Nairobi for the Weekend

It is nice to go to town once in awhile. This picture is from a nice short tour of the Karen Blixen house in the area of Karen. She used to own the entire area of Karen, and therefore the name of the community. You might know her better from the movie “Out of Africa.” She had quite the estate, but went bankrupt trying to grow coffee. However, she is respected for her writing, her philanthropy, and her reputed goodness toward the people of Africa. Her book is worth a read.

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Chillin’ with A in Nairobi

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Rift Valley Academy

If you want to see what is going on at Rift Valley Academy where Allison works as missionary volunteer teacher, you can follow their Instagram account by clicking on the picture below. Our kids often make appearances as Annie does in this picture. Rift Valley Academy is a boarding school for missionary kids whose parents are working throughout Africa. All of the teachers are missionaries, supported by people and churches from their home countries. We are so glad that Allison gets to work there, and we are thankful for the school’s service to our own kid’s lives.

Sophomore Restaurant

At Rift Valley Academy there are projects for each class to build unity as well as to serve the RVA community. One night is called Sophomore Restaurant. All the sophomores and their sponsors (we are some of them) work to plan a menu, advertise, arrange baby-sitting, and then it all comes together in one day while we cook, serve, clean, and entertain our RVA diners. I think it is the funnest thing we have done with the sophomores, and it was fun to watch them all work together to help one another and serve the RVA staff. Allison once again took on cooking responsibilities, and I helped run a small cafe next door that served those who were not able to get tickets to the main event. It was definitely an all day project.

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The line outside the small cafe where I helped.

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Allison getting the Mediterranean dishes ready

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Lots of food

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Dessert

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The servers enjoying a bit of down time

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A certain server getting tired of his father following him around. David had the hardest room full of Juniors and Seniors.

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Enjoying the leftover mousse

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Happy RVA and Kijabe Hospital staff enjoying a nice meal

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My favorite chef and waiter

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Proud sponsors

Next year we get to be diners instead of servers! I am looking forward to being on the other side.

Medical Education

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Ultrasound practice makes perfect

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Karanja is one of my many excellent medical officer interns. He is a very good doctor,and I would trust him with my family. There are others like him, who have come to Kijabe after finishing medical school to do their first year of post-medical school graduation training which is referred to as an internship. This is a year of practicing medicine under the supervision of consultant / attending physicians. It is a system much like we use in the United States to be sure all of our medical school graduates transition from classwork to the practical work of actually caring for patients. I am privileged to serve as one of the consultant physicians at Kijabe, and truly the pleasure is all mine. It is a great blessing to work with these young doctors. Karanja is a good example, as he strives to become better at each skill placed in front of him. I am humbled by his and the others’ desire for knowledge. God is using Kijabe to train doctors for works of service throughout east Africa, and when I talk to these young men and women I am challenged by their ambition to show God’s love and compassion through their work and lives.

Its Going to be a Big Year

Its not a baby. We watched one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies the other night, The Big Year. Its about birding. Then a few days later I saw on the internet that May 4th would be a Global Big Day where people all over the world would go out and see as many birds as they could in one long day of collective effort. Our family was motivated. We saw a few, but being novices it was some work. However, it is good to put a name to some of these birds we are seeing around the neighborhood. (These are not my photos; they all came of the www.ebird.org website.)

Winner for the loudest bird. The Hadada Ibis. They always come in pairs and make a loud squawking cry when disturbed.

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The most majestic. The African Harrier Hawk. The pair of them have a large 3-4 foot wide nest in a huge tree just outside our yard. They have one of the most persistent whistling cries.

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The cutest. The Red-billed Firefinch. These are tiny and could easily sit on your pinkie finger.

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The one that shimmers with iridescence. The White-fronted Bee-Eater

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The one with the coolest nest. The Baglafecht Weaver. They make hanging nests that look like gourds. Just outside the hospital there are probably 10 nests hanging in one tree and the air is full of these birds in the morning when I walk in.

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The most black and white? The Chin-spot Batis.

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