Tuesday, August 26, 2008
We are now in Ohio and have decided to start a new blog about our life back in the states... We cannot begin to thank you all enough for staying in tuned to our time in Kenya. We cannot describe how meaningful it is to know that others care about you. Please continue to check in on us as we start again in Oxford, Ohio...
Our new blog can be found at:
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Wednesday was one of the longest days of our lives…literally-a 32 hour day! We were greeted in
We are yet to settle in anywhere yet, but are inching out way in that direction. We do have new phones, so if you want to give us a jingle, we’d love to hear from you.
Joel’s Phone #: (253) 302-1098
Mandy’s Phone #: (253) 302-2969
It looks like we are going to head up to the mountains for a few days to resituate our minds as we plunge into this transition. I can’t tell you how thankful we are for your continued support along the way.
It was an amazing year…not necessarily a “fun” year at all times, but a year that we will never forget. New perspectives, newfound gratitude and newfound relationships. We may be thousands of miles away, but these things withstand great distances. It is our continued hope that they will also withstand the tests of time and the American pace of life.
We boarded a plane at 11 PM on Sunday night and headed to
We only spent a few days there but it was nice to have a bit of time to reflect as we prepared for our homecoming…a special thanks to David (who I met while climbing
Perhaps the climax of it all was the icing on the cake for our year in
Our final day wouldn’t have been complete without a trip out to Mathare. We enjoye our last church service at the Inspiration Center with Mark, Moses, Boyye and roughly 100 more kids. It was a great day as the service was fantastic and we were able to share a meal together from a local hotel. After the service, David (a local restaurant owner) brought food up to the center where we all shared a meal together. We had to keep the kids inside as they would have brought the entire village back with them if we let them out and told them that there would be free food!
While it was hard to say goodbye, we are encouraged by what is happening in Mathare and are convinced that when we return, amazing things will be happening. Thank you Moses and all of our friends in Mathare, you have touched out lives and the lives of many others. We continue to stand with you in solidarity and pray for transformation in your community.
culture, eautiful architecture, gracious hospitality, wooden boats and ornate doors everywhere you go. Even the regular power outages on the island felt like relaxing!
In long, a picture is worth a thousand words!
...and more boats
Dinner with Gideon, Mwix and our new friend Heika
Mwix and the widest street in town...
The most amazing mango shakes ever!
BBQing our freshly caught fish!
Living the tough life...our balcony view!
Playing in the ocean...we got to go swimming in a storm and catch some good waves!
Swahili Architecture and local transport (donkeys)
The land of beautiful doors
Hurry up! Dinner is in 6 hours!
View from our balcony!
No complaints with our guesthouse...the stopover!
Eating our freshly caught fish for lunch on Manda Island
Flying back to Nairobi...in our tiny plane!
Just like any place that we have ever transitioned from, there are lots of visits that take place during the last few weeks. Between friends through CTM, frisbee and others that we met along the way, it was a busy time! Lots of tasty food, wonderful conversations and questions to help prepare us for our transition.
We enjoyed a trip to Banana (a small town 30 minutes outside of
During our last week, we took advantage of the buy one get one free pizza offer at a local restaurant and invited several of the pastors and their spouses over from the CTM network. We had a wonderful time catching up on life, reflecting on our year together and watching people eat pizza for the first time. Luckily, we had ugali and sikuma on backup for those that didn’t like it. It was a wonderful evening in which they commissioned us to return to the
We couldn’t let some last minute visits with
Frisbee Folks: What can I say? We spent two evenings a week with this crew throughout the entire year. We had an amazing time with all of them and are so grateful to have found this outlet in our lives in
Other last minute visits included bowling, the best Ethiopian food ever two more times, crepes, debriefing with fellow NWerners, Western food with Violet and final Nairobi impressions of wonderful Indian Food!
We knew that we wanted to get one last Safari in, but also knew that our time was coming quickly to a close-so we killed two birds with one stone and spent time with great friends as we ventured into
- Arriving 5 hours later than anticipated because of a late start, the sleeping bags that never showed up, extra stops for Nyama Choma (Roasted Meet) at roadside stands, etc.
- Seeing 3 lions perched on a downed tree 50 feet from the road. It couldn’t have been set up better in a zoo!
- Eating Roasted Meat, Chipatis, Fries and Juice around the fire…a true Kenyan bachelor’s meal
- Being surrounded by 1000 pound buffaloes at night in our campsite and seeing grown me scared out of their minds.
- Seeing tons of animals on our morning game drive…including hayinas, a male lion, buffalo galore, flamingos, rhinos, giraffe, zebra-tons of animals!
- Surviving a stare down from a buffalo staking his territory in the middle of the road as we tried to pass him in a van. We don’t know the whole story but saw a car flipped over on one of the roads in the park earlier in the day…enough to remind you that these animals can do some serious damage.
- Coming back to our campsite to find that it had been wasted by baboons…all of the tents were down, the sleeping bags dragged 100+ meters, clothes everywhere, even a poop surprise on the picnic table. These things are malicious!
- A visit to see some of the boys from Dagoretti 4 Kids at a boarding school close to the park. They were so happy to see all of us and perhaps more excited to enjoy our leftover food from the trip as a break from their monotonous school menu!
- Another Nyama Choma stop on the way home and the van overheating.
- Hangin’ out with good people in a gorgeous place doing something that we love. Time well spent!