Welcome to Canada!

We are here!!! Well, we’ve been here almost 3 weeks now. Whoops, let the blog slip a little bit. But we are indeed in Canada! 
Slowly we are adjusting. We have both experienced culture shock. It is freezing cold here in Castlegar. The sun likes to pop out one day and then, bam, snow dumps the next day. We are amazed at how fast and efficient everything is here. You can get so much done in one day just because everything is so easy. Canadians are terribly kind and generous and we are feeling that big time. Kelvin wonders where all the people are. I think he is getting a bit lonely. He can’t walk down the street and meet people the way he used to in Kenya. There are just no people here (compared to where we came from). Kelvin has been to two hockey games and is already more of an expert in the sport than I am. 
Slowly, we are getting our feet on the ground and creating a little life for ourselves. It won’t be easy but we are up for the challenge. We are still on the hunt for jobs and have tried out a nice little church. We are looking for some new friends that we can call ‘ours’ not just ‘nikole’s’. Kelvin will be starting college in September. He is really looking forward to that. We are missing Kenya alot. Well, maybe I am missing it more than Kelvin at this point. We are missing our friends and youth. We really had a great group of friend and community over there. Now, it feels like we are starting from scratch. 
Kelvin and I both agreed that, for now, this blog will shut down. It will remain on the web but I will not be posting on it for a while. It was a great tool to keep you all informed with how we are doing in Kenya and it helped us promote and gain support for our project. For now, we have decided that we should focus on sharing our personal life with the friends and family around us. In saying that, if you would like to connect at some point, I would love to do coffee or dinner or a skype date! Please just shoot me an email! 
So my love, welcome to Canada, my home country. I pray that our time here is meaningful and fruitful. I pray that we can find purpose and joy in our everyday tasks and that our hearts would grow deeper and deeper in love with each other and our God. 

Transitioning…

Transitions used to be a way of life for me. I moved from one city to another, one job to another, one continent to another, one church to another, one set of friends to another, with very little fret. I actually remember in college saying to ladies in a bible study, “Transitioning is not always fun but I get so excited seeing how God pushes me through it.” Hmm, I just don’t have that same zeal this time. This transition is filled with a little more anxiety, uncertainty, frustration, and fear. 

Today I had a little cry. Not unlike me at all. I am just tired and frustrated and anxious to leave yet a little bit scared of what is waiting for us on the other side. 
We were asked today if we were excited to get to Canada. Our answer was, “We are really just excited to leave Kenya.” There has just been a lot going on in our lives and all around us that has been tough and overwhelming and, to be honest, we just want to escape. Then there is the added stress of everyday living in Kenya like the fact that our water is not pumping and our house is ridiculously dirty and my phone just decided to die on me for no reason. Plus, the political climate in Mombasa is getting more and more intense as the days go by and I am not as comfortable moving about like I used to do because you just never know when something might happen especially when large crowds of zealous Kenyans (plus money, power, and pride) are involved. 
We are moving out of our apartment in two days and moving in with friends for the rest of the week. I am really excited to just get rid of all our stuff and live out of our suitcases for a while. It’s hard organizing and getting rid of an entire household. My feelings have wavered from being totally embarrassed that, at our age, we have so little possessions to being really content (and almost proud of ourselves) that we haven’t collected so much stuff that we will be desperate to get rid of in 30 years. I am thankful that we have a ‘treasures stored up in heaven’ mindset at such an early age. But then again I’m a little self-concious to say that all my clothes fill half a suit case. 
And then my stomach is not enjoying this transition. About 5 years ago, when I moved to Kenya the first time, I developed some bad tummy issues. After seeing the doctor and doing some tests, she asked me, ‘Is there any big event happening in your life right now?’ I bashfully told her that I was moving to Africa and then it all clicked. It was all anxiety related to the big transition. I am finding my stomach has also detected that a big event is happening in my life right now and has decided to fire back. 
I wish I could tell you had some big spiritual revelation of some sort about this transition but I don’t. I know the facts: God loves me, God is with me, this is God’s will for us right now, and we will be ok. 

Counting Down the Days

Can you believe we only have 3 more weeks in Mombasa? Crazy right!?
We are kicking into high gear trying to get everything figured out and dealt with before we leave. Its not an easy process. We will be SO ready to get to Canada once these few weeks are over. Kelvin and I often look at each other and just wish that we could leave tomorrow and not have to deal with selling our stuff, looking after the business and the project, and saying our goodbyes. As each day passes, our hearts are more and more excited to start a life in Canada.
We are also just trying to ENJOY kenya while we can. I was in nairobi this past week. We had some troubles on the bus and what was suppose to be a 7 hour ride took 11 hours. The plus side was that I got to drive through the african plains as the sun was rising and it was completely majestic. Africa is truly majestic. 

Last weekend we decided to check out Haller Park. I can actually see Haller Park from my kitchen but I have never been in it. I was surprised as to how many beautiful animals and wildlife are in my back yard!

 Giraffes will always be so gracefully goofy. 
 These monkeys (and their reproductive organs) always crack me up. Yes, his testicles are bright blue and his ‘manhood’ is bright red. Maybe it makes it easier for the woman to spot it?
Baby monkey!

I think someone was trying to hide.
 But this someone liked being in the middle of the road.

 Not sure what this animal is called.
They have a few hippos in the park too. Unfortunately, they weren’t hungry enough to get out of the water and come eat their food. I was so looking forward to seeing their big bodies as I have only ever seen them in water. Its hard to believe they are the most dangerous creatures in Africa.

 And then it was time to feed the crocodiles. This was the big kahuna.
 For show, they like to tease the little guys and make them all jump for the meat.
These things were just wandering around in the open. They kind of look like something you might find in the mountains near my hometown.
 The greenery was so gorgeous and luscious.

 This tree was so bizarre with its neat roots system.
I used to dream of living in a place with palm trees. Now I have them right outside my window. 
We are trading in the tropics for the snow….