Ian's technique of holding the modem up by the window.    Begging  for better reception.

Ian's technique of holding the modem up by the window. Begging for better reception.

By the falls at the Blue Post Hotel.

By the falls at the Blue Post Hotel.

The river by our place.

The river by our place.

The doctor by our place.  We'll probably shop around a little.

The doctor by our place. We'll probably shop around a little.

The highschool by our place.

The school by our place.

Lena's nephews came over to play.  Great boys!!

Lena's nephews came over to play. Great boys!!

The universal llanguage of boys appears to be cars.

The universal language of boys appears to be cars.

Every bus is decorated to the nines...wish we knew what they were saying with this one!

Every bus is decorated to the nines...wish we knew what they were saying with this one!

That is our weekend in pictures.  We have had a wonderful time getting out and exploring in our new car.  We drove down Garissa Road, which is the main road in front of our place…and arrived at Fourteen Falls Lodge.  Turns out that the facility is still being built, so there wasn’t much for service (and no where to sleep because they were busy with the concrete blocks next door building the lodge) but we were encouraged to sit and “picnic” for some crazy price per  person.  We passed!  On another day we’ll take the path down to look at the Falls that we have heard so much about. 
We loaded back into our car that we are SO, SO Thankful for…thank you all who have contributed to Orphans Overseas and the Mission Projects of Sunset….and drove over to the Blue Post Hotel for a look see.  Nice place with multiple falls and paths to walk on by the river.  We didn’t stay long as we had been invited for lunch with Roy and Jackie an American couple who live just across the river from us.  And man does Jackie do lunch up right!  She had a southern spread but on for us.  We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of food, seeing how they have set up their home, and just talking in general.  Eli and Lucy were playing out in the yard barefoot (yes, I tell them not to over and over and over) and he stepped on a sharp puncture thorn that was about an inch long.  I couldn’t pull it out it was in there so good and finally Eli grabbed it and yanked it out.  He howled like a pig going to slaughter.  His foot looks ok, but he does a wonderful limp when it is convenient and he doesn’t feel like walking….
Yesterday we drove into Nairobi on our own with a borrowed A to Z Nairobi guide which is a little  like the Peterson’s Guides you can find…but much more primitive and a little more difficult to follow from page to page.  Ian did a great job driving though…I think we made it through the whole trip with me yelling, “IAN!!!” only about 5 times.  Mind you…those were the times when I could have reached out my window and written in the dust on the Mutatu crowding into our lane on top of me. 
Speaking of Mutatu’s and Taxis….because driving is just plain CRAZY here, they have the most interesting types of horns here.  We make comparisons with some of the tricked out vehicles you might find at home!  We road in this little beat up Nissan Sentra type thing and it had the horn of a cattle truck!  I had to look around and ask “Who honked at us” the first time I heard it, and then the driver looked at me like I was a freak and Ian explained that it was us making all the noise.   Our car just has a regular type Mazda sedan kind of horn.  A little disappointing after some of the varities we’ve heard.  I’m sure it can be obtained though….for a price.
Speaking of price….as I’m sure you can imagine, some things here seem ridiculously cheap, and then others outrageous.  It is like anywhere  else, if you are buying something particular that has to be imported….like Baby Wipes, then you pay for them!  One 72 count wipes packet (not in the hardshell plastic) cost 300 shillings, which is about $4.50.  I am thankful I had my stash from my last Target run to hold me over for another week yet.  I seem to remember that I can get 7 packs of 70 wipes for like $7.00 there, but I’m trying to not cling to that knowledge.  And hopefully, we won’t need them much longer than that!  Lucy is working on potty training….just in the revere order of any child I know.  We are waitinng for her to realize that that warm trickle down her leg is NOT juice or water or who knows what, and then we’ll be in business!  What is cheap?  Of course local produce.  I am thrilled with what snap peas and apple bananas and mangos cost.  Also,  I could get handmade/hand carved chairs from the side of the road for about $15.  That’s a pretty good deal.
There are kids everywhere around where we live.  There are slums on both sides of us…and in Makogeni and outside of Thika.  I am struck by the kids Lucy’s age or younger just aimlessly wandering the roads.  Some are so ragged looking and I am convicted on the starkness of how my children’s lives are so drastically different.  We are constantly confronted with the fact that everyone is trying so hard for the basics of food, shelter and safety (Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs) that there isn’t much left over for fun or play.  I hear the kids from the slums crying a lot when I am out in the evening when mine are inside playing with the overabundance of toys we have.
 When the rain is pouring is pouring off every inch of our metal roof like there are Chinese bamboo fountain spigets lined up the whole length of it, I cannot imagine what the people on either side of us are doing to stay dry and protect what little they have from the elements.  One family was caught outside of the compound here, walking home on the dirt road just in front of the property, when  a sudden storm flashed, and they just kept walking, at the same pace, soaking wet.  I am sure there would be little for them to do with all of the wet once they arrived at their destination…and there I stood in my warm, dry house looking out at them.  It was a bit surreal. 
Sorry, not to put a damper on things…but we are constantly confronted with how much we have in comparison to those around us.  It is a sobering reality.  I am thankful that we will be able to give some to the people of this community, I know they will be thankful for whatever is given and I am happy to be able to be here to share in this experience with them.

The Ameena Project

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