It has been 3 months since I went on my trip to Kenya.

Lots of things have happened.

Summer ended.

School started.

I got a cold. Random, I know, but getting a cold brought me back to Kenya.

So many days I wake up thinking about Kenya and the experience that I had there. The children there changed my life in ways that I am still figuring out. Things will randomly bother me here in America that stir up feelings for that country. I can’t stand to be wasteful of anything now. The way I treat my students has changed. I am gently reminded that my biggest class of 28 pales in comparison to the class of 98 that I had the opportunity to teach in Kenya. Times of complaining most often turn into times of joy and thankfulness.

When I arrived in Kenya, my mother had packed me every medicine that I thought I could possibly need if I got sick. That is, everything except nasal decongestant. I think it was the air on the planes that made me sick, but nonetheless I got a cold. A cold in a place that is right on the equator and really hot. It was miserable actually. Most days I woke up and thought about how much I hated having to carry around a packet of tissues with me and how much my head hurt from all the congestion. I thought all these things until we made it to the primary school where we worked each day and many little noses of beautiful children were running. I was gently reminded by my Creator that I am more blessed in ways than I can even think of each day. One of those things being that I had tissues to blow my nose. The children that surrounded me each day have probably never even heard of kleenexes. I highly doubt most of them have even heard of toilet paper. I was also reminded of the medicine that we have readily available for such things as a cold. I found someone with medicine and started to take it. I turned around and our guide named Alfred asked me what it was. I told him it was for my nose and head. I immediately felt guilty because he had been sick all week too.

So when I woke up last Thursday with a cold, I grumbled and complained and blamed my kids at school for having germs and for probably giving it to me. And then the Lord automatically took me back to visions of me blowing my nose in Kenya with Kleenex that the children didn’t have and taking medicine that Alfred didn’t have. I tried not to complain then and to just take it in stride that I had a cold. It’s just a cold. It’s not life threatening. It’s not life altering.

It made me miss Kenya and all those little runny noses on kids faces looking up at me for love and attention. It made me remember all the little things that we have here that I take for granted each and every day. Kenya taught me so many more things than to not complain, but right now the Lord is gently reminding me of those moments and those small blessings that we have here. Look for the small things that you have in your life and thank the Lord for them.

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