03 January 2009

January Prayer Letter - 2009

While at Shimba Hills, I drank the juice of several coconuts like this one. Yummy! Masudi shimmied up a tree and brought down 6-8 of them. He also provided me with a piece of grass to use for the straw.

This gorgeous scene is from a beach at Diani on the south coast of Kenya (south of Mombasa). I spent Sunday afternoon relaxing here after attending a church service on this same compound.

I think it's always good to get away from one's normal routine and see the world (as well as one's life) through a different perspective.

My 2-week trip was sort of a working vacation, I guess you could say. I blended ministry with fun and relaxation and pleasure.

Prayer Letter

I thank God for keeping me safe as I traveled recently on my 2-week trip to the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania. Road accidents are all too frequent here. I covered a lot of miles with no incidences – no accidents, no mechanical breakdowns, no theft, etc.

Thanks to all of you who prayed for me!

It’s been a year since I last visited the coast of Kenya and four years since I visited Robert in Dar-es-Salaam.

I enjoyed:

· the energy, exotic flavors, and aromas of Mombasa

· the beauty of the white sand beaches and palm trees

· three great swims in the Indian ocean

· experiencing Tanzania for the 2nd time

· re-connecting with the three boys (actually they’ve become young men) at Shimba Hills – Masudi, Masha, Musyoka, and their moms

· making new friends

· a great game of Scrabble at Robert’s house

· getting to know Robert’s wife, Faraja, better

· lots of fresh fruit – plums, papaya, coconut, passion, and oranges

· fresh cashews

I didn’t enjoy:

· the tourist-y environment at Diani Beach

· the many bug bites I encountered – bed bugs, mosquitoes, and fleas

· thirteen days of the heat and humidity along the coast

· losing my flip-flops, fairly recently sent to me by my wonderful friend, Teressa

I got to see or watch:

· coastal women dressed so beautifully in their colorful matching lesos

· President Kibaki’s motorcade as it dispersed traffic in all directions; he typically spends Christmas with his family in the Mombasa area

· my bus drivers and conductors chewing miraa on duty (the stem of a leaf that acts as a natural stimulant)

· the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro – the tallest mountain in Africa – with a snow on the top, near Moshi and Arusha (it’s often covered in clouds)

· the striking sight of Mt. Meru, right next to Arusha

· the comical sight of several Togoians, Kenyans, Indians, one Spaniard, and one Zimbabwean attempting to arrange curtains blowing in the windy bus in order to keep the hot sun from beating down on them

· those same fellow bus passengers attempt to close and open their windows at appropriate moments, depending on the presence or absence of dust rolling inside the bus

· the intriguing Maasai of Tanzania, dressed more in blue and purple shukas than their red-clad Kenyan counterparts

I got to eat fairly traditional meals for Christmas while in Shimba Hills:

  • chicken and rice pilaf
  • roasted goat meat and chapati
  • goat-head soup

I got to basin-bathe (or take a "splash" bath) - not once, but twice - out in the w-i-d-e open, under the beauty of the star-lit night. Nearby, bush babies cried out their evening song.

All in all, it was a really good trip!

Perhaps it's good I took this photo of my foot propped up. Later, when I was at a beach in Tanzania (at Dar-es-Salaam), I lost my flip-flops. I was out swimming and thoroughly enjoying myself, unaware that the tide had come in and carried them away!


Anonymous said...

Hey Deb...
As always, enjoyed your news and pics. Kenya is such a diverse country, people and countryside! I must say, I am envious of you having all that wonderful fruit...and of course, the goat. I love it all. Never had "goat-head soup," but I'm game. I have fond memories of the cuisine, even enjoying the termites, sitting around the termite hole there in Matunda near Mama Bishop's place. Miss you and all my Kenyan friends.
Love from Shelbyville...

Anonymous said...

How are you going to lose the flip flops I so painstakingly found for you? Do you have any idea how hard it was to find "cloth" flip flops? Geez Deb....now I'll have to start my search again. It's a good thing for you that the stores put spring stuff out in the dead of winter around here.