Saturday, December 12, 2009


I debate writing this, but people always tell me they want to know what's going on with me in Kenya, so here is the truth...

TRAPPED describes how I'm feeling lately in Kenya. The walls, the guards, the safety issues... I don't often talk about these things. Mostly, I don't want to scare my dear family or make them nervous about me living here. But the reality of life in Kenya involves being very cautious about safety, and lately it seems to bother me more than it ever has.

There is a lot of crime in Nairobi and across Kenya. Police can't be trusted, as they are very corrupt and blatantly ask for bribes. Car jackings, murders, and kidnappings occur even outside the city. I don't want to describe particular stories, but these safety issues are part of my daily life. Because of these things, I can't drive many places by myself, I don't go anywhere by myself at night, my car doors are constantly locked, I can't go for a walk in our neighborhood alone, and I am constantly aware of what's going on around me when I'm out and about town. I don't even wear my engagement ring because I would never forgive myself if it was stolen. All of these precautions are necessary and good, but I feel like I'm losing my independence.

I used to drive eight hours to another state by myself. People in Portland aren't going to hold me at gun-point while at a stop light. I can listen to my Ipod on neighborhood streets back home and not worry about someone stealing it or stealing me. I miss my freedom these days.

When I get to America in six days, I want to drive by myself to the store just because I can - with the doors unlocked. I want to walk through a neighborhood by myself with my Ipod in my ears. I want to go to someone's house and not wait for their guard to open the gate. I want a little independence again.

(Sorry if this scares some of you. I am safe because Will and I are smart about it and we make good choices. I promise.)


  1. I can imagine that this would feel very frustrating. Wish I could see you on your trip back to the states. I pray it's a safe one and one full of great memory making! I miss you, friend.

  2. I'm amazed at your life, Kim.. and can only imagine how frustrating that must be! I'm glad you'll get a little break this month.

  3. Kim...I have been in Nairobi and elsewhere in Kenya a number of times and can relate so well with what you have shared here. When I take teams anywhere in East Africa it is unnerving to have to be so very, very careful all the time. Super vigilant! Because of this you and Will have been a continuing part of my prayer life for the months since I visited you there. Welcome home...and Merry Christmas! Tim Henley

  4. Kim, more than you know I understand what you mean. It is like one losing their freedom to resident evil. Not to the extent that it is in Nairobi, there are places in the states where one needs to exercise the cautions you describe. It is prudent not to give others opportunity to do evil. We both left an area that was incredibly safe in comparison.