Not A Working Holiday

It was Pete’s Dad’s birthday last Sunday so we Skyped him from Nairobi. While it wasn’t the best line for them, we could hear them clearly. His parents are so old school, they have a mobile phone but don’t ever use it and the internet is something other people use.

I had to snicker as his Dad said ‘Have a good working holiday or whatever you’re doing over there’. We are so blessed we’ve travelled more places than either of our parents, seen more of the world and the wonders it holds.

Every trip we’ve undertaken has been paid for by ourselves. We’ve never received grants, been paid for by organisations or used fundraising tactics to get our flights. It’s been a lot of hard work and sacrifice, especially the last 5 years. We’ve gone without a lot so that we could jump on a plane and visit all sorts of places.

This is the first time we’ve asked people to partner with us to live long term in Kenya serving communities and working with young people. It’s quite a different and humbling experience. There’s no way to make extra money for surprise expenses. Normally if we need something like a car we’d go hard out making the extra dollars. Now, we need to live as cheaply as possible and make every dollar count. We’re helping to run a camp this weekend, and we’ve pitched in to buy extra things needed to make it happen.

That’s how it works here. Everyone pitches in because we’re all in the same boat.

Our biggest splurge since coming here has been the Christmas tree. Life here is so different, so to have something normal like a tree is unbelievably nice. We even managed to find some lights for the tree, so we’re quite happy.

A working holiday entails working a bit to make some money, then take time off to see the countryside and relax. What we’re doing is quite different. We’re either in the office, out on the farm, organising events, writing reports, learning a new language, spending hours in traffic jams, writing endless emails, in meetings, and every now and then take a breather. Because we’re newbies it can get overwhelming, but we’re realistic about giving it time.

We weren’t even going to try and explain it (again) to Pete’s Dad what we’re doing. All we say is that we’ll be back for a visit in about 3 years and that makes him a happy camper.

So, if you do get to go on a working holiday – go for it, but for the rest of us – it’s back to work!

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