19 January 2019

Make new friends but keep the old. / One is silver and the other gold. / You help me and I'll help you.

Rose (dark jacket) and I visited my friend, Meidimi (red t-shirt), in the Nakuru area recently to do some GeoCaching.
Little did we know we would end up also enjoying the company of two Spaniards, and making much use of Google Translator.
Such an interesting experience! By the way, this is my first picture taken by a drone. The gal in orange controlled it with her phone.

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. 
~ Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Italian philosopher and theologian

When I was last in the States, I met Effie at the home of a mutual friend.
She had moved to the U.S. with her family when she was young and was happy to chat with me about Kenya, her home.
We made plans to see Ngong Hills when she visited here in December and that's when I met her friend, Sam.

One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood. 
Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4BC - 65AD), Roman philosopher

When Susan, my missionary friend from Narok, paid me another visit, we once again enjoyed my chimney jiko.

Simple pleasures! And a modified version of a s'more (with no chocolate).

It's always fun to hang out with Joanna and get caught up, as we've known each other for several years now.
This was our last time to see each other (unless the unexpected happens), because she recently repatriated back to the States.
We talked a lot about the difficulty of leaving a place that has become home and re-entering our original home.

17 January 2019

Jamhuri Day picnic with 30 of my friends; SO much fun!

Betty, Blessed Jason, Fredrick, and Smith (in the blanket)

Jamhuri Day celebrates the date Kenya became an independent republic on 12 December 1964.
Every year, many Nairobians, just like us, recognize the holiday by enjoying Uhuru Park in the city center. 

Jackie, Joshua, Jaiden, Carol, Joy, Cliff, Jim, and Jasmine

Lydia, Duane, and Tony

Masudi, Baby Jason, Esther, and Isaac

Duane, Sam, Tony, Blessed Jason, Fredrick, Moses, Rose, and Smith (inside the blanket)

Emily, Addis, Malakai, and Moses

When things are a bit tense, when life is not going at its best, 
that's when God lays out the red-checkered picnic cloth and says, 
"Oooh, this is a nice place. Let's hang out here together for a while... just you and me." 
~ David Brazzeal, Pray Like a Gourmet: Creative Ways to Feed Your Soul

Enjoying our day together

Betty, Lydia, and Jeremy

Joy, Carol, Linet, and Jackie 

Masudi and Isaac serve us our delicious lunch

Rose and Sammy out on the pond while enjoying a paddle boat ride

Adults (including me) and children enjoyed the man-powered Ferris wheel!

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the beanbag toss, adults and children playing together.
It was a first-time experience for most of them. So much laughter and joy!

You can see more videos from our fun day at the park. Simply click this link.

15 January 2019

Karura Forest, my 'happy place' - remembering three visits: on my own, with Rose, and with Jacob

"The thrill of discovery is the same, regardless of what it is one discovers."
   ~ Iris Bajjali, Murdoch Mysteries (season 5, episode 3)

On this visit, Rose and I discovered a new part of the forest we hadn't ever seen before. There was a lovely picnic area... plus a few swings which we took advantage of. It seems that all of my life, I simply cannot pass by a swing without enjoying it!

I don't always get over to the part of the forest where the waterfall is located but whenever I do, I sure enjoy it!
There's something soothing about the sound of a babbling brook.

I typically carry a few snacks with me, plus water.
But every once in a while I take a flask of chai to enjoy early in the morning, just as the forest is waking up.

The wildlife in the forest is so fun to watch and marvel at, whether it's Sykes monkeys frolicking in the trees, a Duiker grazing just ahead on the path, beautifully colored butterflies dancing in the air right in front of me, or even the nasty Siafu ants marching in formation. God's creation never ceases to amaze me!

Rose enjoys hunting for GeoCaches just like me. In fact, we make a great team -
I do the navigation portion and she spots the hidden objects in a flash!

An absolutely gorgeous papyrus stand, plus a close-up below.  

Simply beautiful!

The trees in the forest add their applause, to all who are pleased and present before God. 
1 Chronicles 16:33 (Message)

Jacob (missionary friend from South Sudan) and I split up - he did bird watching while I hunted for GeoCaches.
When we met unexpectedly, we sat on a bench and enjoyed the snacks we had brought along with us.

10 January 2019

Great Rift Valley escarpment; another picnic on the cliff

The itch to get away from it all can creep up on me at any unexpected time. And I think Fredrick has the same inclination; always happy for a chance to get off his motorbike for a while.

And so... we headed out again for a picnic on a cliff, this time including his son, Blessed Jason.

We gathered a few sticks for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Yummy, yummy!

I'm always thankful for the roof of the banda, to keep the hot sun off of us!

The Great Rift Valley is far, far down below us.

William, the caretaker, was happy to see us again.

View from the back side of Ngong Hills. It's always a stunning sight, no matter the angle!

Another view looking out over the Great Rift Valley

We are ready to bid William farewell and head back to the noise of Ngong town.

Bouncing along the rough 'road', all three of us squeezed onto Fredrick's motorbike and headed home

"I know in my head that usefulness isn’t what the Christian life is all about. God doesn’t need me, and I am not indispensable in the kingdom - none of us are. God delights in us, not because of anything we bring or do, but simply because we are his beloved children. Additionally, usefulness isn’t for us to measure; God often uses us in ways that we never see or know. This life is not about our glory - the impact we make on this world - but about God’s glory."
~ Vaneetha Rendall Risner, The Beauty of the Dandelion

08 January 2019

Visiting Kingdom Light Ministries, Carol and Jeremiah's church, on two different Sundays

It was wonderful to see Tony, after a long time! And also nice to see his wife Lydia and son Duane again. 

After the service, I treated everyone to chicken and 'chips' at a nearby café

Carol and Jeremiah's daughters - Joy, Jasmine, and Jaiden

Carol leads the congregation in worship (above) and Joy, plus some friends, dance for the Lord (below).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
On another Sunday, I attended their church service. Then I joined the congregation for a baptism at a nearby school with a swimming pool. Pastor abc first gave a brief talk about baptism.

Jeremiah and Carol with their daughters, including Joy who was baptized, along with Joy's mentor 

The youth who were baptized plus other significant adults in the congregation

Four cute girls in pink, including Jaiden and Jasmine (on the left), who are two of Carol and Jeremiah's daughters

I live quite a ways away, on the other side of town, but it's always worth it to make the long journey!