Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back in the US

Jambosana rafiki! (hello friends) After two months in Kenya, I've safely returned to the US. My time in Kenya was remarkable...affirming and encouraging. Thanks to all who prayed for our team this summer, we were blessed with safety and provision throughout. Anytime a man leads a team of 3 girls, extra prayer is needed for all parties...turns out boys and girls are different! Our team functioned wonderfully...the ladies had terrific attitudes and made my job an easy one. I was blessed to have the privilege of leading them.

Over the next few days, I'll be posting about a variety of topics regarding summer 2009. I have a ton of things to share and I can't fit them into one blog. Instead, I'd like your help! If you have a question (specific or general) or topic (specific or broad) that you'd like to hear about, please email me (mhickman@nmsi.org) or contact me any other way. These can be serious, completely absurd, or anywhere in between (for example: I'd be glad to discuss the generosity of the Maasai, the beauty of the scenery, or the fun I had watching chickens & donkeys). I intend to write 10 posts about this summer, so please send the ideas/questions/requests in. Thanks in advance!

For now, here are a couple of pictures from the summer to whet your appetite for Kenya stories...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Vintage Land Rovers and ipods

Today I feel old...not because my knees creak a little more than they used to, not because my clean shaven face reveals a wrinkle or two, not because I now reflect on the proverbial "good ole days," and not because I now check the 25-39 demographic box. But for a moment today, I've identified with things of the past...a time before I was born, void of ESPN and long before Facebook. For a considerable amount of time today, I drove our group around in a 1965 Land Rover, a vehicle built like a fort with the amenities of a tricycle. No power steering, no power brakes, no working telemetry, and a whopping 80 horsepower at my disposal to propel the behemoth over roads that even the Lonely Planet Guide to Kenya describes as "detestable." Strangely, I enjoyed the adventure thoroughly. As other scurried around in town in modern Toyotas and newer buses and compact cars, I reveled in my ability to maneuver such a vehicle in forward and backward in tight spaces. Aside from the continuous "atta boys" in my head, I felt a sense of accomplishment for merely driving. This was merely transportation...driving from point a to point b, not the luxury it has been for me in the past with a sunroof, Sirius radio, cruise control, A/C and 80 mph speeds. This 1965 Land Rover on unpaved roads was hardly luxury...it required full attention, 4WD, and some creativity. It all fit.

Hours later, I relaxed for the day and listened to my ipod (perhaps the mascot of the 2000s) and turned it on shuffle. A mix of artists began...first Coldplay, the Fray, and Matchbox 20, and then James Taylor, Jackson Browne, and the Beatles. Though I'm a huge fan of Coldplay, I related more to the youthful (when written) musings of Taylor, Browne, and the Fab 4. Browne didn't know how he ended up where he was in life, Taylor missed an old friend, and the Beatles bemoaned the futility of money. Sitting on a musty couch in Africa after just reading a letter from my mom summed up my life much better than any of the newer artists. Maybe I was born at the wrong time? Given to the wrong ear? Perhaps. Maybe I just like old cars and old music. Either way, today, 1965 feels like part of my past and the 2010s seem no nearer than a colony om Mars.