Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wacky Wednesday

Today we have a Wacky Wednesday post featuring Oliver, of course.  The boy is a nut!  One of his favorite things to do is to wash his humans.  If you pet him, he will probably lick your hands.  If you lean in close, he will lick your face or lips or whatever is closest.  He also loves to wash your hair...here is a quick video...normally he does this at night while I am trying to sleep, but here he is on the back of the couch.

video

If this doesn't work...here is the YouTube link.

Do you cats do this??

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner has had a great week...
First, his food order from Chewy.com came in, and we all know they have the best boxes!

The boys turned it over and made a mancat cave out of it!

Later, we all shared some Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream...it seems to be a crowd favorite.  Auntie is sharing with everyone...will there be any left for her? 
Don't worry Tanner...your turn is coming!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thursday Travels

Our last day in Kenya and it was another day full of activities...here we go...
We started out with a wonderful breakfast at the Sarova Lion Hill Park.  We were all so happy to have more "American" type foods...french toast and bacon! 
Then it was time to pack the bus for the last time... 
We hit a snag when we left the safari park...a huge rock had lodged between our back wheels.  It took about an hour to free it... 
We stopped along the road back to Nairobi to shop and view the Great Rift Valley... 
Me with one of the shop keepers... 
We finally made it to Nairobi and visited the Kazuri bead factory.  They had waited on us so we could have a tour of the factory.  The clay comes from Mount Kenya. 
The mission of Kazuri is "To provide and sustain employment opportunities for disadvantaged members of Kenyan society."  There are over 340 women employed, mostly single mothers.  Kazuri is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization.
Every bead and piece of pottery is hand made...The guide said that each woman can make 900-1000 beads a day! 
They receive and send orders to over 20 countries around the world.

Here are some of the days beads ready to be fired in the kiln...they fire at night because it is so warm. 
Beads being glazed before firing...

Finished beads being turned into beautiful jewelry.

After the bead store, we spent some time at a hotel before heading to the airport.  The airport had a major fire a few years ago, and it is neat to see all the progress being made to restore it.  It looked much more like a regular western airport this time than last...a much better experience!  Auntie and our friend Brigitte posing at a beautiful mural. 
We made it back to London and had time for breakfast...again, so happy for pancakes, eggs and sausage!  We hung out in the airport for about 4 hours and then it was time to head home.  

Thank you all for taking this journey with me...if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.  I hope you have enjoyed these posts.  Kenya is a place I would recommend visiting and I am already looking forward to my next trip!


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner continues to do well.  He asks to play and of course joins me for dinner each night.  He is always hopeful that I will be having something he likes!  He is the only one of my boys that begs for food.
These photos are from last year, but as soon as the plate is on the table...here he comes! 
Is this something I like?  He can be rude about asking for food... 
I try to make him sit and wait patiently...

Looking at these photos from last year, I can see how far Tanner has come.  He has filled out and his fur looks much better now!

On a different note, cats going down stairs are quite comical!  Tanner does more of a bunny hop whereas the younger boys walk.  Tan is pretty stiff in his back legs from arthritis, so I'm sure this has something to do with it.  Here is a very short video of Tanner and Cousin Georgie going down the stairs.  Notice the different style.  Which style is more like your cats?  Have you noticed a change as they age?


video

Here it is on YouTube in case it doesn't work on this page.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thursday Travels

This post has quite a few photos.  Today, we headed out for our safari.  We packed up the bus because we would be staying in a different hotel tonight.
The drive was about 2 hours...we were not in a rush because we wanted to get to the safari park in the afternoon.  There were many interesting sites along the road...it amazes me how people simply make do with what they have and find a way to survive. 
There were plenty of zebras and baboons along the highway. 
Once inside the safari park, we took our time.  David and Joseph were great about letting us look at the animals and take as many pictures as we wanted.  This is an Impala. 
Many of the animals had babies with them, or teenagers.  Here is a cute Zebra family. 
Warthogs were just roaming around... 
I believe this is a Waterbuck. 
Lake Nakuru has many types of birds...here is a Pelican. 
The Lake was quite high due to all the rain they have been getting... 
A flock of Flamingos... 
A baby Cape Buffalo... 
Teenage Cape Buffalo...these animals are very large and mean.  They will kill for sport, not just to eat.  Several of the adults tried to charge our bus! 
Baboon...these guys were in many places around the park.  They are smart and sometimes try to get in the bus...we closed our windows when passing close by! 
Sweet babies 
Auntie, David and me overlooking Lake Nakuru.  Our safari took us all the way around this lake. 
Giraffe butt...I seemed to get a lot of backside shots! 
Our group at a waterfall.  We weren't really sure if we should be out of the bus! 
White Rhinos... 
Our hotel was in the park, and the dinner was wonderful.  We had rice, chapati, spinach, vegetable and the most wonderful lamb chops ever!

