29 March 2017

Catching up, November 2016: A fun trip to Narok to meet some new friends

When we paused by the side of the road, the driver of the van I was traveling in bought
me a whole cob of hot roasted maize. I shared half of it with the gal seated next to me.

I always enjoy traveling to Narok. I used to go there frequently when a few of my South Sudanese friends attended school nearby. This time I was on my way to meet some new friends, who I had met at the last conference put on by my missions sending agency. The views are stunning as the highway drops rapidly down into the Great Rift Valley.

Dave, Sue, and I had a great time of fellowship together!

We drove through some rain on the way back, but then it cleared up and got sunny again.

This small "Travelers Church" (near Mai Mahiu) was built by Italian POW's in 1942. 

27 March 2017

Catching up, November 2016: Thanksgiving, Scrabble, and celebrating a birthday

I enjoyed a lovely traditional American Thanksgiving meal with this crazy bunch of folks. Before we shared our meal that day, I only knew two of them... but now the other five are also friends!

Shannon and I first connected through the 'I am a Triangle' Facebook page, and discovered we both live in Kenya. She lives pretty far north of Nairobi, but we managed to meet for lunch when she was in town... yet another new friend!

Denise and I met many years ago (early 2003?) during a conference held at Brakenhurst. We've remained friends through all this time and managed to reconnect for lunch when she was back in Kenya recently.

Robai also joined Denise and I that day.
On our way back home, we got a shot of this signboard. 

I always have a great time with these young friends of mine. We meet as often as we can for a competitive game of Scrabble and lunch. The winner gets to keep the coveted and rather 'fancy' traveling trophy.

I brought some candles and picked up a cake on my way across town. We had fun celebrating Jasmine's 6th birthday!

24 March 2017

Catching up, October 2016: Enjoying the outdoors with croquet, plus GeoCaching at Karua Forest

Sammy teaches his son how the game is played

Joshua coaches his daughter on technique

Ruth swung a mean mallet, all-the-while holding her last-born 

Jennifer lines up and takes aim

Zerekiah really got into the sport

These flower photos are all from Joshua and Ruth's garden, just down the road from me.


"The earth laughs in flowers."
~ E. E. Cummings 
American poet, 1894-1962

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Gloria and I combined GeoCaching, a picnic lunch, and a Bible study while at Karua Forest, a beautiful spot in the midst of Nairobi

Looking up at a large, old Mugumo (Fig) tree in the forest

"The forest and I was all there was. 
In the deep still silence I could feel the Earth's beating heart." 
~ Author unknown

Gloria holds one of several GeoCaches that we found this day; behind her is Lily Pond.

I captured this shot of the setting sun, through the windshield of the bus I took home... a quite fitting end to our day.

23 March 2017

Catching up, October 2016: A visit to Jeremy's and Robai's schools

Students in boarding schools in Kenya always love a visit from a family member or friend. And I love to make such visits, often with a few snacks to leave behind.

Click here to see a few more photos from these two visits last October.

22 March 2017

Catching up, October 2016: A visit with Nathan's family, plus some roadside flowers

Two of Nathan's sons giggle, when they realize I'm watching them from inside the house.

Between the towns of Eldoret and Kitale is a village called Fafaral, where Nathan and his delightful family live. As is common when I'm in the area, I paid them a visit.

I chatted a bit with Nathan and his wife, Alice, about their daughter, Deb's, education.

Mt. Elgon, as seen from Kitale town

This maize has been harvested and is now stacked and drying in these bunches.

I do a fair amount of walking in Kenya, not because it might be the only option, but because I actually enjoy it. I like feeling the sun on my shoulders and listening to the birds sing, or perhaps an awareness of a breeze across my face and the various aromas. I like seeing things up-close, things that would not be seen if I was in a vehicle... for instance these flowers.

But in every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks. 
~John Muir, 1877

14 March 2017

Catching up, October 2016: Lunch and GeoCache outing at Iten (near Eldoret)

Intentional days of rest and leisure are so vital for our general health and overall well-being. I firmly believe this is especially true when living in a foreign country and culture. Every single thing one can imagine is culturally different than it is in ones home country. These differences - sometimes looming and obvious and other times quite subtle and even silent - gradually take a toll on a person's energy level and sense of serenity.

When I'm at home - in my house at Ngong town (just outside of Nairobi) - I do my best to be intentional concerning this discipline. I might do some coloring, bake some bread, or read a book while sipping tea. I may get outside in the fresh air and sunshine by working in my little succulent garden, going on a hike, or head out on my bike exploring.

Even when traveling, I am equally intentional in scheduling a down day for my own good. Last October, on a trip upcountry to Eldoret and Kitale, I set aside a day to do some GeoCaching by heading to the Iten area. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and found one of the two caches that I looked for.

Come along with me, won't you, as I reminisce through these photos.

Top photo: I hung out a while with these two friendly girls, who were out herding their family's sheep. As per usual, they found me - the 'mzungu' (white person) - rather fascinating.

Feeling 'on top of the world' on an escarpment of the Great Rift Valley

Close-up of an attractive dry flower

I had lunch inside the banda on the right, at the always-wonderful Kerio View Hotel, overlooking the amazing panorama.

Snack kiosk at a viewpoint near Iten town

5,550 feet elevation, overlooking the Great Rift Valley below

I took a boda boda back to Eldoret; this and the next three photos were taken on the move

Gorgeous field of wheat ready to be harvested

Maize, harvested and drying on the stalks in bunches

I never tire of seeing an Acacia tree, the quintessential tree of Africa