"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you....For I am the Lord, your God...." Isaiah 43:1-3

Friday, 30 December 2011

africa 2011 -day 6 - rain

it's raining and it's freakin' cold but there was a lot of water in the morning!

every time we start digging, local people come to have a look at us -white people working- they have to think we're a bunch of crazy mzungus who laugh when one of us climbs the ladder and take pictures of each other in a muddy hole.

had another samosa and Coke before lunch - local cuisine takes some "getting used to"

I washed my feet - it didn't really work

Zach is absolutely amazing with kids - so natural.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

africa 2011 -day 4 and 5

day 4 got lost, there are absolutely no notes in my notebook indicating it actually happened, but it did, I'm sure... it was just one of those gray rainy days, filled with digging and throwing chunks of dirt...

photo credit: CoraLee Baerg
BUT we DID go to Pundamillia for Coke and samosas (I didn't get coke. You can get coke everywhere, but there are only few places that have Pineapple Fanta - so that's what I got)
It's fun showing people "new" places around here - I'm sure all the volunteers staying longer would appreciate Pundamilia and it's little shops. - if you're going to volunteer with WWB you have to check it out :) - much closer than Makuyu.


WE HAVE WATER! - tiny tiny pool, but still...

I'm going to help Grace today - it's Chapatti night - my favorite
-it's cold- my toes are freezing as I'm sitting on the bed writing this - legwarmers on..
it was almost raining this morning.

I promised myself I won't write this but... I'm STARVING - hungry hungry hungry...now I'll just wait for Chapatti and then go to sleep.

oh yes, these are my feet in africa - I'm sure you love photos like this :D don't worry, I have few more saved for later ;)

I love the afternoons and slow nights, little prayer after dinner, than taking little ones to bed, kissing them good-night ...and wearing socks to bed - to protect my bedsheets from my dirty legs.

It's insane how hot it gets at night - two years ago it was much hotter during the day but we had really cold nights, now it's the other way around.

africa 2011 - day 3 - Nancy's place

" eeek - Tom (and maybe Hannah ) probably have Typhoid, we're digging the well again,
it's almost 160 cm deep and we have nice system now - boys cut the soil, girls throw the chunks of mud out - it's easier this way (at least for us - girls :D ) "

...we went to Makuyu after work,

and took Edwin, Albert and George with us.
I love Nancy's little shop and Chai and mandazi - yumm

it feels so good to be back - walking down the road to Makuyu, sitting outside, mamma Nancy brings you Chai and a plate of mandazi, kids yell at you - mzungu how are you?! ... I forgot I'm mzungu. I haven't been mzungu for 2 years.

it was a good day.
I sleep like 10 hours every day and I'm still tired.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

I miss africa

one more post about wishing I was there...

{Julius - august 2011}

I miss my kids so much these days…I mean, I’ve missed them every day since Africa but it’s been really hard now, I’m not sure why exactly…

Christmas is almost here and I’d love to be home for chiristmas but I won’t…

Well, I’ll be with mom, daddy and sis, and we’ll go visit grandparentsand I’m grateful for that, and I love Christmas with my family, but I want to be Home with my kids.

Can you imagine how awesome it would be? – first Christmas in shorts and tee, it would be hot and we would probably have chapatti – because it’s the best meal they have and I’m pretty sure Grace will save it for the Christmas Eve.

I miss my kids,

but I also miss Africa – the simple way of life,

how I could feel the presence of God everywhere…

I miss waking up in the morning and feeling hungry,

I miss kids knocking on my door and asking for bubbles-all the time.

I wish I could hug someone at night and carry a kid to bed,

I miss someone in wet pants sitting on my knees,

I miss the sound of bare feet on the concrete floor in the Hall,

I miss full portion of cooked beans and rice dropped in the middle of the room,

I miss kissing good-night

I miss evening trips to Punda – for a bottle of coke

I miss chai for breakfast

I miss silent nights and starry skies

I miss swinging under the mango trees

I miss whistling while walking to the bathroom – to let the dogs know it’s you…

I imagine someone else sleeping in my bed,

Someone else loving on my kids

Someone else cutting carrots for Grace and sorting beans.

I miss the heat and the dust

I miss having no clean clothes, yet feeling awesome

I miss boredom of slow days

I miss Africa

I miss matatus filled with people,

I miss the smell of beans, corn and people, present everywhere

I miss random moments

Like doing laundry and than hanging my washcloth on the door handle ,

Like having three piles of clothes – clean from home – relatively clean – work,

Like waiting 12 hours at the airport and wishing time would hurry up, but still enjoying the last luxuries of western world – like real toilets and common sense,

Like folding all my tees and blanket and pillow and getting it all ready for Grace,

Like never staying up after 9p.m.

