11 August 2012

Ryan visited me in Nairobi, Kenya

My friend, Ryan, is a missionary in Uganda. He and I are not only from the same home town - Omaha, Nebraska - but we're with the same missionary sending agency - Ripe for Harvest. Because he'll be heading back stateside soon (to get his Masters degree), I joined him recently for a sort of 'farewell tour'.

We were together for 19-days, 2 countries, 5 cities, and 11 missionaries. This post plus the next four will highlight our trip. I hope you'll enjoy it almost as much as we did!

I love acacia trees, the quintessential tree of Africa!

Sculpture is in the shape of the continent of Africa.

We had a lovely lunch at Rolf's Place, on Leopard Cliff.

One of many quirky and whimsical items at Kitengela Glass.

You can see many more photos from our time together in Nairobi by viewing my Facebook album. Just click here.

You can watch a brief video highlighting downtown Nairobi traffic, by clicking here.

We visited Joanie in Nyahururu, Kenya

Our second stop (of five) was Nyahururu to see Joanie, who is also with Ripe for Harvest. Joanie volunteers with PACE Ministries, which supports orphans, IDP’s (internally displaced people), street children, widows, single mothers, and neglected seniors.

Nyahururu is north of Nairobi and sits right on the equator. It's high altitude keeps the temperatures somewhat chilly.

Thompson Falls

This fellow is dressed in traditional Kikuyu attire.

Githeri - traditional Kikuyu food

You can see many more photos from our time together in Nyhururu by viewing my Facebook album. Just click here.

Please do watch a silly video of Joanie feeding her friend, Cow. Just click here for some laughs :)

We visited Julie in Kisumu, Kenya

Ryan's and my third stop (of five) was Kisumu (on the shores of Lake Victoria). We went to see Julie, who is also from Omaha, Nebraska. She recently volunteered at ROCK Ministries for a year, before returning to Nebraska to get her Masters degree. When we visited her this time, she was back for one month during her summer break from school. ROCK exists to reach and rehabilitate street children and orphans in Kenya

We also spent some time with Dave, who I've known for a few years through my church in Nairobi.

Boarding the bus in Nairobi

We had dinner at Kiboko Bay, on the lake.

Elaine (in the middle) runs ROCK.

Dave and some of the guys with whom he works.

You can see many more photos from our time together in Kisumu by viewing my Facebook album. Just click here.

I visited Ryan in Kampala, Uganda

We then crossed over to Uganda, which neighbors Kenya. Kampala was our fourth (stop of five). Ryan has been in Kampala, Uganda volunteering with Ravens Ministries for the past few years. Ravens supports underprivileged young adults by training them in vocational skills, giving them an escape from the cycle of poverty, and providing them with hope for their future - all with the love of Jesus.

This was my second time to visit Ryan. Kampala is the capital city of Uganda and is said to be built on seven hills. Uganda lies to the west of Kenya.

Geoffrey was my boda boda taxi driver quite a bit,
He's one of Ryan's two favorite ones.

Can you spot me in the midst of the busy traffic?

Typical scene anywhere in Africa.

We enjoyed Sabar Percussionists!

Watching them perform, from up in a treehouse.

Traditional Rwandese dance, almost like a ballet.

Traditional Ugandan dance, performed by a school-age dance troupe.

You can see many more photos from our time together in Kampala by viewing my Facebook albums:

Click here to see my album of general photos from Kampala.

Click here to see my album of Kampala streets.

The following links will take you to some videos:

Click here to see Ryan's motorbike taxi drive through a flooded Kampala street at night.

Click here and here to see the Sabar Percussionists in action.

Click here to see a glimpse of the Rwandese dance.

Click here to see a glimpse of the Ugandan dance.

We visited Sarah in Gulu, Uganda

Ryan's and my final stop (of five) was Gulu, Uganda. I love traveling to new places, and Gulu was no exception. It was my first time to see Northern Uganda and I was happy to meet Sarah for the first time. Gulu is the area where Joseph Kony and his militant group - the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) - has committed widespread human rights violations including murder, abduction, mutilation, child-sex slavery, and forcing children to participate in hostilities. Sarah volunteers with Zion Project, which works with women and children suffering from these atrocities.

Sarah, Ryan, and I are all with Ripe for Harvest.

One of the streets in Gulu.

It rained a couple of times while we were there,
which made navigating the roads a challenge at times.

We went to see Fort Patiko, about 20 miles from Gulu.

We had a great time enjoying our picnic lunch!

Children love to wave to strangers passing by.

I bought two bundles of 'fomo', a very sour fruit.

The River Nile

I love roasted maize!

Selling roasted maize, drinks, and watermelon -
all through the windows of the bus.

I enjoyed the roasted meat on a stick.

You can see many more photos from our time together in Gulu by viewing my Facebook albums. Just click here, here, and here.

There's also a video for a rehearsal for a school music festival.

05 August 2012

Hanging out with friends

"Friendship takes time. There's simply no substitute for the expenditure of large amounts of time in the making of friends. You can't always be accomplishing something, especially friend-making, in the time spent. Considerable time needs to be spent without any other agenda than to spend time together."
- Mike Flynn, Making Disciples

Celebrating Carol and Jeremiah's anniversary with lunch

Jasmine 'talking' on the phone :)

Celebrating Joy's 6th birthday with brownie sundaes

Milk "ATM" dispenser

Happy girls after a yummy chicken lunch

Jim really loves his two sisters!

Carol, with her nephew, Joshua

Jacky and Cliff

"True bonding of a missionary and another people doesn't take place at first sight. Becoming bi-cultural takes years. Jesus envisioned discipleship as a lifetime of building into the lives of others. The work of missions takes weeks, months, and years - an entire lifetime."
- Forget the Pith Helmet, various authors

Deng and Mawien were recently in Nairobi on
their mid-term break. After they had lunch at my
house, Deng read John 3:16 in English

Mawien read the same verse in Dinka.

Can you find John 3:16 in the Dinka language of South Sudan?

Mawien and Deng strike a typical African pose

"It is a beautiful thing when folks in poverty are no longer just a missions project, but become genuine friends and family, with whom we laugh, cry, dream, and struggle." 
-Shane Claiborne, Irresistible Revolution 

Another lunch, this time with only Deng, when
he was in Nairobi for the start of his August
holiday from school.

"Christians are called to infect the world with a radical biblical faith. They must be willing to take the time and personal energy necessary." 
- Forget the Pith Helmet, various authors

Masudi serving Margaret at a conference where he was the chef

"I think what our world is desperately in need of is lovers. Lovers are people who are building deep, genuine relationships with fellow strugglers along the way, and who actually know the faces of the people behind the issues they are concerned about. Lovers are people who have fallen desperately in love with God and with suffering people, and who allow those relationships to disturb and transform them." 
-Shane Claiborne, Irresistible Revolution 

Nyama choma (goat and pork) with good friends - Sam, Emily, and Kim

It's great we still get together socially, even after our homegroup disbanded.

This fellow entertained us with Kikuyu songs :)

"Jesus took time to see people in the shadows - the wallflowers, the lepers. He lived with the little guys - the common folk, the fisherman."
-Laurie Beth Jones, Jesus CEO

Sammy treated me to breakfast recently!

"Establishing a spirit of hospitality creates an atmosphere of safety and security whereby deep, meaningful conversation can blossom. In doing so, we affirm people as human beings and speak peace to their inner being."
-Duane Elmer, Cross-Cultural Servanthood 

Margaret and Carol, two wonderful friends!