Life in Kenya, plus ten thoughts

Since the first “plus ten thoughts” post that we did was such a popular idea we thought that we would do another one about living here in Kenya.  There are many things that are the same and many that are different.  There is certainly a sense that over the past year Kenyans have desired not to talk about what tribe they come from.  Inflation has hit the country hard and since we have come back there has been no sugar on the store shelves.   Even the roads are changing.  China has been investing millions of dollars into the infrastructure.  This has benefited the movement of goods around the country but it causes concern for just what the Chinese are getting out of the deal.   It still takes a long time to get things done.  It took an hour one day at the police station to get one piece of paper.  Even then we had to photocopy it ourselves and bring back the original. 

1.  We are so thankful to have Peter and Attah working with us.  Peter has worked for six years with us.  He and his family are dear friends to us and we are constantly impressed with Peter’s willingness to work hard and try new things.  Attah is new to us but has quickly fit into our family.  We are looking forward to this relationship developing over the next several years.  Pray that as we work together we will be able to develop deep relationship.  We have helped their families a lot with school fees and clothing.  May it not just be a relationship of convenience for both of us.

2.  Things rarely seem as they appear.  Like when animals on the side of the road have a rope tied to their leg it does not necessarily mean they are tied to something on the other end.  Right now there are four or five high profile politicians on trial at the Hague for their actions during the post election violence that happened after the 2007 presidential election.  Things really do not appear as they seem but what is happening is that they are unable to bribe and persuade their way out of their day in court.  Pray that the truth will be found and those that are responsible will be held to account. 

3.  Famine.  Some would say that all famines are man made.  In the case of the famine experienced in the Horn of African region it is very true.  The social structure is broken and large powerful groups are controlling what people get.  It is hard and relief agencies have to be very creative in their distribution of aid.  Otherwise, the controlling group gets their hands on it and it never reaches the people.  Pray that Satan will be thwarted.  He is very pleased with the chaos and destruction which has plunged that region and people into darkness.  Pray that the people will not only get the physical food that they need but also that they will hear and believe the Gospel as well.

4.  Many of you know that we had purchased a vehicle only to lose it to a careless engine rebuild that left it seized beyond repair.  We have lived in Kenya now without a vehicle for many years.  God and those around us have been gracious and allowed us to borrow vehicles but it is not easy not being able to make our own plans, to go for special family times, or to even help others.  Pray that we will be able to purchase a vehicle soon.  They are not cheap here in the country and we want to be very wise with the money that God supplies.  If you are interested in doing a special project in this area we would be very thankful.

5.  Monkeys, baboons, and snakes – oh my!.  We are reminded almost daily of the wildlife that we live with here in Kenya.  Since it is loquat season we have had a constant stream of monkeys and baboons through the trees eating as much of the fruit as they can.  We do not mind sharing but sometimes it is a little unnerving to see quite a large baboon saunter across the yard.  Cassidy also seems to be the “snake whisperer” of the family.  She has seen more snakes than any of us during our time here.  Just the other day she saw a snake down at the school.  We are hoping that she keeps a good eye out for those around our house as well.  Pray for safety with the wildlife.  We want to be sensitive to nature but also do not want them to be too comfortable around us. 

6.  We arrived to our new house on campus finding that they had just been finished enough for it to be inhabited.  Details like a fireplace chimney, telephone line, and hot water solar panels were still needing to be done which took a couple more weeks to complete.  The yard was also one big mud pit which was fun for the kids but a nightmare to keep things clean in the house.  We are so thankful for the house.  It has been great to start with a “blank slate”  and we have had Peter busy planting grass and flowers.  There are a lot of other little details that need to be taken care of but we are comfortable and have had many students over already which is the main reason we are here.  Pray that we will be able to use and take care of this house to the best of our abiities. 

7.  Electricity.  Power outages and fluctuations are a fact of life here.  We have had our printer and kitchenaid mixer hammered by the power spikes.  We are really hoping that we do not have anything else fry as it is frustrating to have large paper weights that we can do nothing with.  The unfortunate joke in the community is that the company, called Kenya Power and Lighting, should be called Kenya Power and Darkness.  Electricity can be something we take for granted and such a precious commodity.  Even though it seems frivolous please pray that we do not have anything else zapped and become useless.

8.  Cassidy and Titus fit right back into life here.  They seem to be more at home interacting with their friends from many different cultures.  They both play soccer.  Titus comes back totally dirty while Cassidy comes back having played but not dirty at all.  Cassidy has a Canadian teacher so that is a neat connection for her.  Our house is right in the middle of the dorms in which the boarding students live that are in their classes.  So they have a constant supply of kids to play with and they take full advantage of that.  Titus even has “hockey clinics” for those who do not know about ice hockey.  Pray that they will continue to make good and lasting friendships.

9.  Ella is “miss pink”.  She is always dressed in pink which has become her tradmark around campus.  She is definitely the attention getters with her now even more blond hair from being out in the sun so much.  She is also the character of the family.  When it comes time for her to learn some Swahili from Attah she keeps referring to it as “languish”.  After a while it really does become a languish as she struggles with learning a new language.  Hopefully it sticks though and she gets more proficient.  Pray that she will be open to learning Swahili and that she enjoys it. 

10.  Recently there was a incident in a slum in Nairobi where a large gas line was compromised. It ended in tragedy as it was ingnited killing about one hundred people and injuring hundreds more. Life here in Kenya is different regarding these events. It is hard to believe that so many people could be involved in this event but in every situation that we have seen this happen in there is a choice that people make. In Canada, if something like was to happen people would make sure that others were evacuated and the emergency crews would be controlling the situation.  Here it seems that there is an opposite reaction to danger and hundreds of people are trying to syphon off whatever precious material they can get.  Please pray that the people of Kenya would have their needs met and not have to put their lives and the lives of others in danger to get what they need.

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