Wow – today, September 15th, marks 2 months and 1 week since our arrival in Kenya. It also marks 2 months and 1 week till our scheduled departure. In the spirit of being in the middle, we’ve been looking into how we might get to stand on the equator itself at some point while we are here. Kenya has great places to do so because of the elevation – we won’t be melting away as one might expect when thinking about the equatorial zone!
Being half-way through means we need to get our visas renewed shortly. We would appreciate prayers that this goes smoothly, and it should, but there are no guarantees of course. When we arrived, Jody had her visa stamped with barely a glance over it, but Ryan was subjected to a bunch of questions and doubtful looks, before having a line drawn across his visa (no idea what that meant), and then his passport stamped, and then, well, we think it was all okay in the end? It was kind of hard to tell. Anyway, we should have someone from Bridgeworld with us to help navigate this process, which can be done at the Office of Immigration Services in Nairobi, so we do not need to exit and re-enter Kenya for a renewed visa.
Another prayer request is for safety for Ryan and Patrick, a staff member at Bridgeworld, as they travel about 6 hours north-west of Nairobi to Kisumu today, stay overnight, and return on Friday. They will visit Great Lakes University, which conferred the degrees on Bridgeworld’s recent graduates, to collect those graduates’ certificates and transcripts. Kisumu is on the shore of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake by surface area, and which is sometimes called the source of the Nile River, but that’s complicated. It should be an interesting trip for Ryan, with new scenery and landscapes to enjoy, and a great time to get to know Patrick better too.
A few recent items of praise: (Click any image to open larger slideshow)
- some warm sunny days – perfect for drying all the laundry we are doing in our new washing machine!
- St. Matthew’s Church – an Anglican Church of Kenya congregation located near enough to our home that we can walk all together. (Just like in Pella! 😉 Well, not quite that close…) We have been attending their English service and our kids have been invited to Sunday School classes. They serve tea after church, and the children all play on various structures around the church, or kick a soccer ball around. We’ve been very warmly welcomed!
- easy access to good medical care at an outpatient clinic near our house, which provided diagnosis and treatment of Bronwyn’s infection.
- our neighbors, a family who has been serving with SIM here in Kenya for around 18 years now. They spent time with Bronwyn, Gwennyth, and Saeryn while the rest of us attended Bridgeworld’s graduation a few weeks ago, and the kids have enjoyed playing together here, at their house, and at a little hotel’s pool and playground just up the road.
We are also thankful for a couple of days we took to experience Amboseli National Park recently! September 1st, we left bright and early with Timan, the same driver who took us to Maasai Mara in July, and drove several hours south-east. Even though much busier, (our route coincided with that of the heavy truck traffic between Nairobi and Mombasa) the roads were in much better condition on this trip (mostly paved, and that fairly smoothly!), and the scenery we passed was fairly different as well. It was exciting to pass a couple of places featured in children’s books that we have been reading about Kenya – Kapiti Plains, from Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain and Machakos, from The Matatu. Once again, it was restful to be out of the city, and we enjoyed both relaxing at the lodge and wildlife viewing throughout the park very much! The main things we were hoping to see were elephant herds, and Mount Kilimanjaro. The elephants did not disappoint, but as Timan said, “it was unusually cloudy for this time of year,” and we were not able to catch a glimpse of the snow-topped Kilimanjaro. Next time 😉
The drive and Kilima Lodge
Wildlife was abundant!