Ian's technique of holding the modem up by the window.    Begging  for better reception.

Ian's technique of holding the modem up by the window. Begging for better reception.

By the falls at the Blue Post Hotel.

By the falls at the Blue Post Hotel.

The river by our place.

The river by our place.

The doctor by our place.  We'll probably shop around a little.

The doctor by our place. We'll probably shop around a little.

The highschool by our place.

The school by our place.

Lena's nephews came over to play.  Great boys!!

Lena's nephews came over to play. Great boys!!

The universal llanguage of boys appears to be cars.

The universal language of boys appears to be cars.

Every bus is decorated to the nines...wish we knew what they were saying with this one!

Every bus is decorated to the nines...wish we knew what they were saying with this one!

That is our weekend in pictures.  We have had a wonderful time getting out and exploring in our new car.  We drove down Garissa Road, which is the main road in front of our place…and arrived at Fourteen Falls Lodge.  Turns out that the facility is still being built, so there wasn’t much for service (and no where to sleep because they were busy with the concrete blocks next door building the lodge) but we were encouraged to sit and “picnic” for some crazy price per  person.  We passed!  On another day we’ll take the path down to look at the Falls that we have heard so much about. 
We loaded back into our car that we are SO, SO Thankful for…thank you all who have contributed to Orphans Overseas and the Mission Projects of Sunset….and drove over to the Blue Post Hotel for a look see.  Nice place with multiple falls and paths to walk on by the river.  We didn’t stay long as we had been invited for lunch with Roy and Jackie an American couple who live just across the river from us.  And man does Jackie do lunch up right!  She had a southern spread but on for us.  We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of food, seeing how they have set up their home, and just talking in general.  Eli and Lucy were playing out in the yard barefoot (yes, I tell them not to over and over and over) and he stepped on a sharp puncture thorn that was about an inch long.  I couldn’t pull it out it was in there so good and finally Eli grabbed it and yanked it out.  He howled like a pig going to slaughter.  His foot looks ok, but he does a wonderful limp when it is convenient and he doesn’t feel like walking….
Yesterday we drove into Nairobi on our own with a borrowed A to Z Nairobi guide which is a little  like the Peterson’s Guides you can find…but much more primitive and a little more difficult to follow from page to page.  Ian did a great job driving though…I think we made it through the whole trip with me yelling, “IAN!!!” only about 5 times.  Mind you…those were the times when I could have reached out my window and written in the dust on the Mutatu crowding into our lane on top of me. 
Speaking of Mutatu’s and Taxis….because driving is just plain CRAZY here, they have the most interesting types of horns here.  We make comparisons with some of the tricked out vehicles you might find at home!  We road in this little beat up Nissan Sentra type thing and it had the horn of a cattle truck!  I had to look around and ask “Who honked at us” the first time I heard it, and then the driver looked at me like I was a freak and Ian explained that it was us making all the noise.   Our car just has a regular type Mazda sedan kind of horn.  A little disappointing after some of the varities we’ve heard.  I’m sure it can be obtained though….for a price.
Speaking of price….as I’m sure you can imagine, some things here seem ridiculously cheap, and then others outrageous.  It is like anywhere  else, if you are buying something particular that has to be imported….like Baby Wipes, then you pay for them!  One 72 count wipes packet (not in the hardshell plastic) cost 300 shillings, which is about $4.50.  I am thankful I had my stash from my last Target run to hold me over for another week yet.  I seem to remember that I can get 7 packs of 70 wipes for like $7.00 there, but I’m trying to not cling to that knowledge.  And hopefully, we won’t need them much longer than that!  Lucy is working on potty training….just in the revere order of any child I know.  We are waitinng for her to realize that that warm trickle down her leg is NOT juice or water or who knows what, and then we’ll be in business!  What is cheap?  Of course local produce.  I am thrilled with what snap peas and apple bananas and mangos cost.  Also,  I could get handmade/hand carved chairs from the side of the road for about $15.  That’s a pretty good deal.
There are kids everywhere around where we live.  There are slums on both sides of us…and in Makogeni and outside of Thika.  I am struck by the kids Lucy’s age or younger just aimlessly wandering the roads.  Some are so ragged looking and I am convicted on the starkness of how my children’s lives are so drastically different.  We are constantly confronted with the fact that everyone is trying so hard for the basics of food, shelter and safety (Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs) that there isn’t much left over for fun or play.  I hear the kids from the slums crying a lot when I am out in the evening when mine are inside playing with the overabundance of toys we have.
 When the rain is pouring is pouring off every inch of our metal roof like there are Chinese bamboo fountain spigets lined up the whole length of it, I cannot imagine what the people on either side of us are doing to stay dry and protect what little they have from the elements.  One family was caught outside of the compound here, walking home on the dirt road just in front of the property, when  a sudden storm flashed, and they just kept walking, at the same pace, soaking wet.  I am sure there would be little for them to do with all of the wet once they arrived at their destination…and there I stood in my warm, dry house looking out at them.  It was a bit surreal. 
Sorry, not to put a damper on things…but we are constantly confronted with how much we have in comparison to those around us.  It is a sobering reality.  I am thankful that we will be able to give some to the people of this community, I know they will be thankful for whatever is given and I am happy to be able to be here to share in this experience with them.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Grammy on May 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks for the descriptive travelog and pix; and for your compassionate hearts drawing you to such a great adventure. Love you,