Next week will be our last installment of Thursday Travels...our trip is coming to an end.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thursday Travels

So, on the trip we are now back to Thursday, and it is the last day in the village.
We start the morning off with another wonderful breakfast.  Peanut butter on toast, sausage, beans, spinach, roasted vegetables, potatoes and a fried piece of bread similar to a doughnut. 
We made the drive to the village and noticed that we were bouncing more than usual.  Bonita, the driver and David decided to stop at a mechanic to see what was going on.  The leaf springs or something like that broken in the rear of the bus.  The mechanic felt like he could make the repairs in a couple of hours, so it was decided to take us to the village, and then return for the repairs. 
Once at the village, we split into two teams again.  The team that painted on Tuesday, worked with the preschool kids, and the team that worked with the kids on Tuesday, painted.  Auntie and I were on the painting team this time.  We were painting the ceilings in the classrooms.  Two coats needed to be applied. 
It was fun to slip away for a bit and see our girls too...Eunice is in the red coat, at the first table, facing us.  She is working hard! 
After lunch, the bus still had not returned, so we went on a short prayer walk.  We were planning to walk around the whole village, but the roads were so muddy, we just walked a short ways.  We would stop every little bit and a pray would be said for things that community felt was important.  Then we would walk a bit further, while they sang and repeat.  The topics were,
1) Drug and alcohol abuse,
2) Salvation for the men of Kiria
3) The upcoming elections in Kenya
4) That the partnership between Kiria, 410 Bridge, and newhope church would remain strong.

When we returned to the school, we had our farewell ceremony.  The kids came out and sang again for us.  The adults thanked us for coming and we all said a few words.   

video

Here is a video of the kids singing.  The language will be Kikuyu, which is their tribal language.  They also speak Swahili, and then start learning English when they start school.

Watch on YouTube if it doesn't play here.

Then we were each presented with an African name, and given a shawl.  One lady from the community worked with each of us to demonstrate how to wear it.  By now, it was raining, so we were thankful for the covering!  

My name is Njoki - pronounced Joke EE...the N is silent.  It means "one who will return".  I have already proven the name is fitting since I have returned for a second visit.

The bus was still not back from being repaired, so we hung out with the kids some more.  I love this photo of my with two of my favorite girls.  Dorcas is closest to me, and then Susan is next.  I don't know the third girls name.  Dorcas and Susan hung out with me the whole time I was there this week it seemed...they were always close-by.  Dorcas remembered me from my previous visit and I her, so it was special to be together again. 
Finally, we decided to walk up the road to where the bus would be coming from, to save it some travelling.  I loved this time of just getting to be in the village and walk around... 
Typical home and fence...

We spent some time shopping in the banana fiber shop and then just hung out with some members of the community.  Pastor Peter is a funny guy and so full of life.  Hauron (blue turban) is the leader that teaches the rejoice project to all the communities around.  John is head of the water project.  Mercy is the 410 Bridge Community Coordinator.






Finally, a new bus arrived with a new driver.  Bonita had taken our bus back to Nairobi to be fixed, and a Joseph had been asked to drive to us and remain with us the rest of the week.  We were sad that Bonita had left and that we did not get to say goodbye to her.

As we were getting ready to board the bus, Evelyne came by with another sister to say goodbye.  The little sister is Dorcas.  It was such a blessing to get to see Evelyne yet again.  I encouraged her to do well in school, and told her how much she means to me and Auntie.
On the ride home we got to see a motorcycle driving a couch down the road!  We had been looking for one because we saw it last year, but did not have a photo to prove it.  Well, this isn't the best quality, but it is clear what you are seeing!  Love it!  The people have to use what they have...resourceful is a word we thought of often throughout the trip.
Dinner at the hotel was a bit somber, as we were all dealing with the fact that we would not see our friends in Kiria again until the next trip.  Dinner was delicious though...the chef even tried to make us pizza so we would feel at home.  The pizza is the triangle at the bottom of the plate...it was quite good, although not your standard pizza :)

Next week we make it to the safari...our trip is winding down.