I sent Lucy to the bathroom after lunch to wash her hands and face.

She came out saying, “Mom, is there blood on my face?”

Before looking at her, I thought to myself, oh, she must see the residue of the strawberries she ate for lunch.


Her upper lip was bleeding, and despite a great deal of questioning, she didn’t know how.  Yeah, I’ve heard that before!

Using some simple deduction including her location and the amount of time she was gone I finally asked, “Did you try to shave like daddy?

A meek, “Yes” followed.

She must have gotten it just in the right spot, cause it really wouldn’t stop bleeding and this was the result:

I've never band aided a lip before, but it worked ok.

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Did you know?

That there could be a show made just for me called, “So You Just Can’t Dance?”

I gave up in college, after trying country swing dancing.  In high school, I had to be the dance team manager.  I couldn’t count time.  Still really can’t.   I have trouble finding the beat.  It really is a sad state.  Sorry to all of you wonderful music types, of which I seem to be surrounded by many.

Now my dancing is just brought out on rare occasions….like when family is sick and needs a pick me up, or when Eli is grumpy, or when Erin from across the street tries to make me do a Billy somebody hip hop workout video.

Anyhow, all of this to say, No I don’t have a video of my most recent dancing attempt on New Years with our pregnant girls, not even a picture.  Thank God!

But, I do think I have found someone about as equally as bad at dancing as me.

I am no longer alone.  Naomi, the house mother of the pregnant girls here easily trumps my lack of skill and rhythm.  And she’s Kenyan.  Shouldn’t she be born with some moves or something???

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Our good friends the Prins’s gifted Lucy with a Corelle (I think I’m spelling that right, but Nat, you can correct me since I don’t want to go into Lucy’s room while she’s asleep clutching it, to sneak a peak at the baby’s belly) doll.  I specifically remember Nat saying that these were the BEST dolls ever, and that her girls loved them.  Not cheap, but worth every penny.

Lucy didn’t seem so into hers in the beginning.  I was sad to think Nat’s hard earned money might have gone to waste.

Then, somewhere along the line, and I don’t know when, baby worked her way into Lucy’s life and became a staple.

Baby is just “baby”.  No cute nickname.  No real name.  Just.  Baby.

Well, baby went on vacation, and boy did she have a good time:

resting up for a big day at the pool

I think Lucy just discovered that Baby peed her pants

Clean Baby, happy mother

A talk with grandpa about pool safety and not running....

Getting a time out from Lucy for trying to get in the pool with her clothes on and for splashing other kids. Tssk, tssk.

Who let baby lay out in the sun all day every day??


baby arrives at the Malindi airport to fly back to Nairobi

Baby looking out of the airport lounge just prior to her fall out the window

Baby on the swing at Utamaduni shop in Nairobi

Baby's 3rd major fall after being dropped down the stairs, and out the airport window....


Someone saw Lucy with her baby yesterday at the Centre and asked why she was so dirty.  Lucy explained that she washed her shirt (in her bath), but that it “Was just so dirty!”.  Wonder why???

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Safety First!

Have you ever been pulled over for not wearing your seat belt?

I have.

There’s a long back story…but the short story involves me driving Ian’s 94 White Ford Escort to Idaho with the automatic door belt stuck in the forward position. Since I couldn’t drive 8 hours with it like that, I unclipped it and drove with just the lap belt.

Not only was I stopped and ticketed once by Oregon Highway Patrol, but twice. I asked the 2nd officer how many tickets he thought I might get before the Idaho border? He shrugged and sent me on my way. I can’t say how glorious it was to cross the state line into Idaho where I knew I wouldn’t be bothered.

I ended up having to go to seatbelt school at Legacy Emmanual Hospital in order to have the charge removed from my record.

I think it was like 2 hours of gorry video showing every possible accident scenario with and without seatbelts.

I’ve been a pretty big seat belt advocate since then.

Here in Africa, there are seat belts in cars. But the only people I see wearing them are tourists, or us. Most of our workers laugh when we tell them they have to put the seatbelt on in our car. In the Centre van as well. They don’t fuss much about it anymore.

I guess there just hasn’t been one of those public service announcements by some important actor about the importance of seat belt use here in Africa.  You’d think with the high mortality rates that they’d do all of the easy stuff to try and stay alive.  Seat belts, motorcycle helmets….you catch my drift.

Our cook tried to put the seatbelt on (her first time ever) and after she ended up with wrapped around her neck twice, and tried to put the belt into the belt on the other seat (I know, that can’t even be done, but she tried), Ian surmissed that this was the first time a seatbelt had arisen to her consciousness and he stepped in to help her out. She thought he’d done a magic trick the way he latched it so easily.

Two taxi drivers have yelled at me in the last 2 days for having the back windows by the kids down. I think that they are afraid the kids might hop out of the car when we’re driving. They probably would too……except I have them BUCKLED!

We’ll see how many Kenyans I can get to buckle up!

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Honestly, this is the funniest thing I have seen in a while. A little background, we have had the front wall at the Centre repaired, so there was a large pile of cement around, and now that the job is completed, just a bit of cement dust on the ground.

Kids here are used to doing without, so they can make fun with just about anything.  These two kids decided to make themselves into Mazungus.  I laughed so hard when I saw them.  They did too after they saw themselves in the camera view screen.  Ok, I too was horrified that they might be burned by the cement dust, but what to do…they had already painted themselves up completely.  And, just for the record, these were not Centre kids:

july 09 242

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Or perhaps better titled, “Things That are Not Safe for Children: Part 3”

Ian picked up some diapers for Lucy the other evening at the store as she has still is holding out from being a “big girl”.  She is something.  This girl bargains.  She tells me, “When all the diapers are gone, then I’ll wear panties!”  But then I remind her that panties means that she is going in the toilet and then she attempts to strike a new deal.   She has won so far as she seems to have no qualms letting loose wherever she is…including at the dinner table.

This is what he picked up for me:

free gift with purchase

free gift with purchase

Not any knife.  It’s a combination tool.  Serrated blade, bottle opener, peeler, and knife.   Quite random taped onto a pack of diapers.  We took it over and added it to the Karibu kitchen.

While we’re on the “Things that are not safe for Children” them, here’s another:



Yeh, it’s a little hard to tell, but that’s a swing that kids in the Kiandutu slum here in Thika have made out of a live power line.  They’re just getting power for the first time there, so  they don’t quite know what to make of it, or rather, what they shouldn’t make of it.

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