  2. Posted by Ron Stull on May 18, 2009 at 6:46 pm


    Just remember, who ever has the biggest loudest horn, WINS!

    Another nice drive (on good road ) is further down the Garrisa Rd the cutoff rd is the Embu-Kwibezi rd that takes you north to the Masinga Reservoir complex. Different scenery, lakes and a resort(?) area. Nice warm water lakes which would be great for water-skiing if it weren’t for the croc’s.



  3. Posted by connie clemens on May 18, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Did you take the shot of the river exactly behind the compound? I am waiting to see the hippos but, since I’ll never be brave enough to walk down there myself, I’m hoping someone else will and take a picture of them for me. But don’t volunteer! That black snake you chased off may be down there!! Besides, you are supposed to be able to hear hippos “humming” in the morning. That would be great enough for me 🙂


    • Posted by mayfamily on May 18, 2009 at 7:38 pm

      Connie…that shot of the river is on the road past the British American Tabacco Plant on the way to the Officers’ Training College just across the river from us. I haven’t seen or heard hippos yet…and I’m not even brave enough to walk through the 2 ft tall grass at the back of the property….let alone down the hillside to the river! I’ll make sure to listen for the hippos though!

      Ron, thanks for the tip on a good place to visit.

      Grammy–we love you!


  4. Posted by Sarah on May 18, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Hi family! Eli, so sorry about your gigantic splinter. Makes the ones from grandmas deck seems like kisses. Luc, I love to see you making new friends. Thanks for all the pictures and logs it helps us here not miss you so much as we vicariously journey with you. It also helps us know how to pray. We love you and are proud of you.


  5. Posted by Cindi on May 19, 2009 at 4:14 am

    skype is up and running


  6. Posted by Er on May 20, 2009 at 7:22 am

    blag blag blag 🙂
    Thinking of you…


  7. Posted by Eve on May 20, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Glad you all were able to get out and explore a little. Amazing how we feel the abundance we have in knowing what you are going through, and you still feel an abundance by what you see there. Helps put a perspective on things. We miss you all so much and think of you and pray for you daily. How can we not everytime we drive by your house! 😦


  8. Posted by paula on May 22, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Thank you Anne and Ian for taking pictures and sharing your lives with us all. I laugh and I cry reading your blogs….keep up the good work. Please stay safe, we’re sending lots of prayers your way.



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