Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jikaze (Pulling Oneself Together)

Last Saturday my Plug-in group from church went on an outing in an effort to put into practice what we have been studying about social justice. We visited some IDPs (internally displaced people) that have resettled in an area in the Rift Valley called Mahi Mahu.

This area Jikaze has been referred to as an IDP camp. But actually this is a group of people who met at an IDP camp and organized themselves, pooling their limited resettlement monies to purchase land together. They now have 17.5 acres for 145 familes and are building little houses and starting small businesses.

This is most of our group. From left to right: Bella, Me, Ian Gitau, Valerie, Susan, Monica, Robert (his wife Jane was around but didn’t get in the photo), Mukami, David (behind her), Ian Melita, and Helen. Also around but not in the photo was Arthur. His wife Waki didn’t come, nor did our leader, Pastor Cathleen or her assistant, Loretta. (Monica and David are married. Monica is my prayer partner.) The kids in the photo live at Jikaze.

You must have questions about IDPs. Please ask.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What's All that Brown in front of the Green?

I have one thing on my mind these days, people. In particular, students. Currently on my banner are the singing group Afrizo! Actually this is the team traveling to the States this fall. And they are very much in my view as we work toward getting them ready for travel.

The team will arrive in Minneapolis around August 25th. They will perform a concert that Friday in Brooklyn Park sponsored by Mshale, the African News Source in the Twin Cities. To learn more about the concert and the rest of their US tour, check our website:

I’ll keep you posted on any developments with the team.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Official Address

I have written a couple of real handwritten letters recently. I have this (probably false) hope that people might write me back. I’m not holding my breath. But don’t you think there is something fabulously exciting about getting real mail! I’m not talking about the myriads of messages in your inbox. I’m talking about good old fashioned snail mail.

If you are interested in surprising me with such, I now have an official mailing address:
Jan Korbel c/o DU
PO Box 44400
00100 Nairobi
(if you are worried your postal worker has no idea where Kenya is, you may add a last line: East Africa.)

Related post:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Frustrating Communication

It's Sunday evening and I was thinking it'd be a great time to catch up with some folks. I tried calling a new missionary friend that had sent me a text message in the afternoon. I tried two different mobile phone lines for her. No answer.

I tried calling another friend from last year who just arrived back in the country this week. She'd sent me a message on FB asking where I was since she didn't see me at church today. But her line from last year had a recording, the number you have dialed in not in service.

Then I decided this might be a good time to catch some folks at home on Skype. I first tried a land line using my Skype credit. Their phone answering machine kept telling me that either I was speaking too softly or it was a bad connection and to press two to re-record your message.

Giving up on that I notice my brother was online. So I tried a Skype to Skype call. He answered, but it was so delayed that he couldn't hear me. We tried calling back and forth several time. But to no avail. I finally set him an email.

Modes of technology have greatly increased in the past ten years. But I an convinced that it just makes for more avenues of frustration. If you are waiting for communication from me, please be patient.

post script. this entry took a lot longer than normal to post.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Perks of Editing English

I have been at my new job for just over a couple of weeks. Early on I was introduced at Daystar’s morning chapel something like this: Here’s Jan. She’s come from Daystar US to help us out in the resource mobilization dept. If you are a needy student, come and see her. She can help you with your testimony.

You can imagine that no one, but no one heard that last sentence! Since then not a day has gone by that I am actually on campus in the resource mobilization dept that I have not had needy students asking for my help.

I have honed down how I help them by explaining that I do not decide about scholarships and all I can do is help them look over their testimony and get it worded well so it can be attached to the scholarship application.

This means that every day I am reading about the struggles of both Kenyans and internationals. (We have many students from countries that neighbor Kenya and we even have a few West Africans.) God is at work in the lives of so many young people that wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to get some higher education.

What a privilege.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hardly a Moment...

I realized that I hardly have a moment to think lately. The fact that I am not blogging much is evidence of that. Please know that it is not because of hardship nor a lack of desire to tell you about my life here. It’s because I am so happily busy. I imagine life will regain a ‘normal’ pace as soon as Todd and Tamara leave for the US and I finish making curtains for approximately 8-10 large windows. And getting some various and sundry other household decorating items completed.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. Photos are coming.