That was the subject line of the email we received from Ian’s mom yesterday.

Seems like they think Ian was doing 50mph in a 35mph zone in downtown Beaverton last week.

Funny, though not really since I SOLD that car to an insurance fellow about a YEAR ago!!

It was a photo radar zone, so it was a nice ticket of around $190 (I think that’s right), with a picture of “Ian”.  Unfortunately, it really kind of looks like Ian.

Since the courts really don’t believe that Ian is not in Portland charging through downtown Beaverton in the mid morning in our old Hyundai Elantra we get to send:

A copy of his Oregon drivers license (I sent the Kenyan one too so they can see his HUGE beard, which honestly, that is unmistakable!)

A letter from our boss saying that we really were in Kenya in October

The bill of sale from the car sale last year (I’m kindly including the name AND business card of the man who bought the car and NEVER bothered to register  it in his OWN name).

Hmmph.  See what happens when you are sure you’ve left the country with every detail taken care of??  Honestly though, the email made me laugh and was a highlight of my day.

 

Read More →

That’s the phrase a Kenyan will say to us if they haven’t seen us in a while.  It’s kind of cute.  I usually hear it from Godfrey, the guard at the gate to the Del Monte plantation that surrounds Eli’s school if I’ve been using a different road to get to the school and haven’t passed his way in a while.

I’ve been lost from this blog that became a blahg of the last few weeks….sorry for that.

Generally I kind find lots of fun or interesting or just plain unique factoids about living in Kenya to write about, even if our work here might be frustrating, or crazy, or just plain busy.  We try not to focus on the difficult things about the work here.

Last week though, a fundamental misunderstanding in the treatment of children, particularly involving one of mine, rocked my world.  It was one of the first times when I truly thought, “What in the world am I doing here?  And what in the world are these people thinking?”  I felt like crying for days.   I was an upset mommy bear who then became a down in the dumps momma bear.  It is difficult to come to terms with beliefs and behaviors that are fundamentally contrary to your way of being and interacting, especially when they affect your kid…..and you seem to be in the minority of belief.

So, I guess the cat is out of the bag.  Everything is not always roses and sugar over in Kenya, but I guess you all knew that already huh?  We have days where our resolve to be here is tested and when we wonder if we are making a difference at all….and then days when we know for sure that God has placed us here for a very definite purpose.  Thank you to each and every one of you that continue to encourage us in different ways, be it prayer, or emails, or letters or packages.  We need and appreciate them all.

Anyhow, here are recent pictures of my dear (not always sweet, but generally) Eli and Lucy:

Our version of a swimming pool

Our version of a swimming pool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 2009 034

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, he looks goofy, but the boy is thrilled with this outfit

Ok, he looks goofy, but the boy is thrilled with this outfit. Don't mind the mess......

Read More →

Our mini vaca

 

Our night away into Nairobi for our anniversary was fabulous.

As I said before, we began our evening with dinner at Cafe des Arts.   They have a wonderful patio dining area that is covered by a large tent cover.  It is a lovely place to relax and enjoy good food:

Ian was pretty excited about his dinner, he even looks like he's glowing a little

Ian was pretty excited about his dinner, he even looks like he's glowing a little

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s an up close of his shredded lamb, slow cooked for 9 hours, then put into a patty that is refrigerated and then grilled just prior to service:

Lamb with mini roasted potatos

Lamb with mini roasted potatos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I choose the spinach quiche (I love quiche) in hopes of saving room for dessert.  The dessert turned out to be pretty standard European dessert…a little dry and not quite sweet enough.  Next time, I’ll go all out on the dinner itself.  Here I am in a blanket shawl the restaraunt owner gave me when it began to storm outside:

september & early october 09 016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a wonderful time, and we still enjoy being together!

september & early october 09 020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, we found our way to the Serena Nairobi which was wonderful.  I had to take a few pictures of our accommodations as this is the nicest place I’ve been a quite a while.  We felt pampered, and relaxed and renewed.  It was the perfect was to spend the rest of our anniversary.

