Imani Bazaar, Weekend Exploring, and Back to Work

Eli trying to win a toy motorcycle.

Eli trying to win a toy motorcycle.









NO luck...instead he won....Mastermind.

NO luck...instead he won....Mastermind.









Not too excited about his "win" we were able to exchange it for the motorcycle afterall.

Not too excited about his "win" we were able to exchange it for the motorcycle after all.









Getting his face painted, everyone else asked for a ball or butterfly...

Getting his face painted, everyone else asked for a ball or butterfly...









Eli asked for Spidermaan and here's what he got.  He was really happy about it even though this picture doesn't show it.

Eli asked for Spiderman and here's what he got. He was really happy about it even though this picture doesn't show it.










Meanwhile.....the girls were at the fingernail painting booth. Meanwhile…..the girls were at the fingernail painting booth.


There were hosres to ride...that scared Eli to death.  He did pet one though.

There were horses to ride...that scared Eli to death. He did pet one though.

Saw lots of this.

Saw lots of countryside like this.

Saw lots markets like this.

Saw lots of markets like this.

Wow and way out here in the country.  Amazing. Wow and way out here in the country. Amazing.


Our rustic patio set.

Our rustic patio set.

They were serious about the "door - to - door" service.  We thought they pick up at the gate.
They were serious about the “door – to – door” service. We thought they picked up at the gate.



First van ride to school..Eli is so excited, Lucy is a little nervous.

First van ride to school..Eli is so excited, Lucy is a little nervous.

So we had what resembled a fairly “normal” weekend here in Kenya.  We went to the kids’ school bazaar, which was as typical as you can get.  Booths, games, wares for sale, exchanging money for “tickets” to turn in to participate in the activities at the booths etc.  It was nice to arrive and have people greet the kids by name. 
Although there was one mishap and one “Captain Obvious” moment at the bazaar.  The mishap occurred as I stood in line to buy some tickets for the family.  The woman behind the table greeted Eli by name, and, since Eli had only been in school 3 days, and it wasn’t his teacher, I assumed that the person greeting must have been either his swimming teacher or the horse trainer.  I said as much, to which the woman replied, “No, actually, I’m the headmistress!”  Not the first impression I was hoping to make.  Then I followed it up with my “Captain Obvious” statement.  
A sidebar on “Captain Obvious” statements.  If you can’t figure it out, it is when you say something that is completely obvious to everyone else, and should be to you as well.  We learned this coined phrase from my brother, who may have learned if from his now wife or perhaps some of her college friends?
Anyhow, my “Captain Obvious” statement was this to the headmistress:  “Oh, I’m Eli’s mom” to which she replied, “I figured.”  Duh!  Not only did I walk in with him….but in the hundred or so people at the bazaar, Ian and Lucy were the only other possibilities for family, and what do you know! 
I’m going to have to work a little harder to make a better impression with the headmistress.  Although, in my defense, and Kori take no offense, she DID so look like a p.e. teacher!  You all know what I am talking about.
After the bazaar we just drove out of town and kept going.  Without a map, we just headed towards Mt. Kenya, which is north of where we live.  We enjoyed simply taking in the sights and sounds of something other than Thika and Nairobi.  We drove through farm land and more mountainous areas…all very reminiscent of what it looks like on the island of Kauai.  We stopped at an “Out of Africa Curio Shop” and were greeted by the VERY tourist prices.  We made our way out of there with just our very favorite items.  The shop keeper made sure to let us know multiple times that he was giving us his “resident price”.  We are sure it was a Wazungu “resident price”.  On our way out, he showed me to his disabled 8 year old son.  He sends him into a special school here in Thika.  He said that the boy had severe meningitis as a baby.  He said he “wasn’t right in the head”.  I met the boy…he appeared to have expressive language difficulties (although I am not a speech and language pathologist to formally diagnosis him).   I asked his father if the boy followed directions ok, he replied yes.  Such a different world.  I imagine this child would be in a regular 2nd grade class in the states with some speech and language support from special education.
Anyhow, with that, we made our way home with my moaning and groaning about being horribly carsick until I took a motion sickness pill, that just didn’t seem to work.  I crashed when we got home while Ian brought the kids in a mixed up some dinner.
On Sunday, we ventured again into Nairobi in an attempt to further furnish the house with necessities andin hopes of scoping out possible churches to visit.  We didn’t find a church, but the mall is filled with nonstop Christian music all day on Sunday.  I’m not sure if this is an everyday kind of thing or just a Sunday thing.  We’ll see this Wednesday when we go in for work and for a town hall meeting held by the US Ambassador at his home.   We scored some fun chairs from a roadside dealer for our patio, and I learned that my motion sickness pills are chewables….so they worked much better this time around.
We were back to work today….meeting  much of the morning to figure out next steps and to divy up the tasks needed to get this place really hopping.  Besides all of the regular tasks that are involved in running a program there are processes unique to Kenya and a new organization to learn.  Anyone got a guess about what “Impress” is?   Rather than making a good impression??  Also, decisions to be made about whether to have a “cooker” or a “jiko”.  What do you all think?

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Bonita on May 25, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Sweet little Lucia. I see she had her “going to Grandma’s house” bag with her on her first van trip to school. Sure wish she could whisk here to Grandma’s. Fridays are tough without those two little ones romping and stomping! David and I are having to fill Fridays so we don’t “notice” their absence too much. Not working well. Eli is so serious looking. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know what is going on in the incredible brain of his. How he is processing all the new. Would he reacted so strongly against chickens in the house and horses if that was all that was different? Sure thankful he has you two as parents. You’ll know how to guide him through! Sorry about the car sickness, Anne. Pretty soon you will be able to drive. Have you got your bearings yet? You are the one so good about location. Be safe and enjoy every wonderful challenging minute. Love you all. Give our thanks and greetings to Esther, Tito, and all the others joining the mission with you. Enjoyed meeting Esther on Skype!


  2. Posted by Kori on May 25, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Anne, are you saying that I am not the picture of a perfect head mistress?! It is good to know that the “P.E. Teacher” stereotype isn’t unique to the United States and that it is in fact an international phenomena. I am continually amazed by all the experiences you guys are having and find each of you popping into my head throughout the day so I say a prayer for you whenever that happens. You need to send us a “wish list” of supplies you need. Give everyone hugs for Andy and I, we miss you and love you!


  3. Posted by Eve on May 26, 2009 at 1:56 am

    That is a pretty elaborate spiderman! Tell Eli and Lucy that Ashley played in your yard today (while Andy mowed). Ashley came home and said, “we saw lots of spiders!” I said – I bet they saw more at their house in Kenya! She had fun over there with Andy but missed you. A small part of her was holding out hope that the kids would be there. We all love seeing the pictures though!


  4. Posted by Bonita on May 26, 2009 at 6:28 am

    We drove by your house this evening after visiting grandma and noted that the lawn looked good. Thanks Andy! The renter had company and a male was working on a motorcycle in the driveway. We went for a lovely motorcycle ride ourselves today and walked through Peninsula park off Mississippi. The park was wonderful: formal rose garden similar to Salsbury, Austria, great children’s play area with water play area, pool, picnicing, etc. Great place for children. Too bad my little grandchildren live in Kenya and Germany!!!


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