17 April 2019

Visits with my friends at Malaba, Fafaral, Mtoni, and Eldoret - all involving getting lifts on motorbikes (aka boda boda)

After the retreat at Entebbe and a couple of nights at Jinja, I crossed the border leaving Uganda and entered Kenya.
After a nice visit with Agnes at her home, we squeezed onto a boda boda so I could get to the stage and head to Eldoret.

After a rest day, I traveled from Eldoret to Fafaral to visit Nathan and Alice over a cup of tea.
Then Nathan and I hopped on his motorbike for the dusty trip on back roads to visit Deb at school.

Deb and her dad, Nathan, on the school grounds where she is now attending secondary school.
Regarding the school's mission statement above, all schools in Kenya seem to have these and paint them at their gates.

Nathan and I continued on the dusty back roads to Mtoni to visit Ken and Joan plus their daughters.
This is the spot where I used to have my mud hut, always a source of good memories for me.

Robai and I visited Samich again, a restaurant about an hour from Eldoret and just on the edge of the Great Rift Valley.
This time we climbed down the path farther than the last time. Whew... the climb back UP is not an easy task.

Enjoying the beauty on the way

I am not sure what this sign is supposed to mean... other than 'be careful' on the steep slope.

15 April 2019

Azmera Haven Retreat at Entebbe, Uganda plus a visit to Jinja, Uganda plus squeezing in some GeoCaching

This was one of several beautiful early morning sunrises at Lake Victoria, Entebbe Uganda 

Some of the ladies at our surprise 'birthday party' on our last night, at the Azmera Retreat

I traveled to Uganda in February to attend an Azmera Haven Retreat. Their goal is to nurture and impact cross-cultural global workers from various nations, so they can serve God and others to their fullest potential and remain faithful to their calling overseas. Azmera is an Ethiopian word meaning 'harvest'.

Like other similar retreats I've attended, this one was also quite fun and refreshing. It was nice to meet new people at our randomly-assigned tables and get to know those few ladies better throughout the course of our three days together. Additionally the various workshops we could attend, partaking of pampering like pedicures and massages, plus the teaching was all wonderful.

I arrived two days early so I could do some exploring and GeoCaching, as it was my first time to Entebbe. I got a lift to Jinja from a gal at the retreat. She let me stay at her place for two nights, which also gave me some more time for GeoCaching.

Jinja's new suspension bridge was still under construction the last time I was there

I took a boat out to the spot that Uganda claims is the source of the Nile River, flowing from underground at Lake Victoria.
Once there, I was able to log an Earth Cache, by getting this picture.

12 April 2019

A few interesting and random shots of typical day-to-day life in my neighborhood and at my house

After there was a break-in at one of the nine houses on the compound where I live, the landlady hired Njuguna to do some welding on all of our doors, in theory making the houses more secure.

I always enjoy watching manual labor and had fun chatting with Ngunua. He's proudly showing me his homemade tools.

He also made this welding machine himself.

Every 'fundi' (repairman) that's been to one of my houses in Nairobi,
has plugged in his equipment in this rather reckless manner.

On that same day, Daniel trimmed my hedges using the ladder he had just built for me.
Later I had chicken and chips (french fries) delivered via a motorbike, for all three of us.

On a different day, our Assistant Chief Madam Sarah, met with several of us who live in the Muthaiga shops neighborhood.
We discussed recent break-ins, plus the new Huduma Namba (service number) every Kenyan is supposed to get.

Here's a few of the neighbors who attended the meeting, including Mama Sharee (white shirt), who owns the duka where I shop. 

Mama Sharee's shop is on the far left, where she stocks basic kitchen supplies and fresh produce.

Sometimes my friend, Fredrick, trims my hedges... along with help from his son, Jason.

I planted these hedges in front of my house with Daniel (pictured above)
shortly after I moved in 5 years ago. Now they're envied by all my neighbors :)

02 April 2019

Enjoying another wonderful hike up on Ngong Hills, and reaching the highest peak (8,000' elevation)

A hike at Ngong Hills never disappoints and each one is different in some way. On this day it was quite hot, plus extremely windy and gusty.

On the peaks with heavy forest, we encountered a LOT of very fresh buffalo dung and saw their hoof prints on the trail. Additionally we also spotted a few of their hiding places in the thick bush. We were hoping to actually see one or two (from a distance, of course), but weren't lucky in that regard.

We paused often to enjoy the variety of gorgeous wildflowers and to watch an African Crowned Eagle hunting for prey. Our guide, Amos, showed us three different kinds of edible wild vegetation, which we sampled.

Amos (our guide), myself, and Kim - during yet another great day up on Ngong Hills

I took this profile picture of Ngong Hills, on a different day near Kiserian town

The word 'Ngong' is an Anglicization of a Maasai phrase enkong'u emuny meaning 'rhinoceros spring', which was located near present-day Ngong Town. And, the interesting Maasai story of how the hills were formed speaks of a giant who stumbled north from Mount Kilimanjaro. As he fell, he stuck his fingers into the ground leaving this formation we see today.

"Nature is a volume of which God is the author."
~ William Harvey (1578-1657), British physician

I will never tire of seeing random wildlife in Kenya, especially when you least expect it!
During another day when Kim and I were together - this time in the Kitengela area - we got to see this small herd of zebra. There was also a wildebeest hanging out with them, but I didn't get a good shot of it.

This is a common type of a man-mad 'pan' for the livestock to get a drink

Rivers seem to always create a sense of coolness and being refreshed

01 April 2019

Celebrating two birthdays! Derrick is 22 and Jason is 7

For Jason's 7th birthday, we went to our usual spot - Pizza Inn at Ngong town

This was our 4th year to celebrate Jay's birthday together, and the third time we did so with pizza
Betty (the mom) with Jermaine Smith (his 2nd name is in my honor)

Fredrick also with his son, Smith. Fredrick is also my favorite boda boda driver

Derrick, his friend, and I thoroughly enjoyed delicious Arosta (goat meat) at Hamdi, a Somali restaurant in downtown Nairobi.

We had fun singing to Derrick and watching him struggle to blow out the candles!

We were quite pleased to see Masudi, who is now one of the chefs at Hamdi.
When we arrived, he strongly suggested we try their Arosta goat - - yum, it was absolutely delicious and so, so tender!

Derrick took driving lessons recently and is waiting to receive his license.
He hopes to someday find a job as a driver. [We borrowed this car for the photo]