11 November, 2013

Kenya Update...

    Ah yes, i am finally back. Somehow life has a way of getting crazy and the blog is the first to be left sit. I have written so many blog posts in my mind these last couple of weeks but the computer was never handy, not to mention that the quiet needed for writing was sadly lacking. As of right now, the twins and Jacob are playing house and Levi is floating around, being pesty and weepy. I'm enjoying a cup of chai and hoping the happy noises in the living room stay happy. The weather these last two days have been cloudy and rainy, which is unusual for Kisumu. Even in the rainy season it's usually sunny in the morning and rains in the afternoon but the farmers are thankful for the rain as it's been rather dry and if there is no rain, there is no food.
Dining Hall
  Where to start......well, last week both mission compounds went to Wendo Retreat for orientation for the newbie missionaries. Its about 4 hours from here through beautiful scenery, some very rough roads and many insane drivers. I've gotten more praying in on these roads than about anywhere else. And it's usually little prayers shrieked in my spirit as yet another bus or matatu (taxi van) comes careening wildly towards us passing a vehicle. At one point we came head to head with a matatu who had no business passing in our lane. We both came to a standstill and then managed to squeeze through, thanks to my prayers i'm sure and not at all because of Marlin's muttering about idiotic drivers. The only speed control is speed bumps and they do work but the speed gathered up in between is amazing.
   But we got to Wendo safely and it was great not having to cook for several meals and to learn to know the other missionaries better. We arrived Thursday at lunch and then spent the afternoon listening to different speakers. One was a native pastor who shared on some things that we need to be careful of while serving here. Ouch, he hit some sore spots but it was good!
Some of the people slept in tents, families with many little children slept in rooms in like a dormitory.

   After supper there was a bonfire started, the young people and children began playing games and the oldies like us gathered around the fire trying to stay warm. It was damp and COLD! The Nakuru area is much cooler than here and our poor bodies were completely confused.
   The next morning was spent playing games and fellowshipping before heading back to Kisumu after lunch, in time for supper and more frantic prayers. On the way home we stopped and picked up some roasted maize for supper, which is basically field corn roasted over an open fire. Marlin says one of the biggest things he would miss about Kenya is the smell. With all the little stands who sell chapatis, mandazis, roasted maize and french fries (called chips), there are thousands of little fires giving out woodsmoke and delightful food smells. Absolute torture on the way home from church. The bad smells mainly happen when you need to use a Kenyan restroom or the van has a few to many people in it who need a ride.
     Saturday i needed a few groceries so Marlin took just me and we snuck into a little coffee shop for a milkshake and frappe. A treat, although Marlin has been whipping up some fantastic smoothies at home with anything from coffee to mangoes to pineapple. I make yogurt and we like to keep some coconut milk on hand, and with those two ingredients plus some fruit he can make a killer drink.
Levi, Levi.....even with the dirt on your face you are without doubt the cutest boy in Kenya.

    Sunday we headed to church and then back home for naps and relaxation. Ah, a luxurious feeling to the fullest.....especially when the children do the dishes AND Emily whips up some brownies for an afternoon snack. Love having older children!
  Today Marlin has pastors meeting in the carport next to us and i keep hearing much laughter. Huh? If laughter is medicine for the soul than i'm glad they're getting a good dose. I'm sure my man isn't involved in any of the reasons for the laughter. ;)
  Last week i drove for the first time! I wanted to meet the obstetrictian who does homebirths here and the lady going with me needed to nurse her newborn baby on the way. (no carseats in Kenya) It's just a short distance and thankfully the mission does have an automatic, little vehicle that the women mainly drive. I felt quite pleased with myself for being so adventurous but am dreading the day when Marlin hands me the keys and tells me to drive the stick shift van. Driving on the wrong side of the road in the wrong side of the van is bad enough, but you throw left handed shifting in there, wacko drivers and many cows, sheep and goats.......
  The obstetrician wasn't real happy that neither Marlin or i are tested for HIV and told me a long story about a pastor who was diagnosed with it but he and his wife denied it cause he's a PASTOR and trustworthy but he died. I didn't leave feeling real happy as i felt, culture or not, she was totally out of her professional place and doesn't seem to trust men. She is considered the best there is in Kisumu and delivers at both hospital and home, including c-sections. I've been so blessed with incredible midwives that it makes it harder to have someone who i did not connect with. As of now we're weighing a couple of other options, including hospital and another doctor but will keep praying for God to open the right doors.
Men and boys playing frisbee football at Wendo. That's Zachary in the orange shirt and Eric is to the right, almost hidden by another boy.
    My mother in law is planning to come for about 6 weeks over the time of the baby (yeah!!!!) and we're getting our long list together of things poor mom will need to drag across the world. Important things like chocolate chips, cream cheese, bacon......and if there's room vitamins, clothes, laptop computer, and a few other non essentials. Unfortunately i don't think Gene Wenger's ham loaf is an option. I have the strangest craving for ham loaf every sunday about midsermon. Visions of ham balls, gourmet potatoes swimming in butter and homemade dinner rolls swim through my mind along with decadent desserts and coffee, followed up by a soft couch and pleasant conversation. I have never had this happen with the other pregnancies but then i've never watched chickens being chased out of church before either. I think it's because i CAN'T have it that the longing is so intense, coupled with the fact that lunch is very late on sundays so my stomach is very empty. Telling myself that if we lived like the natives would mean NO HAM LOAF, doesn't work. They've never had ham loaf and so don't know what they're missing........thankfully the craving only hits on sundays. Go figure. Hmm, do you think it's also connected to the fact that i've come to realize that family means an awful lot to me and i miss them so, (along with friends, have no fear!!!!) and somehow sunday lunches should mean family/friendship time, laughter and lots of coffee? I mean ham loaf?
   And now i really must go. The chai has long since been drunk, the children have moved outside and it will soon be lunch. God bless your week!!
What do you do when you have friends you really want to talk to but your mean parents won't let you outside the gate? Talk through the bars of course!


  1. That was a pleasant "chat," coupled with a cup of hot tea and a quiet house! The older kids, looking over my shoulder, took note of the very cute Levi. Thanks for the peek into your life!

  2. love, love the picture of levi!!! praying you find a midwife you can connect with- i'll see if lizzy's interested in flying over to deliver your baby! :) god bless, and we miss you all!

  3. Thanks for the comments! thanks for the offer of Lizzie, altho i would hate to be the cause of her excommunication from the church since they don't allow flying. Actually, there is a midwife flying over to deliver another baby in the other compound (her due date is Feb 10, mine Jan 31) and may be coming here first to deliver ours! We are very excited at the possibility.....

  4. was wonderful getting another peek into your lives. Loved the pictures, and chuckled over Marlin's muttering at the other drivers..I can about hear him :) Was wondering if there's something you need, I can send along with mom. I picked up a dress for baby and am hoping to make a couple more if u want. We plan to be in PA january. Praying for you all but especially u with your pregnancy. Love to all! ~ Jan


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