Well folks, I made it to Siaya. I’m sitting in one of the two cyber’s in town, which is about the size of Elizabeth. I think there are a few more shops, but nothing really substantial. Town mostly consists of markets, which are little wooden structures with a tarp or tin roof. There are 3 small hotels in the area and a couple banks. Several shops. It’s a nice little town.
I’m pretty worn out right now. We had a pretty turbulent, but uneventful matatu ride here. The trip took two days with an overnight at a hotel without electricity in Kisumu. Yesterday, before noon, we arrived at the Ambalo residence and were greeted by Robert (4) and Faith (3). The rest of the kids came home slightly after noon. We spent the day at the house, relaxing. The power went out in the afternoon, so I read some more of “Half the Sky” and wrote a letter home. I can’t wait to have my own house, my own privacy. Freedom to read alone without worrying about being antisocial. Going to bed as early as I please, and wearing shorts around the house. Little things that seem silly when you’re home.
I had a pile of letters/cards waiting for me here in Siaya! You guys rock. It is just so nice to have a little note or envelope as tangible evidence that you all think of me. I know you haven’t forgot about me or anything, but just having something here to remind me of you guys means a lot. I cried when I opened my letter from the church, that everyone signed. I remember signing those letters to pass out, thinking it didn’t matter if my name was in it or not – but it really does. I read over the list probably at least 10 times. I love my letters and my cards, and i can’t wait to put them up on my bulletin board in my new house!
I still haven’t been able to visit my new home yet. Right now I’m completely reliant on Mr. Ambalo, and we haven’t had the opportunity to go to the house quite yet. He said that if it doesn’t rain, we might go this afternoon. The road becomes impassable once it’s muddy. I leave to go stay with my friend Claire tomorrow. She is staying near Kakamega, so tomorrow morning I will catch a bus to Kisumu at 8am, meet up with Claire, have some yummy food, then go back to Kakamega with her. I am so excited, it will be such a relief to have a little time for just being me. Being American. Talking like I normally talk, about normal things. Gah.
I have written two partial blog posts, both of them are still on my computer, tucked away in my luggage. I might upload them later, even though it will be out of chronological order. Things here have been hectic and a little overwhelming, but I’m hanging in there. One I get to my house and get unpacked, develop a routine, things will smooth out. I can’t wait.
Even though this is probably my most frustrating/challenging phase, it is still so worth it. I really do love it here, and the people are unbelievably friendly and helpful. Today I had a man show me to the right place to buy airtime for my phone, after he saw me go to two booths that advertised for airtime and had none. It was just nice. And the lady here, who owns this cyber – Gladys – she is just so willing to help me and eager to assist. The people are amazing. Ambalo’s family – they are the most caring and thoughtful people in the world. The kids are absolutely precious and his niece – Sherry – is so kind, she came and tucked my mosquito net in for me last night because I had fallen asleep without it. It’s just these little things that really touch your heart and keep you going. People are just people, no matter where you go. I know mom says it all the time, but it is so true.