Tuesday, September 27, 2011
No, my title "Matatus" is not some kind of Kenyan greeting or a word that has any deep spiritual meaning. The matatus are the main means of public transportation here in Nairobi and riding on them has been the biggest cultural adjustment for me during my one week of living here. They are either a 10/12 passenger van or a mini bus and I feel like my life is at stake every time I get on one. Ok, maybe it isn't quite that bad, but it certainly isn't like jumping on a bus back in the states. I take a matatu from the Mennonite Guest House where I live an hour one way to Eastleigh where I am serving during my time here. This ride has given me a great opportunity to see the city and get a glimpse into the everyday lives of the people who live here.
Like I said, I have been here one week and am now feeling like I am getting settled in and feeling somewhat adjusted to my surroundings. The weather here is perfect with no humidity and highs maybe around 80 and lows at around 60. The city of Nairobi is a bustling town with people and vehicles everywhere. I was warned of the traffic before I came and it certainly hasn't disappointed. Traffic laws seem to be nonexistent and the only way to get anywhere is to be super aggressive, which is what the matatu drivers are. I think I will limit my driving as much as possible.
My time has been spent largely at the community center in Eastleigh where I am involved with teaching English to Somali young adults as well as coaching/playing basketball in the afternoons. I am really beginning to enjoy the English classes and the opportunity it has given me to build relationships with those who attend. These classes are also showing me that I need to brush up on my English grammar in order to know how to explain things to the students. There are times when I know the correct answer to a question but I struggle to explain why the answer is what it is. The center and those who work there are doing a wonderful work in the community. Everything that takes place there is focused on building relationships and through those relationships being able to show Christ's love.
Thank you all for your prayers and be sure to check back for more updates as I continue on my journey with Christ here in Kenya.