Cows, Kids, and Road Construction

Making some pancakes for breakfast.

Making some pancakes for breakfast.

OK so we’ve been eating mostly African foods and yesterday morning we decided to make good old pancakes and eggs.  It was a nice meal.  Two little helpers seemed  to enjoy it as well.
The cow milking heckling croud.

The cow milking heckling croud.

So we borrowed this cow and now it need to be milked.  It took 5 men, they had to bring in a calf to calm it down, and we all got some pretty good entertainment out of it. 
Milking our new borrowed cow.  Note the fancy way they restrain the cow...tie it's front feet to one tree and it's back feet to another tree.  That's a hard way to get 2 litres fo milk.

Milking our new borrowed cow. Note the fancy way they restrain the cow...tie it's front feet to one tree and it's back feet to another tree. That's a hard way to get 2 litres fo milk.

Left to tight: Ian, Tito (guard), Ruben (groundsman) hunting rocks to repair our road.  Talk about the hard way.

Left to tight: Ian, Tito (guard), Patrick (groundsman) hunting rocks to repair our road. Talk about the hard way.


Then Ian got to work fixing our road up so our new car doesnt get lost in the mud bog.  In an older post we mentioned that things are done by hand, well, it’s true.




Road work,  Ian appointed Tito as Head Engineer and Ruben as Secretary of Construction.

Road work, Ian appointed Tito as Head Engineer and Patrick as Secretary of Construction.

Making cookies before bed.  Thanks for those chocolate chips Karissa Kuns.

Making cookies before bed. Thanks for those chocolate chips Karissa Kuns.

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 Anne and I both thought that shirt somehow sums Eli up that day…it was unfortunately very appropriate.
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And sister is just an angel right? 
Everyone’s doing well and today our car was delivered, now we just have to learn to drive here.  Have we talked about what the roads are like on the blog?  I can’t remember.  Well they are indescribably bad.  Our car guy was very excited that our car came right off the boat from Singapore because he said that if a car is driven in Kenya it is usually destroyed in a very short time.  I have seen lanes painted on the road once!  There are as many cars across the road as the tarmac, shoulder, and often times sidewalk will accomodate with about one foot in between them.  There are basically no driving laws and it is seriously way worse than driving in Mexico City, which is horrible. Traffic accidents is the leading cause of death to visitors.  Wish us well:). 
We are so excited to have a car though as we can now get our and about which is a huge luxury.  Thank you thank you thank you!!  On a funny side note, the car had to have a lot of anti crime stuff done to it, it’s pretty wild really:  Locking lugnuts (so they don’t steal the wheels), Full tinting of all the windows (so they can’t see into your car and rob you in traffic), the registration # was etched into all of the windows and light lenses to deter theft, a fnacy alarm was installed, and an engine disabling decice was put in so the car won’t start untless you push a secret button.  All this to keep us safe on the road and keep the car in one piece. 
Well, we just finished lunch and the kids are down for their nap.  I’m heading back out for a couple for hours of road construction which we’ll hopefully finish today and be done with it.  Then a weekend of driving lessons form Captain Haron.  Ian
Oh one more thing, I thought I’d mention the Mungiki.   Wait first I should mention the Lariam side effect of making you paranoid and scared, usually worst the dayy you take it which for us is thursday.  Well, last thursday Lena and Heron told us how when the corn was tall in the field across the road they could hear the screams and cries of women being raped and people being robbed.  That was great, lets just say it was a rough night.  Well last night (again Thursday and again right after taking out weekly Lariam)  they told me about the Mungiki.  This is a huge gang that goes around extorting and terrorizing people here in Kenya.  Well a few days ago they put out fliers all around town (that was polite of them) announcing that they would be coming to Thika.  What does this mean?? Apparently that within a few days they will come and take a bunch of random people, cut off their heads and genitals and then go around “taxing” the scared people of thika.  We were advised to stay out of town.  Sounds a lot like the Italian Mafia (at least in the movies anyway).  Lariam & scary news, not a good combination.  We’re going to have to tell Lena and Haron to save the scary stuff for earlier in the week.   Ian
Ok, so this is Anne now.  You can tell when Ian posts….because he talks about the stuff I edit out!!  Anyhow, there were no problems with the Mungiki, apparently the police squashed them down (whatever that means) and we have had no problems with the field across the way from us.  The only sounds we hear are of the people using their hoes and pickaxes to work their fields.   So, rest assured, all is well at Karibu.

13 thoughts on “Cows, Kids, and Road Construction

  • Bonita

    I keep reading about people asking what they can send you. Looking at the pictures I am thinking heavy duty plastic containers to put flour in (rather than bags bugs eat right through), a hat Ian thinks is cools so he will wear it like Patrick does, work gloves, tranquil night time reading books (for both Ian and Anne – someone must know what they like – send used and beaten up ones so not tempting to steal), God’s armor sizes kid’s 2 and 4; lady’s small; man’s medium. Thankful your car came but now we have to add car-saftey to our prayers! May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and your minds until we meet again. Hugs and kiss for all. Tell Tito this mom/grandma already loves him and will be praying for him, too. Glad he is a big boy.

  • connie clemens

    My soon to be three year old grandson really enjoyed today’s entry. He has volunteered to sleep in the tents with the kids and make pancakes with them. He is NOT interested in sweeping up bugs in the morning. Me either 🙂

  • Shawnna

    Everytime you post I have something else to pray for! Love your posts – I check every day.

  • Cindi

    I can help with your The Office and Amercian Idol withdrawals.
    Go to and you will find your eposides. Free of charge and you can watch them all. You do not have to wait a year. You can do that with just about any show. So you enjoy watching

    • mayfamily

      Yeah, hulu is awesome if you have the bandwidth to use it. We had thought we’d be able to watch it, but its not possible here, we can’t even download music let alone video. So dvds and cds would make great gifts 🙂

  • Eve

    Tell Ian he is banned from writing anymore. I was reading it outloud to Ashley and stopped when I got to the cornfield part. But now we know Anne’s entries are sensored. Oh well. We’ll pray for the dangers known and unknown to us.

  • Eve

    Also, it looks suspiciously like Tito and Patrick are doing the work and Ian just snuck his head in the picture. Hmmm.

  • Cindi

    So now it is ok to send you packages?????

  • Bonita

    I send packages to Ian’s brother Jared in Germany all the time. They, too, have to pay randomly imposed custom fees. It is best to keep packages under 4 lbs because they have a different customs slip. Mark things as used, wash and wrinkle all cloths, repackage food stuff in baggies (include cut out directions for cooking in baggy), make it look not-worth-stealing or not worth charging custom’s fees for! It is cheaper to NOT use prioity boxes but rather plain brown boxes. Also draws less attention. The postal worker in Portland said they steal everything in Kenya so choose wisely what you are willing to give alway to others.

  • connie clemens

    Hey guys, Is there some program that must be loaded before people can view your post on wordpress? I didn’t have to do a thing but a friend is having trouble…

  • Anna

    yeah – lots of prayers going on in this house tonight – both the asking and the thanking type

  • Karissa

    Missing you guys. We are taking our turn at care group tomorrow night and wish you could be there. I love all the posts. It gives me a lot to think about and sure makes me thankful for my relatively bug-free home!!I’m glad the ch. chips came in handy. I’ll try to send some more if we can get a package through. I’m so excited the school is going to work out for the kids…what a blessing! I’m praying that the kids have an easy transition at school and that day to day life gets easier really soon. God bless you guys. KK

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