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The Not So Great Days

A reflection from two weeks ago.... Yesterday was not my prettiest moment. I lay in bed crying. I’m not even sure why the tears were brought forward, except that I was feeling too stretched in that moment. Over the past five days, our house has opened its doors to even more! After an injury in the village, Gabriel’s eldest brother arrived in Nairobi for medical treatment. On Monday, I spent from 7 in the morning to 7 at night taking him to medical appointments, trying to figure out the best path forward for his recovery. Culturally, I am very aware that as my husband’s older brother, I need to do my best to care for him while staying in my home. Language barriers complicate it as well as my perception that he doesn’t accept me as Gabriel’s wife.   When Gabriel and I visited the village soon after we got married in 2011, he was not shy in voicing his concern. Family’s lineage is central in Dinka tradition. Carrying on your name and legacy to your children is what comple
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Life As Many

It was now been 53 days since our 7 nieces and nephews came to live with us in Nairobi, Kenya. These first days have been filled with getting to know each other, establishing routines that makes life easier in a big family, settling into school, discovering Nairobi together, and LOTS and LOTS of language acquisition! Each individual's personality is revealed more each day as they feel comfortable in their new environment. Cousins are starting to act more like siblings around one another, which includes the simultaneous feelings of immense love and annoyance. 😉 Kiir and Akook have a special bond Aluel, Kiir, and Awut  Chore charts were made right away to keep the family running smoothly. Everyone is divided into a team of two "littles" with one "big" to make sure dinner dishes are done, toys are put away, and the floor is swept each evening. The teacher in me made each child their own "uniform picture chart" so that they


My first blog. My first post. I have been encouraged to start a blog to share what our family is doing in East Africa. I have been reluctent for several reasons; afraid of oversharing about our life, coming across as a "show-off" or displaying any deviation from reality, and a lack of confidence in my writing. But here I am writing my first post because ultimately I agree it's important to document this journey and invite those we love along on the journey with us. Let me start with some introductions and catch up those who don't know how we got here. For the sake of a lengthy post, here it is in bullet point form: Summer 2014 - Gabriel and I decide the time is right for us to explore the possibility of moving our family to South Sudan. He moves ahead of us and we begin a season of long-distant marriage and parenting. November 2015 - The kids and I visit Juba, South Sudan where Gabriel lives and works. We dream more about our family all being there. I think abou