Psalms 39:4-5 NLT

“ Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”

Psalms 39:4-5 NLT

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A Visitor in Kijabe


We had our first visitor from Dallas yesterday. Chris Sleath, traveler extraordinaire, Texan, and Englishman, was in Nairobi and made the one hour trip to visit us on the Kijabe station. It is always nice to see people from home, and we enjoyed his tales of adventures from around the world. It was a treat to have someone from home already visiting us in in Kijabe mission station. We walked him around the campus of the school, served him some tea while breaking many good English traditional courtesies in the process and then he was gone almost as quickly as he had arrived. A mid-Sunday surprise and courtesy visit from one of our favorite Brits!

The Dog

Sarah and her dog.

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Dogs are funny animals. Chardonnay is our new dog, and she came with the house. She seems to have her favorites already. Will wins with C always coming to him preferentially to all the others in the family. Next seems to come David or Allison and then she defers to individuals based on age. How she does that is not clear, but we wonder if it is how deep a voice a person has or their size. So Sarah likes to take C on walks by herself so the she can get all the dog love and attention given only to her. Two or three times a day she will come in and ask if she can take C for a walk. She puts on the leash so C knows it is OK to leave and off they go. Sarah seems to really be liking life here, although she has had some fears because of all the concerns of violence around the Kenyan presidential elections. She is outside all the time. She loves on the dog and the chickens. She loves collecting their eggs. She checks on the monkeys. She looks at all the birds. She is studying the flowers. I am glad she is here, and I especially like to see her smile next to her dog Chardonnay.

Monkeys


Peter took these pictures when he was carrying trash to the caged cans that are supposed to be "monkey proof". Instead he found the monkeys eating the trash.

Things that are Different

  1. Everyone is outside all of the time. Peter loves video games and his personal electronic devices. But now he spends more time working on his blow dart gun and sharpening his throwing knife than watching YouTube videos.
  2. David was out until 10:30 last night with some of his new 9th grade friends. They were unsupervised roaming through the Rift Valley Academy and Kijabe Hospital Mission station grounds. Today they may go on a hike together. Earlier this week, Annie was out until 9 with her 6th grade friends doing the same. It is dark here at 6 PM. So the kids have a lot of freedom to discover their own fun.
  3. Elections are a big deal in Kenya, and everyone is nervous about violence. Until the election is settled, no one will feel very peaceful. Please pray for Kenya.
  4. It is cold at night and in the early morning which means every night I build a fire in the fireplace so that it is ready to go and easily lit in the morning to warm the house. Unfortunately my fire building skills are a bit rusty, and sometimes it takes a few tries.
  5. There are so many animals. We have monkeys, baboons, and lots of beautiful birds around us all the time.
  6. There is no fast food or easy food, which means we are all moving down a pant size after just one week. Yeah for Africa! 🙂
  7. Learning to live at 7500 feet means being willing to be short of breath . . . a lot!
  8. Kids love having a dog.

We are doing well. God bless you, and pray for us as we continue to learn about our new home.

Everyday to warm the house.

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First few days in Africa

Thank you, friends, for praying for our family as we arrived to Kenya and started life here in Kijabe. Our flights were smooth and on time and all of our luggage arrived at once in Nairobi. The first night we took a couple of vans to a mission guest house and tried to sleep. The next morning one driver came to pick up our luggage and take it on to Kijabe. The other, a super friendly and well-spoken Kenyan, like Ronnie in Costa Rica (some people will understand), picked us up and took us to a super nice shopping center in a part of town called Karen. Yes, that is named after Karen Blixen of Out of Africa fame. I had no idea that she owned so much land in what is now part of Nairobi— I imagined it much farther out. After shopping for groceries and setting up our in-country phones, we drove north through surprisingly lush forested land. Upon arriving in Kijabe, our new friend Philip said that we could not spend the night in our house, but he had been directed to the house next door. The hospital maintenance crew had varnished our floor that morning and they were still wet. The kids ran down to meet Chardonnay, our new yellow lab. She is a beautiful dog.

On Friday morning we opened all the windows and aired out the house, then started the unpacking. It felt so good to make the home our own and to start to get settled. Will did a lot of work today while I was at new teacher inservice, so we are nearly moved in. All the kids were enthusiastic about setting up their rooms in their own style. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights we had dinner with a missionary family from the hospital. I imagine that they each hosted the other new family, our new next door neighbor, on the following night. It was an encouraging treat to be in their homes and hear their stories of God’s faithfulness and the kids have met several new friends who will be in their classes.

During the days we have had lovely cool weather to explore the garden, walk with the new dog, and explore a little. Various families and kids have stopped by the door to introduce themselves. As I write, Annie is at a “sixth grade hangout” at the school. The boys have been riding their bikes down the red dirt roads around the station.

God has blessed us in so many ways, large and small. Your prayers have certainly been effective.

Please keep praying, especially for the Kenyan elections that will take place tomorrow. Everyone here is praying for a peaceful transition of power and for tribal cooperation. Join us in prayer for safety for all. Thanks for all that you are to us.

Settling in.

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