Outpouring of Love

Kelvin and I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of crazy love that you all have showed us since we announced we are moving to Canada. Thanks to all who have rejoiced and praised God with us. Thanks to all who have assured us that this is God’s doing. Thanks to those who have recognized that we take care of so many and now its time for us to be taken care of. Thanks to those who have given to the Rehma Family and to us personally so we can transition smoothly. 
We are definitely feelin’ the love.  
Thank you. 
Thank you. 
Thank you. 

Our First Anniversary

It was our one year anniversary last Friday (December 21st). I had planned to write some lengthy, insightful, inspiring post about marriage and love and Kelvin and Jesus and other stuff but our day was hijacked by a slew of visitors and a long to-do list for our Christmas banquet. 
I spent a good part of our anniversary here….

…at the largest crocodile farm in Africa. 
With these great people….

 …the Rono kids. 
Swido, Virginia, and Emmanuel were in town with a friend, boyfriend, and husband. We planned to all get together on Friday but once we were together, we couldn’t figure out what to do so we split up. I took the girls and their men to the Mamba Village Crocodile farm and Kelvin took Emmanuel and his buddy Ryan to the beach. We all had a great time. I always love being with these great peeps. Swido has been gone for almost two years studying abroad so catching up with her was wonderful. The crocodile farm was interesting with a strong flare of cheesiness. It was kind of cool seeing over 10,000 crocodiles.
We eventually said goodbye to them and Kelvin and I went on a coffee date at Java House just to hang out together. We were completely wiped though and were starting to get sicko so it wasn’t the most romantic date. 
 A friend asked me how our first year of marriage has been. I told her that it was kind of like a roller coaster ride. There were a lot of highs and lows and sharp twists and turns but at the end you get out and say, “that was awesome! lets do it again!”.  I adore you Kelvin. Let’s spend forever together. 

Four Years

November 8, 2008. 
That is the day I first stepped into Mombasa four years ago. It was also the beginning of possibly the hardest 6 months of my life. 
We were placed in a mansion that was meant for a large Indian family. There were 8 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, a humongous living room, and hallways that you could do endless cartwheels in. And we were only two girls. The house had some pretty major quirks: no water, no airflow, lots of dirt and gecko poop, a tiny kitchen, a noisy neighbourhood, and a few guards with their own personal issues. It was not an easy place to manage. 
I started off pretty excited about what was planned for us but my zeal quickly faded. It just wasn’t what I felt called to do but I did it because we were told it was necessary, a spot needed to be filled and we got lots of praise for our courage to be there. Meanwhile, I was fading. We lived in a difficult neighbourhood and got constantly heckled by the men even though we tried as hard as we could to cover our bodies and act respectfully. It didn’t matter; our skin colour was enough to make them go crazy. We had little preparation and support for what our work really entailed. No one guided us. We pretty much had to figure it out on our own. It was a huge learning experience and a massive point of growth in my life. But it wasn’t easy. 
I eventually fell into depression and needed to get out. I went for counselling, my dad came over to visit, and they moved me to Word of Life. 
That’s when things changed. I met Kelvin. I felt alive again in a position I felt I was good at. I was cool, literally, from the sea breezes that flowed through the Word of Life compound. It was a life changing few weeks to say the least. 
I swore I would never come back to Mombasa. Never ever ever! 
But alas, four years later, this city has captured my heart and offered me a wonderful life, an awesome community, and a pretty rad husband. 
I dug up some old pics of my first stint in Mombasa in 2008. 
We hosted a huge Christmas party at our house. To this day it is one of my favourite Christmas’. We had such a blend of cultures and religions there. We ate, played games, and hung out. We talked about the meaning of Christmas and love was shared. Such a memorable moment!

Our house came equipped with this inflatable boat that we had too much fun in. I remember rocking it back and forth singing “Rock the boat, don’t tip the boat over…”
I worked in a youth library and we did a lot of youth events. We had a retreat for valentines day and we did some skits. I think this guy was proposing to me during our skit. 
This was new years. Yes, we laid in the driveway in the middle of the night. It was hot.
I spent most of my time trying to make friends. Some of these girls I still see today.
My organization partnered me with another girl named Sheena. I am really not sure how I would have survived without her. She was originally from Hong kong but lived in Canada. Naturally, she attracted every person in Mombasa who was also from Hong Kong so I listened to a lot of Cantonese and ate a lot of chinese food during my 9 months in Kenya. 
We used tuk-tuks a lot. It was easier and cooler. I hated walking around town. 
We purposed to enjoy ourselves since we lived in such a beautiful place. Here we had gone to Malindi, just north of Mombasa, for a day of snorkelling. Sheena was such a water baby. I didn’t like the salt water and I didn’t find the ocean refreshing as usually it was so warm from the heat.
My bedroom. 
The view from the outside of our mansion. I didn’t say it was a pretty mansion. 
In the community we lived in, most the streets were like this. It was cramped and crowded but some of the structures were really beautiful. Some were pretty ugly. It is the old city of Mombasa and it is rich with history.
So Happy Four Year Anniversary to me!
Mombasa, I am glad you showed me that you can be an enjoyable city to live in. Thanks for loving me and caring for me over the past four years!