It’s not actually Day 4. I can’t remember for sure what happened that day because I am writing this on Day 8. I think. It might be Day 7. I think it’s June 8, which might technically mean it’s Day 10. I have to consult my video clips to know what happened when. Even my journal is hazy. Clearly jet lag is winning here.
The survey work is largely done and I have been sneaking around honing my ninja skills and shooting over people’s shoulders if their screens are featuring something aesthetically pleasing. So in other words, the architects probably wish I could be sent home.
The engineering students are still here with us and Greg, one of our architects, was giving them a quick overview of SketchUp. For the unfamiliar, SketchUp is software that architects use to render buildings in 3D images that can then be animated so you can view them from all sorts of angles. That turned out to be a great photo opportunity as they huddled around and Greg explained.
But it’s not like that is the only teaching that is happening. We also have a real veteran of electrical engineering here with us, Rudy Tobler (yeah, his family created Toblerone chocolate bars) (no, he did not bring us any). Rudy has loads of Africa design experience and has been working with our other EE, Alex, and every time I see them together he is expounding on some concept and I just know Alex is getting a world-class field experience. Rudy is patient and incredibly knowledgeable and when I helped him record some data from the breaker room he prevented my likely electrocution. So I forgive him on the whole chocolate neglect thing.
Anyway, Rudy and Alex are not fans of the camera, but I am sneaky and like most electrical engineers, they tend to get a real charge out of their work (rimshot) so I captured a few good moments. I also got an interview done with one of our civil engineers, talked more with Jane, the founder, and had some cuddles with little Florence. She is one of the younger children here. There are a total of 43 kids in IAA’s care, and some additional cuties who come from the surrounding community to learn at the nursery school. Jane’s vision for IAA is that it would not only serve the children in their legal custody, but be a light to others here in Kinangop, which really is true to the Kenyan spirit of community care. In addition to the nursery school, they give out clean water to local residents twice a week, offer their van to transport people to clinics when the need arises, and host an annual Easter celebration for the children with games and food.
In the evenings, Alisha goes down to the dorm rooms and reads a bedtime story to the younger children. The house moms are all there and Heather comes down to play guitar and sing with them. Even the cat, Miss Kitty, comes in and sits to listen. Our team is mostly upstairs working. I would be also, but this was the night my computer chose to go absolutely comatose. One minute it went to sleep with 45% of it’s battery life yet, the next minute I tried to wake it up to no avail. I made several attempts, even leaving it plugged in a long time to soak up more juice. Nothing. It received a hefty dose of prayer and I was about to go to bed on that note when I decided to try one more time. Then it awakened as if nothing had ever happened. I thanked God then went to bed.
I have come to realize the biggest kick I am getting out of being the team photographer is that I get to witness everyone else's experience from a unique perspective. As I lurk around and wait for the best shots I am training my mind and my eyes on their emotions. I won't dare claim to see through the Creator's eyes, but I do feel like I get a glimpse of His joy at seeing us use our individual strengths and gifts. I keep seeing team members drop everything to share their passions with these students and it's touching. I know it sounds cheesy, but I've teared up here more than once and I never thought that was possible with a subject like septic tanks and Rebar. In truth, the real subject matter is God at work through people who were willing to make the trip and be available to whatever He had for them. Jesus is everywhere here.
Below are some photos of our team working - enjoy!
From the Keiters:
Here is where we share our daily experiences of how God is using our life in the US and abroad with EMI to draw us closer and to make Himself known.