Ian relaxing in the air conditioned room

Ian relaxing in the air conditioned room

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When we arrived in our room it was pretty darn cold so I started to hunt around for the thermostat.  It was NO WHERE TO BE FOUND!  Ian even had me look in the closet.  So, finally, I sat on the bed in defeat and looked over at the nightstand.  And what do you know?  There on the nightstand was the REMOTE CONTROL for the air conditioning!  Never seen that before!  It was great.
 
This is the fabulous bathroom that was pretty much my favorite part of the trip.  That gives you insight into our every day bathroom situations, because  a bathroom is not generally my favorite feature to point out:
Hot and cold water faucets along with marble and granite...score!
 
The fact that there was cold AND hot water faucets was amazing and the granite and marble didn’t hurt either.
 
Here was the other half of the bathroom, which was equally as handsome:
 
september & early october 09 024
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And then the view of downtown Nairobi from our room:
 
september & early october 09 029
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The only question left to answer is:  When can we go again?
Read More →

12 years

This weekend, Ian and I will celebrate being married 12 years!

When we first met, my freshman year of college (his sophomore), I had a boyfriend and he had partying and skiiing. Ian was the bad boy on campus with long (past his shoulders) hair and I was the good girl with permed hair and size 4 jeans.

How things change in 15 years.

I can really say that I love him more today than the day I met him. I have seen remarkable changes and growth in this man since meeting him 15 years ago. He brings out the best in me, and I hope I do the same for him.

In honor of the occasion, Megan has offered to watch the kids overnight so we can have a mini get-a-way!

Bless the woman.

Tonight, we are driving into Nairobi for dinner here:
www.cafedesarts.co.ke/index.php

Then perhaps a movie (my first in a theater in Kenya & we have been here 5 months) here:
www.villagemarket-kenya.com/home.php

We are staying in this awesome hotel, in the cheap room, but still:
www.serenahotels.com/kenya/nairobi/photo

I absolutely can’t wait to sit by the pool in the morning and have a lazy breakfast filled only with uninterrupted adult conversation.

I love you and our family Ian!

BTW, I have a lot of trouble getting links to go in right in wordpress, if anyone has a tip, let me know!!

Read More →

Ok, I guess that was a little mean to post the last blog about a baby and not mention any news of our own.

You know, we just lost this last baby the last week of July.  That is only 2 months ago.  That was our second loss in just under a year.  It was a hard thing for me to stomach simply because I had carried and borne 2 wonderful children with little to no problems and couldn’t understand why this was happening.

I was waiting and waiting after the miscarriage for a return to “normalcy” (I’m trying to spare you male readers the details) and it just didn’t happen.

So, after 3 weeks of feeling horrible and thinking that I had the worldest longest flu or malaria (which I am sure I did have the flu a bit) I finally took a pregnancy test as a last ditch effort.  Those lines were immediate.  That never happens with me!

I was a bit in shock, and very hesitant to say anything.  I needed a follow-up with my doctor to figure out why the miscarriages were happening, so I made an appointment.  Imagine her surprise when I informed her that we probably shouldn’t run all of the tests she was hoping to run cause I might just be pregnant.  I think her jaw dropped a little before the smile spread over her face and she said something like, “Well, well?”

She took me down right then for an ultrasound and sure enough there was a baby.  A heartbeat even.  But a baby that looked too small for her calculations.  She told me that either it was just a late “arrival” or that there was something wrong and that the baby was not growing.  My heart sank.  Not again I thought.

She decided that I would need an ultrasound in 2 weeks, at which time, the fetus would be measured for 2 weeks of growth, or the likelihood that the pregnancy was not viable.

SO, for those 12 days up until yesterday I have had this heaviness over me.  Of course I trust that God knows my desires for another child, but still, it does not ease the fact that those were the longest days filled with waiting, and searching, and prayers from a few faithful prayer warrior friends of mine.

And then yesterday, my ultrasound.

It started out quite oddly because after I put my gown on and went to empty my bladder, the door to the bathroom (inside the exam  room mind you) was locked.  I looked with a quizzical look at the technician and nurse.  They gave me the same look back and mouthed, “Is someone in there?”  I shrugged.  How should I know??

