It was a bit of a rough day in regards to mood in our house yesterday. I have been reading a little bit about exercise and mood enhancement, and the correlation is pretty strong that exercise is good for mental health. This is especially true in anxiety and depression. I would say those are the most common struggles of many of us, and especially those of us living in a different culture. I tend to be more optimistic if I find time to exercise, and I envy those who find it easy to do. I do not always want to exercise, much less do I find the time to do it. And this is despite knowing the positive effects. So with everyone a bit down yesterday, I decided we were going on a walk. We would go to the caves and then up to the railroad tracks. A few short steep uphill sections followed by a meandering downhill walk. We noted some clouds in the sky, but it seemed like there was more sun than clouds. The old Boy Scout in me recommended we take some jackets. It was good that we did, because just as we reached the cave, the rain came. We decided we would cross-country home, bush-wacking, avoiding steep drop-offs, spraining wrists, and ruining clothing. But we made it. And you can decide for yourself from the picture whether it had a positive affect.
Not many kids in the United States start school wearing sweaters and jackets. It is one of the weird parts of living in the southern hemisphere at 7000 feet elevation. All of the kids attend Rift Valley Academy, participating in different activities including rugby, band, art, and Model United Nations to name a few. RVA is a boarding school, but our kids live with us and walk up to the school every day. They are glad they get to go home and are not burdened by the “rules” of boarding school life. We are glad they are home, too, but can still enjoy the social life offered at school.
Thank you Stan Kwan for the photo. I am taking advantage of standing uphill in this photo to maintain height advantage.
Peter spent last Saturday making a sword all day long. He left the house in the morning and headed to the local duka (Swahili for store) to buy a long piece of steel. Then he went up to Mr. Manning’s house which is actually the 8th grade dorm to use his metal working tools. He spent the rest of the morning until lunch, cutting, sharpening, and refining his blade. Then after lunch he went back in the afternoon and continued to work on the hilt as well as welding on the guard. He has already spent quite a bit of time making throwing knives at Mr.Manning’s dorm. In the process he has learned well how to use several power tools, and he basically does most of the work unsupervised. Sometimes Mr. Manning will help with a more complicated project, such as fashioning the hilt. Peter said it is almost more fun to make the sword than it is to have it when it is done. This is one of the blessings of living in Kenya and especially near Rift Valley Academy. The kids have the freedom to pursue their interests, and they have men and women who want to help them. God is good to us with the community he has given us.
We went to a new friend’s house to have an 80s party. Basically we sit around, play a few games, while we try to be the first to name the song and the artist as it comes up on an 80s music playlist. Talk about living the the past . . . it is a nostalgia festival. The surprise is that when we arrived there was a new pet owl! Peter is a big bird fan, and the girls are not too far behind.