Many of you ask what life is like in Kenya. Normally, life is great. The people are wonderful, the scenery beautiful and life in the Imara Girls’ Home is always an adventure. Everything is going along amazingly well and then something that should be easy becomes a big, fat, hairy deal. Enter the double deckers or bunk beds as we would call them in the USA. I need four bunk beds and eight mattresses, easy, right? WRONG!
Three weeks ago I ordered 4 bunk beds. I was so excited! Getting bunks made having girls actually in the home seem so much closer. The fundi (carpenter) promised and promised and promised that the bunks would be finished 10 days later. The following week I arranged for a pickup truck and went to pick up my bunks, but as you may have guessed they were not ready. Since I had already hired the truck I went (slightly annoyed) to pick up the mattresses instead.
We visited the fundi 4 times over the next 2 days. Each time they promised that it would be just 20 more minutes, 20 REALLY LONG minutes.
Two days later I sent Reuben and Andrea to get the beds since I was on a trip to Dol Dol. They hauled them home after a slightly difficult time getting them loaded. When they got them home, they realized that instead of making the bunks 3ft x 6ft, like I ordered; they made the bunks 3.5ft x 6ft. God bless Andrea, who “discussed” the problem with them for 30 minutes to no avail. I went that evening to speak with them and no amount of arguing could get them to fix the bunks. Of course they were willing to fix them if I paid them more. I also realized that they did not make the ladders (which they said they never agreed to do). I asked to see the manager, but he was conveniently not close enough to come by. They had their money and that was all they cared about.
I have to stop and take a deep breath here. Even now.
So where does that leave me? I have 8 beds that are 3.5 by 6 and 8 mattresses that are 3 by 6. SIGH! I can return the mattresses and get the larger ones at a much higher price. I did finally get them to admit they said they would build the ladders so at least the girls can get into their beds.
I can’t even tell you how annoyed this makes me. In fact, it makes me mad just writing about it. I have to stop myself and take a deep breath and remember that this is a different culture and that God promises that all things will work together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purposes.
We are still working on creative solutions for the extra 6 inches. I am still working on getting over being totally annoyed and I haven’t even told you about the table mishap. What should have taken just a few days is now stretching into three weeks, 10 trips to the fundi and a situation that is still not solved. In the big picture, does it matter? Maybe and maybe not. What does matter is how will I respond and will I take the opportunity to learn from this.
The Apostle Paul writes: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Next time you see me I may have gray hair, but I pray that I am also full of HOPE because I have persevered and God’s love has been poured into my heart and that the bunk problem has been all sorted out.