Scenes on the Road to Mombasa

Leaving Kijabe. I am accompanying the Seniors and their class trip. I left a day ahead of them . . . too long to drive in one push when I am by myself
Leaving the main road to get to my overnight rest stop in Tsavo National Park. Passing under the Chinese built railroad.
Drove by an abandoned train station
This bull came to the river by the hotel
Leaving Tsavo
Google Maps took me through the Mombasa dump. Darn Google Maps!
I made it
Not long after the Seniors made it. They did it on buses in a day!
Within minutes they were in the water!
The highlight of the trip was watching this elephant charge us. Just by luck I got it on video. We were close, but across the Tsavo river from where it was grazing. I was walking around with the hotel security guard, and he said that the animals know this is human territory, and so they get nervous when we approach. If we were in the wild, their territory, they would either charge us very aggressively or ignore us as they consider those areas their territory. Hmmm?
Turned a corner and saw these giraffes. Before I could get my phone out, they were moving to “safer” ground.

Driving to Mombasa

I am on my way to the Mombasa area to serve as a physician on the Senior Safo (senior trip). I have mixed feelings because I always miss Allison and the kids, although David is on this trip. However, he would probably prefer I was not I’ll try and be unseen! It is great to drive across Kenya. I feel so blessed to be here. I stayed last night at Maneaters Camp near the old Tsavo train depot. This is where the Tsavo man eating lions were killed. The movie The Ghost and the Darkness is based on this story. It was great to sleep in my luxury tent last night and hear the lions making their odd night time moans/roars. Today I finish the drive to the coast and await the Seniors. I am going to lay low, be useless, and enjoy a sort of working vacation. (Truly more vacation than work!)

Visit Us and Go on Safari!

I have wondered what it might take for more people to come to visit Kenya and Kijabe. Maybe when the pandemic is over you will get a call from me inviting you personally to see what is going on. I recognized that personal invitations instead of generalized invites apply more pressure, and I have been hesitant in the past to do so. But I feel like there are things to see and understand that cannot be known via blog or stories. So this is one last general invitation (ok, probably not the last), and then you can wonder if I will send a personal invite. Or maybe I will decide that I do not want to pressure anyone. It may depend on the mood. However, if you do come, besides seeing the good work of Kijabe Mission Hospital and Rift Valley Academy, we might be able to hook you up with other good projects going on near us. And even more, you can go on safari. We have been on three safaris since moving to Kenya. They are quite the experience. Here are some highlights.

At last . . .

Today, after multiple attempts, Allison and the kids flew out to Dallas toward Nairobi. Allison received her tourist visa this morning, and so we got up early and had the tickets changed and put everyone but me on a plane today at 3PM. I am so glad for them. It allows them to avoid sitting in a 2 week quarantine in Kijabe before they could attend school in person. So tomorrow around noon our time in Dallas, Allison and the kids should be landing in Nairobi. Yeah!

Ready for takeoff

No Flight to Kenya Today

We were supposed to fly to Kenya today. It did not happen. Kenya requires a negative COVID-PCR test just prior to flying to be allowed in the country. We did ours and one of our tests came back positive for COVID infection. The rest of us were negative. We all feel great! Not a symptom among us, including the one who tested positive. And so we are staying home for at least 10 more days while we try and sort out a 6 out of 6 negative for COVID series of tests. To say there is some frustration and disappointment in the house would be an understatement. However, I am interested in how the next couple weeks play out. I sent a message to my friend Tony telling him we had tested positive and he said “Wow…who knows what God will do with this little twist.” That is a great way to put it. A twist!

One nice part of it is that I got to get my first vaccine dose today. So that means I may fly back a little later than the family so that I can finish the vaccine before going back to Kenya. That sort of stinks to think about, but maybe that is the best plan. I am glad for the extra time to rest before going back strong at Kijabe (this is what I am telling myself).

Thanks for remembering us and for praying for us. We really are eager to go home.

Sadness During July

The following video is full of happiness and “good times”. I think it best represents an effort to try and chase away feelings of sadness and guilt about not being in Kijabe. Coming to the USA is a mixed bag. It is home and I really love being here. Everything is known, comfortable and easy. It is the place where I feel normal. I will appear to be and truthfully will be happy when you see me. However, when I see pictures of friends working in Kijabe, when I get their messages through Whatsapp, when I hear the struggles and victories, I get sad and even jealous. There is great work going on there that is full of purpose! I have a sense of what it is like for many of our friends who have left Kijabe and Peru permanently although they did not wish to do so. I am sure every time they see pictures of friends back in Kenya, it is a mixed bag of emotions. The mission was where the work was, home is where the comfort lies.

We are home for a little while, and hopefully we will be back to Kijabe at the end of the year. Please pray that Rift Valley Academy will open as planned in January. Please pray that some needs for our kids will be met while we are here in Texas. Please pray for Allison as she continues to teach at RVA online. Our girls will continue to take classes from RVA. Our boys will enter the local public school. Please pray that I will get a some work locally that will both give me a sense of purpose and also supplement our salaries. The US dollar goes a lot farther in Kenya than in the US. Thank you for partnering with us, and as COVID allows, lets try and see one another.

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It has been a crazy great month

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Recent Safari

Back at the end of February a friend from Peru came for a conference in Kenya. He ended up being just about 30 minutes from where we live. I met up with him on his last day in country and we went to Nairobi National Park, which is a national park right outside of Nairobi city. It probably is one of the only places in the world where you can see skyscrapers in the background while looking at lions and buffalos in the wild. Just thinking about some fun times from before we all got stuck in our respective homes. Nairobi has been quarantined for another 21 days. I hope for the people’s sake things open up soon. People are getting hungry and a little desperate.

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Brendan in Kenya all the way from near our old home in Curahuasi, Peru

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This lion looked a bit hungry. Don’t make eye contact from our open walled truck

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Nairobi in the background

Retreat and Camping

Allison went on a women’s retreat for the women of Africa Inland Mission. They graciously invited all the women who worked at Rift Valley Academy and Kijabe Mission Hospital. So while she was away for the evening, I decided to take the kids camping. Nearby is Lake Naivasha, and while there you can hike, camp, swim, and sail. Often giraffes and water bucks will come through camp, and you will surely see a hippopotamus. And so we took advantage, drove the hour to get there, set up camp and spent a day relaxing by the lake.

Heading to camp.

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Heading out

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Setting up the tents.

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Getting the camp set.

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Enjoying the relaxation and the sailing.

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Dutch Blitz

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Lake Naivasha

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Time to head home.