when I try to go near them. (Insert the moments when I tried to pet cows, goats, sheep, donkeys, chickens, zebras [not a typo] and a really mean dog).
10) Most places that say they have “wifi” are liars and I will forgive them eventually for deceiving my stupid, needy, internet needing, American heart.
11) Living with a Kenyan family is the best thing you could do for your weight. Not only have I lost 10 pounds but I have eaten more vegetables & fruit this summer than I have in my whole entire life.
12) Seeing the kids that you know personally succeed in their classes is one of the best feelings in the whole wide world (dear parents & teachers, I know you already understand this…and you must know that you have the best jobs in the world!).
13) Mosquito nets hate me. I know this is true because every time I try to drape my net over my bed, we get in a serious fight that usually ends with a net lying on my face while I try to sleep.
14) My nails grow a lot faster than I can keep up with. And are apparently too strong for normal nails clippers. I’m currently typing with my nails instead of my fingertips.
15) Seeing the smile on my orphanage girl’s faces every time we are reunited after school will never, ever get old.
16) Learning Swahili is a lot harder than people will tell you it is…do not believe them when they tell you it is easy.
17) Kenyans pronounce about 90% of the English language in a different way than Americans, when you decide to be a teacher for the summer…remember this. (Insert pronunciations here…for example, girl = gall, mechanic = meck-a-neck, flirt = flat, anything with an “a” like potatoes or tomatoes is pronounced with a soft a….instead of po-TAY-toe, it is  po-tah-toe.)
18) Kenyan flies are much more adventurous than American flies. They also don’t care how many times you swat them…they will keep coming back. Rude flies.
19) Being white in Kenya can either be a really great thing or a really bad thing. Examples – when buying things, it’s horrible; you will be charged at least 4 times the actual price. But when going places, people will be extremely nice to you simply because you’re white.
20) Kenyan tea kicks American tea’s butt.
21) God knows your heart better than you do. (Okay so maybe I knew this before Kenya but my Savior proved this fact over & over & OVER again this summer).
22) I am surrounded by the most encouraging & incredible people in the entire world. Not just in America but also in Kenya. The Lord has perfectly crafted my friends & family to love me and encourage me in every single part of my life. I am so thankful to have these relationships all over the world.
I have learned so much more than just these 22 things but I think that this summed up my time here pretty well. I cannot believe that tomorrow evening (afternoon for you all in America) I will be leaving the place where I fell in love with Jesus in a whole new way. I remember thinking that two months was a long time…how incredibly wrong I have been. While I am so sad to leave, I am so thankful for my time here and it just shows how much God loves me…which is so much. My time here has been fruitful, CRAZY, adventurous, hilarious, humbling, silly, fun, loving, amazing and perfect.
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