Monthly Archives: March 2009

breakdowns, sushi and dangerous mammals.

I need to write myself my own lonnnng blog post to remember the past blurry week of events–but not bore you all with the details.

here’s the deal though:

a.) wrapped up kijabe. last night on the mountain tonight with courtney. bittersweet. last week the peifers left.  i finished pizza partying and babysitting twins.

b.) spent time in kisumu (9 hrs away) all week with IGM/Patrick Garrett. was rad. enlightening. relaxing. frustrating. hot. dangerously close to no flight home. beautiful. fun.

c.) uhh..broke down in a car on the side of the road, bridge, curve, hill, no headlights. and saw hippos in the wild on lake victoria. beautiful.  hot.

d.)  beautiful few hours at the pitts’ house.  mooched (sadly). sushi, movie, mom and dad time and met with henry and okon.  productive, lovely, saw friends.

e.)  got my computer so dirty at a computer center in the valley.  got left there for hours (3 hours african time,  = 9 hours?).


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Posts have recently been LENGHTY. i apologize.


1.) We are battling gnats in the kitchen! cause of old roses. once we discovered the RAID, things are better. Poor people who do not have raid, it’s so gross for them and it’s one more thing for me to be thankful for.

2.) Henry is doing an AMAZING job on his website at .  it’s AMAZING how fast he learned wordpress!  I am happy as a teacher and as someone who now doesnt have to write the content!

3.) I have been watching 3 kids for 5-6 days–the first few nights were a little rough, but recently, things are just dance parties and fun.  it’s tiring but we love each other and it’s a fun break from compouter work when we play/cook omelets/do other things.

4.) i leave the land of fast internet (kijabe ironically) on wednesday for eldoret-visiting a friend who is there.  first time on a small 45 minute plane ride and i am excited to see northern kenya.  will be tricky to get online after, until i am in india next wednesday or so.

5.) My job currently consists of:

finishing the manual

working on documetnation for RVA’s business office

managing 3-5 websites

finding sponsors for 20 kids

raising money to build a school in a slum (scary situation)

crafting plans for the summer (this is taking the most time i think currently)

crafting plans for 3 other ministry teams’ summers

awesome project that involves starting a bakery


.i love you all and thanks for reading (sorry it’s sometimes lengthy!).

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Sorry for the intermission being a week or so.  Here’s “the rest of the story”.

The bus spent so long backing up that it was nearing 6:40 by the time we got to “the main road” back to kijabe (50 minutes from kijabe).  It gets dark here at seven.

it’s scary getting left in the middle of the day at that place because matatus don’t stop there.  It’s like a highway, and the vans come pre-filled from naivasha towards nairobi.  We stood in the pitch darkness trying to get anyone to stop for us.

It’s hard–explaining the situation.  Our other option would’ve been to spend the night at hippo camp with no sleeping bags (tank tops) so Courtney was way against it (had to get back in the morning for Sunday school.  Ive never seen a more committed Sunday school teacher in my life!).

So in 15 minutes of terror, one woman stopped.  She stopped on the other side of the road to yell, “IT IS NOT SAFE!!!”  and drive off.  We got really really worried.

I decided we’d run for the other side, and at least go towards naivasha (away from home).  We stood on the other side for a bit and i taped courtney singing “where are all the matatus” nervously.  we got in a minimatatu (its like a big van but really clown carrish.)…..the men in the back spilled alcohol on me.  we made it to naivasha.  we avoided following a dude “to the other bus station”, not believing there was one (smart!) but then discovered there really was, so we went there to catch a matatu back towards kijabe again.

Timothy rescused us when we got dropped at the top of the hill.  I’ve never been in a scarier, more dark place than the top of our hill at night and were left 100 yards off by the side of the road.  it’s hard to tell where the road begins/ends, so when we ran across to our side, i just kept screaaming “I DONTWANT TO DIE! I DONT WANT TO DIE! WHERE IS THE ROAD!  WHERE DOES THE SIDE END?! GET IN THE DITCH GET IN THE DITCH!”.  so we jumped in the ditch and a truck drove by.

everything was fine once timothy came in his car to get us.  now–i blame our choice to go with a school group i guess.  but they had said theyd leave crater lake by 3-4.  i cannot control freak skinny road incidents or having to drive backwards!  i got lectured, but to this day i believe i am not reckless but rather attractive of dangerous trouble.

sigh.  yesterday was safer–after workin all week, i spent the day at “sopa”- a lodge in naivasha (got a ride with friends there).

it has a pool and animals. saw hippos. yay.

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The adventure


I’ve been given input, scoldings, advice and other forms of communication about what I should have done on Saturday to avoid a near death experience.


Please share thoughts about the following question: was I being naïve, irresponsible, other?


It all started when I left for a walk on Saturday morning with Courtney and Charlene (as I do daily) and we considered climbing longonot.  It was already too hot, but we thought perhaps we could venture to naivasha to see swimming hippos.


Court had never taken a matatu. We asked several people the best place to go and they all said “hippo camp”, so off we went on a mat.  Took a really really long time to get to naivasha, but the way was filled with hilarity, for example, a guy asking “are you from china” to me..”because you look so Chinese”.