And there was someone in there!!!  An older haggard looking Indian woman peeked her head out, asked for some tissue and then locked herself back in the bathroom for another eternity (it was really like 8 minutes).  And then, as suddenly as it started, she came out looking all fresh and coiffed.  We were all flabbergasted as the entire exam had been waiting on this woman leaving so I could go to the bathroom.  She didn’t even exchange words with any of us.  Just walked out.  So strange and WEIRD!!!

So finally, with an empty bladder, the exam began, and immediately, there was this big ol fetus up on the screen.  Way bigger than before  and way bigger than 2 weeks growth.   Turns out the baby was right on track for where it should have been before.  No explanation for the 4 weeks growth in 2 weeks, other than the hand of God.  There is was, a healthy 9week old fetus with a crazy strong heartbeat and everything looking strong and intact.

I wanted to cry.  But I didn’t.  But I did allow the fear to dissipate and excitement to enter my mind and heart over this new addition to our lives.   As if our lives weren’t crazy enough, Yes, the May family is going to go and have a baby in Kenya.   Join with us in praying over this little one in the next 7 months and for everything to go easily and smoothly.

We’re looking forward to our Kenyan baby arriving right around May 8th.  Poor Eli, I don’t think it’s quite the birthday present he imagined!!

Oh, and for the humor portion of this blog:

Lucy was present with dad and I in the ultrasound.  She wanted to know if the doctor was taking it out right then.  Ian said, “No it has to cook a while longer.”

Later, Lucy said, “Are we going to eat the baby then?”

Eli asked, “Is this baby going to die too?”  Bless his sweet spirit that understands so much more of this than Lucy.

Lucy informed me that she needs 2 baby sisters, “So we can all hold hands”.

Eli asked, “Does the baby come out your butt?”  To which I simply said no.  No further explanation provided at this point in time.

And then I made a quick escape and  I told them “Good night!”

Read More →

A baby.

This week we welcomed the 2nd baby born to a vulnerable mother at Karibu Centre.  Baby Ian. 

This baby was born to an 11-year old (no, that was not a type-o) girl who was supposedly 5 months pregnant.

After 3 days of backache not alleviated by tylenol, we took her to the doctor.

The Kenyan system is interesting.  We were told that she bore a 6kg baby.  Folks, that is 13.2 pounds, by an 11 year old who is 5 months pregnant.  It wasn’t hard to figure that someone bearing a child that big had to be full term.

Something doesn’t compute right?  Even more, we were told that the hospital was isolating the baby because it was too big, and they didn’t want the mother to feed it.  They the baby to lose weight.

HUH????   At this point I think Ian and I truly, if we are at all honest, were thinking, “Are they crazy or just really uneducated?”

Turns out neither.

Our social found out that the doctors lied.  They were actually taking the baby from the mother because they thought she was too young to have one, and if they discovered that she had no help, they would keep the baby and tell her it had died.  Our social worker and our house parent talked to several doctors and assured them that there was a great deal of support for this girl, including some familial support….and so mom and baby are finally home!   And, the baby is a healthy 6 something pounds.  Can YOU EVEN IMAGINE if you  found out your doctor in the states had lied to you???  Litigation of that type just doesn’t happen here.

So, we decided that it was better that the “system” was just corrupt as usual rather than crazy or wildly uneducated. 

Pictures/video of the new mom and baby should be up on the Karibu Centre facebook page.  If your not a fan of it yet, you should be!

Read More →

Kenyan toys

Joseph and Bernard (the cook’s sons) spend a lot of time at our house.  They enjoy exploring Eli and Lucy’s toys and movie media.

The other day though, they each arrived with something that peeked the interest of both Eli and Lucy.

Home made cars:

A fruit juice box, couple sticks and can lids.....

A fruit juice box, couple sticks and can lids.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A cut up flavored milk crate, bottle caps & sticks

A cut up flavored milk crate, bottle caps & sticks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bernard working on a car for Eli and Lucy

Bernard working on a car for Eli and Lucy

Read More →