I need to go back.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Questions and Answers

so ...Anonymous asked me a couple of questions ( you didn't leave me your e-mail or blog address so I can't write you but I'm happy to answer your questions here) :


I did bring my own little pillow every time - originally it was for the plane, but I used it at WWB and it was very useful.

they had a pillow on my bed (second time) but it wasn't very comfy - too hard for me :P + if you bring your own pillow you can leave it there - give it to the kids/staff

always bring things which you'll have no problem to leave there - like, I wouldn't bring my favorite pillowcase from childhood which I want to keep forever :) :D - you know what I mean...
on the way back I had an empty backpack (with nothing but a couple of souvenirs inside) as a checked-in baggage - it was actually much lighter than my carry-on (where I had laptop, camera etc.)


first time I was there july/august and it was pretty cold at night - but you have to remember that August is winter-season in KEnya, and I slept in sleeping-bag, wearing long thermal underwear and flannel PJs -but it was hot and sunny during the day (shorts and tees)

second time - September - it was colder during the day ( jeans/sweatshirt most of the time) and it was raining a lot but it was pretty warm at night and I only slept under the blanket and I was still hot (in shorts and tank-top)

I don't think you'll need sleeping-bag in May/April but I'd bring a blanket - you'll get one from WWB but it's always nice to have an extra blanket - just in case + on the flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi it was REALLY COLD - EVERYONE WAS FREEZING so bring a blanket - just in case ;)

BRING MIRROR - if you do, you won't have to take awkward self-portraits in the morning to see what you look like after days without shower :D

what's the wether like?

I'm not sure about may/april but I think it will rain a lot? - maybe? - you can ask Geoffrey he'll be able to tell you.

and I know I repeat this over and over but PACK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN (or at least the essentials) IN YOUR CARRY ON BACKPACK

+bring food/snacks/instant soup/chocolate/crackers FOR YOURSELF. believe me, you'll need it at the beginning, and if you bring some stuff for yourself, then you won't feel guilty if you eat a chocolate which you brought for the kids.
COMFORT FOOD is important - because relaxed and happy volunteer can do so much more ;)

-I know I should be writing about how awesome it was, about all the experience and memories I made, how much I love my kids and how I miss them...AND I DO...but there are some bare necessities which you have to know and that's why I'm writing about long underwear and chocolate.

PLEASE ask more questions - I love answering them - hundreds, thousands of questions - really :)

/or send me an e-mail : jajinka123 (at) gmail (dot) com /

Saturday, 1 October 2011

africa 2011 - day 2-well

today I woke up early - a way too early, not even the kids were up yet.
I asked Coralee what they were going to do while they are here. It's nice to hang out with Grace and kids but I wanted to start some project this time around...

and so...we're going to dig a well. I know, it's the most cliché thing I could do - dig a well in africa.
Peter needs the well, it's going to provide water for a big part of his farm and we're happy to help.
10 feet across, 20 feet deep. - and as we use metric system at home, I had absolutely no idea what these dimensions meant.

we had githeri for lunch - I missed it so much.

{Jerremy - Peter's little son - with a paper tissue I gave him - I've never seen someone laugh with happiness just because he was given a paper issue before}

Nicole left today. I almost cried - not for Nicole, as lovely as she is, I'm not going to miss her - we've only known each other for 2 days... but her leaving, reminded me that I will have to say good-bye to everyone soon - sooner that I want.

/and all the time I was in africa I had to think about how short this trip was and how I would leave soon. I know I wasn't very good company, because even though I tried to be happy and pretend everything's great, I felt sad most of the time and all I wanted was to hold my kids in my arms and never let them go. I was there for my kids, not for the volunteers, but still, I feel like I should apologize for not being 100% myself...of maybe not, because I was there for my kids and that's what matters./

Friday, 30 September 2011


Many things changed, new buildings, new kids, new staff.

I found out I can’t send multi-media messages or make any calls. Awesome.

I went to bed early – at 9:30 and all I remember is that I was so tired after two nights when I didn’t sleep properly. I have my room for myself, but I don’t care right now, I feel at home.

I remember we didn’t lock the door at night when I shared my room with Sabrina last time I was in africa – and I never closed or locked my door during my second time here. I mean, do you lock the door on your room at home? When everyone else’s there? – of course not.

Friday, 23 September 2011

africa 2011 - journey (day 0)

I remember all the planning, vaccinations and dreaming before africa n°1.