Right.  I bought a banana and he went away from me after asking me my name, then repeating it back to me as mombasa.


Courtney’s was pronounced CORTAIN.  So we were officially nicknamed the Chinese woman: mombasa and her friend, courtain.


The matatu we jumped to hippo camp took us someplace terrible.  The EVIL HIPPO SAFARI.


3000 KSH for a boatride?  I said we are outta here.  He said “hippo camp is SO far, in fact that bus of students there is going there currently..”


so I talked to the bus monitor and offered to pay to get away from SAFARI (we’d had to walk far from the street to get to it) and towards the better place.


He said not to pay, but get on, and offered us sprite.  This was a school trip for kids like the presidents nephews and the offspring of other famous African leaders.  They were on their way to crater lake and elementita.   Said we can go too.


We had to beg hippo lake not to make us pay for 20 minutes of sitting at their tables waiting to go—ended up being only a few dollars (not bad).


Then we ate lunch together (free), had an AMAZING conversation about God with the leader of the students (job) and went to crater lake.

Court and I couldn’t believe it!  It was beautiful, free, lovely, giraffe-y and zebra-y.


Then the problems began   we had assumed since they were going to several places, that by 4 something we could start getting back to kijabe (to be home by 630).  After the second group of students presented (center of the reserve, no matatus around) we got nervous.  It was getting thundery and dark and already 5:30.  I think the leaders hoped to see us camp for the evening and purposely did presentations for 2 hours in the sanctuary.


We left late and Courtney’s face was so worried.  Up a skinny one laner—slowly..til another bus came in the opposite direction, with as much on top of it as stuff inside..


They wouldn’t back up the bus. Neither would we.  So we talked about it.  For 45 minutes.  Then they threatened our lives: “this is our land and if you do not move, our villagers will push over the bus.”


We moved backwards.  The whole way we had come, we moved backwards.  Oh man! Im really tired!  Got to finish it tomorrow.



To be continued..

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2.5 hours

i get a lot done on 2.5 hours of sleep. my to do list is getting remarkably scary.


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not sleepy

java house is extreme coffee. remotely tired i am not. yoda sentences i am now typing.


FRI: 5 schools!  intense!


SAT: DANGER OF DEATH–more later. learned to catch guinea fowl, was told i look chinese, life threatened and hitchhiked.  settlers and cake and fun afterwards.


SUN: hospital, church, masai market, fun, discussion. boggle.  internet.

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memorable tea

Yesterday i went to a part of Kijabe where i’d never been before.  It was the home of Tabitha-the young kenyan student I mentioned before.

We made a movie for her application to Warren-Wilson College in NC.  She talked about becoming a doctor someday, her computer science awards, etc…  She showed me her house—and i filmed the surroundings and Tabitha as she articulated her passions and dreams.

“Here is our kitchen there.” (points to a table and the type of stove i’d bring camping).  “and here where i am standing–this is our sitting room.”  “back here (behind a sheet) is our bedroom.” (The whole house is all one room the size of a large bathroom).

We left that part out of the video, but it impacted me greatly (as it always does when i visit these little places where 5 people reside).  I edited the video all day and finished/sent it off today to the college.  Now we wait–she still needs around 9K to get in.

Today i spent time reading, documenting the centers, and sending the video off to the college(which took remarkably long).  Teresa (works cooking/cleaning on campus) and i had a very memorable tea.

We were talking about how God has given her wisdom.  As an African woman, she’s always known that 2 kids is a smart number, not more–because life is hard for people with a lot of kids to feed—but not every person has the same insight she has.

She said, “the greatest thing for us to have in our lives is wisdom, i think”.  And i reminded her that faith, hope, and love are the ones the Bible highlights.

I mentioned that it can so hard to love people—and how now because of the famine, it can be difficult to have faith in God.  Teresa said, “No!  It is easier for us when things are so bad–because we have to pray pray pray every day for God to send the rain.”  Teresa added, “it’s {having faith} more difficult for rich people than for us because rich people don’t have to ask God–they think everything is great..”

It was a new revelation for me.  Then i reminded Teresa that rich people can have famines in our hearts.  I pray daily for rain for Kenya, but also for rain in my heart.  It’s dry there-and i need the rain so badly.

We do not get to choose what kind of famine we suffer through-spiritual farness in our relationship to God vs. physical hunger. But i know there are people in the world dealing with both at the same time and it breaks my heart.  Currently, i’m in a spot where i’m afraid of my own inabilities–so it constantly brings me to my knees.  I pray for people who dont know about their inabilities, or don’t know they’re in a famine.  And i pray for those whose physical selves are wasting away slowly without enough to eat–people are more than worried  now, it’s outright fear for many in the small village i stumble around.

Pray for me that i would never stop going to my knees, but that rain would fall in my heart so i can continue to reach out to others (more selflessly than i currently am).

Pray for Kenya, that the empty could be filled and the hungry united in prayer for the rains to finally bless us.


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