Hi everyone!! I wanted to let all of you know I arrived safely in Kenya Thursday night and have been at the orphanage since Friday afternoon. I am having the time of my life – there is SO much to say!!

My flights to Kenya went very well (besides how long they were!). Sara and I were able to sit together on both flights and we even had our own row from Chicago to London! Somehow I managed to sleep the whole nine hour flight from London to Nairobi. We arrived in Nairobi around 9pm on Thursday and immediately everything was different! For one, the driving here is CRAZY!!! I have learned to not watch the road. The speed limit and lanes are just a recommendation... pretty much cars go wherever they want, whenever they want. We almost get in an accident every few minutes! The roads are also very bumpy and some were pretty flooded from the rain. The van has to swerve all over to avoid multiple pot holes... sometimes we ended up driving half on the road and half off of the road. 
Thursday night we stayed at a missionary place and it was very nice. Haha we walked in and there were giant bugs on the walls and my first reaction was to freak out but I am getting used to all of the bugs here now. We were very  tired that night so we ate and went to bed. I was able to try “stoney” which is a popular soda here and enjoyed it.

Friday morning we woke up early and had breakfast and then left to head to the orphanage. We had an awesome day! It was really fun in the long car ride because all of our surroundings were so different. For one, I didn’t realize how bad the pollution would be. Also, LOTS of people walk along the roads and others ride their bikes carrying more weight than I could ever imagine. There are animals along the road all the time, like chickens, goats, sheep, cows, turkey, dogs, or donkey. We stopped at one of the largest slums in Africa that is still growing. We saw it from atop a hill and it was very sad – there are really nice condos that overlook it and it was hard to see such nice houses so close to such terrible conditions. We are going to try to walk through the slums one day while we are here. We also stopped at one of the Masaii markets and that was more fun than I expected! We decided to just look around so that when we go back we will have an idea of what we want. SO many cool things! The vendors are hilarious I couldn’t stop laughing at them – they sell things way too expensive so you have to bargain with them. My favorite is when they tell you they will give you a “special”discount because of your name or because you are a “student" or "missionary." They do ridiculous things to try to convince you their price is the best. They will actually trade in a hair tie for something so I’m going to bring a ton of them to the market next week (they want to give them to their wife or sister). We also stopped along tea fields and were able to talk to some of the ladies that worked there. We stopped at the Great Rift Valley Overlook and it was beautiful.

We got to the orphanage Friday afternoon and I have loved it ever since. The children are cuter than words can describe and I love every single one of them. I was SO excited to meet Faith who I had seen so many pictures of and I hang out with her so much. I probably already have over 100 pictures with her :) The kids call me “Auntie Kristin" and they will always go “Auntie Auntie!” to get my attention. My arms are sore from holding so many kids –I held the baby Hope most of Friday afternoon. They all love to be spun around and ask for it all the time. Everyday we wake up around 7am and play with the kids for the day and help out around the orphanage. Sara, Carly, and I have been doing the dishes a lot to help out (they don’t have a dishwasher and have sooo many dishes to do because of the kids, volunteers plus staff). I played soccer, basketball and football with the older boys and girls yesterday and that was exhausting but so fun! I love waking up to good morning kisses from the children and having them sit on my lap and sing. They love to sing and dance and are so energetic! Last night was Saturday night worship and they all have dances to the songs and it was so much fun to watch. Church is this morning and the village children come so I am looking forward to that. I honestly can’t describe what it is like to be with the children here – I love it so much and couldn’t be happier. There’s nothing that can compare to the children just holding onto you and following you around all day wanting to play. One of the little girls Sharon always tells me she loves me and it is the cutest thing in the world.

Thank you to all of you for supporting me and helping me get here… I can’t thank you enough! There is honestly too much to say and I’m sorry I can’t include all of it. I have so many stories and observations already! We are going on the safari next weekend! Love and miss all of you!

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