I don't really know what exactly happened before africa n°2. I know I've been at school, I remember passing my last exam and suddenly having 3 weeks of free time ahead of me.

I remember checking flight ticket prices.

and then two days later I was at the airport, writing this and this post

it was a long flight, and I'm an expert in the field of "waiting at the airport" by now.
I've sent few postcards from Amsterdam, I roamed the lonely moving sidewalks of the airport lounge 1 and 2, I've visited duty-free shops selling a way too expensive items, I slept and crocheted a hat - too small for anyone bigger than a doll - which I, later, disassembled into a very nice yarn-ball.
I crossed the passport control and checked out few more stores.
I slept through the majority of the AMS-NBO flight. Food was delicious. like always.
I never really understood why people complain about airplane food.

I had 3 seats for myself. Staff was extra nice. Seriously, I fell in love with one of the stewards just by watching him prepare a cradle for a baby who was traveling with mom. I know they are payed for doing this, but they don't get extra money for bringing extra pillow and extra blanket for the baby, they should.
I just think it's incredibly sexy when a man's being so gentle with a baby.

aaanyway, I arrived on Sunday, in the morning, excited to see everyone again, but I wasn't nervous about anything this time... I felt like coming home after two long years.

and when I saw Grace standing there in front of the kitchen I knew I was where God wanted me to be, everything seemed right.

Friday, 26 August 2011

going back

only for 3 weeks but still, I'll get to see my kids! after 2 years!
split second decision..

I'll tell you more soon.
stay tuned...

Friday, 10 June 2011

things you can't leave at home

get washcloth when you go...it makes bucket-showers so much easier :)
now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take one bucket shower myself - just for the sake of old times...awwh memories...

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

3 meals per day and yet ...starving...

the scariest thing in the world is looking through current photos of your kiddos - seeing them after 17 months (yes, still counting) and wondering if you can name them all...thankfully I can, but oh my, they are so grown up...

seeing my angels on photos of someone else, realizing how much older they are now - year and a half...
seeing my boys turning into young men and girls beautiful as always...

I cried (luckily I'm home alone - it wasn't a pretty sight - I'm not a nice crier).
and I'm happy they have all the wonderful people coming to them and loving them with all their hearts, and I'm happy there are people who put them to bed and who wake them up for school...but oh my, am I jealous of them. I would give everything for a chance to see them again, to hold their hands and laugh with them,...

on one photo I saw a bit of the floor and next to the door there were sneakers, covered in red dust as well as everything else around...and I remember my sneakers waiting in that spot, although I didn't wear them very often, and I remember giving them to Felister...and I remember sleeping on that bed and walking around those buildings, I remember sitting on the ground one evening, before dinner, watching kids wash their hair, I remember it was cold and I was hungry, I remember waking up to give medicine to kids and then cuddling in my bed for one more hour freeing - and hungry again - or should I say still hungry?

sometimes I read a blog post written by some parents who just brought their kid home from a country far far away...and they often say that they're concerned because their son or daughter sneaks to the kitchen, takes food out of the fridge and eats even though they can't be hungry because they just finished their family dinner, I read about kids taking food with them everywhere they go, kids hiding food in their rooms,...

and I'll tell you one thing. I've been there, done that, know how they feel. No, not the parents. The kids.
just think about this - I've been in the orphanage for 7 weeks - 3 meals per day and by the end of my stay, insane amounts of PB and jelly sandwiches in between, because I was so hungry I just had to buy more food...still, when I came home I would eat everything I saw, I would get up at 11 or 12 p.m. take something out of the fridge and eat it in my bed. there was a bottle of juice or milk on my window sill every night and chocolate, cheese, crackers packages all around my bed. and still I was hungry. Yes, me who before, didn't eat after 6 p.m. because it wasn't healthy , me almost 20 years old (back then) and yet, I was eating like crazy after this "trip". It took me whole month to get back to "normal"

because you don't know what being hungry means (I don't know it!) ...of course we get hungry from time to time...we forget our lunch, we're too busy..we start some stupid diet to get our weight back after Christmas ;) but that's not hunger. you don't eat half of the bread loaf with PB and drink liter of tea just to be equally hungry after it,..you don't know...and I DON'T KNOW...I just tried two months of that and it gives me no right to tell you I KNOW because if I knew, I wouldn't be here typing this...I would be in the kitchen sitting on the floor in front of our fridge, stuffing my face with some cheese or something.
then imagine how your kid must feel after spending years in the orphanage...
all I'm saying is...try to understand a little bit...and give them some time....