Musings from the other half…

Lest this blog of ours becomes a little “one-sided,” I thought it best to add my own comments on how we have been settling in at Kijabe!  There maybe some slight difference in emphasis, which I feel is important to capture!

We have been here in Kijabe almost a month now.  Some days it feels like we have been here for years.  Everything seems comfortable, familiar and easy.  Other days we wonder how on earth we ever got to this point!  Daily life seems insurmountable, every task a mammoth chore, and with that comes the realization that we are completely out of our depth.  But then, Grace abounds and we wake up the next morning to a bright and wonderful day in our new home.

The kids love their new school at the Rift Valley Academy.  Every Friday night there is an activity for all the younger students.  Last Friday night, they went on a hayride around the campus and then roasted marshmallows over a bonfire.  On Monday evening, they each teamed up with an older student and went on a “coke date.”  My kids had their first large dose of caffeine in Kenya, after which they were sent home to bed!  They love their teachers and get to have many play-dates with their new friends.  My mother’s heart is quite full – we are so thankful that their transition has been so easy and so filled with fun!  The fact that Bosco is here with us has been the biggest blessing.  Our family is complete!  Bosco walks with us to school everyday, which is only about five minutes from our house…albeit up-hill the whole way!  No leash is required and he is quite the popular furry friend amongst the students there.

We are managing Michael’s diabetes as well as can be expected.  We found the most wonderful Diabetologist (which I didn’t even know existed until we got here) in Nairobi.  He is a young doctor with type 1 Diabetes himself and wears the same pump as Michael.  He is on hand to look over Michael’s blood sugar readings (via the internet) and adjust his insulin doses as necessary.

Mike and I are taking daily Kiswahili lessons.  This is a job in and of itself.  The Kiswahili that I learned from my time in Tanzania (almost a decade ago) is coming back to me slowly but surely.  It is fun to go to the market and practice what we have been learning.  The market is just down the road in the centre of the village.  It comprises of table after table filled with the freshest fruit and vegetables…pineapple, papaya, mango, zucchini, Irish potatoes (!), bell peppers, juicy tomatoes, sugar snap peas…and the list goes on.  Our meat comes from the market in Nairobi.  We order it in bulk and last night I spent over an hour cleaning up five kilos of chicken!  It comes deboned with the odd bit of bone, gizzard, gristle and feathers!  It brings a whole new meaning to the term “fresh and organic.”

Driving on the main roads here is a little sketchy!  It’s almost as if each vehicle on the road is engaged in a game of truth or dare!  Mike has done a wonderful job of navigating the roads into and around Nairobi.  I have yet to venture that far in our car.  For now, I am sticking to the roads in the village and that is quite enough for now!  Mike, on the other hand, is living out a life-long dream of having a 4-wheel drive on mucky, bumpy roads.  In an effort to display his “off road” skills last weekend on a day safari in Nairobi National Park, he turned off onto a narrow dirt path that led down to a lake.  He wanted to get closer to some giraffes that were drinking by the water, however, in his enthusiasm he misjudged the slope and we found ourselves sliding sideways down the hill towards the crocodile infested water!  I decided at that point to take the wheel!

The community of people we have found here is fantastic.  Each person has an incredible story of how they came to be here and are literally giving their lives away on a daily basis to serve others…inspiring, challenging and enriching.

Thank you, as always, for standing with us in prayer, and for allowing us this humbling opportunity to serve God’s people in Kenya.  Being here has surpassed our wildest dreams.

Categories: Uncategorized | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Musings from the other half…

  1. Sheila Allan

    Oh Ann! Please keep Mike’s crazy driving in check! 🙂 It’s great to read your perspective on the transition. I’m so happy Michael and Jane are settling in so smoothly. Their school sounds wonderful, and I’m not surprised they’re making friends so easily. And to have your sweet puppy safe with you again! It all makes my heart happy. They boys are always eager for updates, and we pray for you often. Give everyone big hugs from all of us!

  2. Karen Farley

    Our hearts are filled with joy for you. I love these updates. The photos of the veggies were very nice! 🙂 I loved seeing the photo of Boscow at the school. I’m so happy he made it there. I miss you but its got to be amazing how God is blessing you with the most amazing new friends with such incredible stories. We love you love you all. James and Annie will love seeing the photos. It’s a far cry from our little Dusty road. 🙂

  3. scott pentzer

    You set my sail for the day with these stories….thanks for sharing.

  4. What a treat, Ann, to hear from you. I’ve been hoping you’d add your two cents. A second set of eyes and ears–and a woman and mom’s perspective–fill out the picture. What a blessing to have a ‘Diabetologist”. That’s even more specialized than an Endocrinologist! And that he, too, is type 1, so knows what Michael is experiencing. Praying for you and so happy to know there are so many positive things in what surely is a huge adjustment period.


  5. I love it! Thank you for posting regularly. We’re about to start a new book in the homegroup, “Crafted Prayer,” a recommendation of Riley’s. Looking forward to praying an even more effective cloud around you guys! 🙂

  6. Colleen Gibbs

    Ann, I’m so happy you and Mike are finally living your dream and calling. Will you be celebrating a repurposed Thanksgiving there?! We love you and think of you daily. Love love love your posting.

  7. paul

    Great read Banners – Keep them coming!

  8. Chris Michaelsen

    Thanks Ann for the female side of things. I so enjoy all the updates and learning about things on the other side of the planet. The struggles and triumphs are inspiring. Keep up the good work on this most important chapter of your lives. God’s blessings…

  9. Mike and Ann,
    So fun to read your blogs. Be assured you are impacting a big bunch of Americans as we read, feel your details there, and pray for you. God tenderizes our hearts through you! We are profoundly grateful your friendship and the privilege of admiring the Jesus who looks so good in each of you.
    Doug.and Loretta Barram

  10. So glad to read your perspective, Ann! What a scare with Mike’s crazy driving! You can tell him to stick with his writing and patient care instead 🙂 I guess you are definitely living and adventure though! The kids’ settling in and doing so well is so great! What an awesome thing God is doing…. and to have a diabetologist (I also had no idea there was such a specialist) that is keeping such a close eye on Michael and for him to also have diabetes is only something God can orchestrate. Amazing! Looks like you’ve had some great visitors already. We think of you often and love reading about your life there. BLESSINGS to you!!! and we miss you here in snowy, yucky Bend 🙂

  11. What a great thing to hear your adventures from a second perspective! Thank you so much Ann! I am glad to hear that you all are adjusting so well; although I might rethink driving around anywhere with Mike every again. 😉 (Love you Mikey!!) All is well, but busy here are you might imagine. I didn’t know Michael had been diagnosed with diabetes, but I’m relieve to here there is a specialist who can monitor things and can also talk to Micheal with a patient’s perspective and not just as his doctor. I’ve always felt that identifying with patients – or people in general – is a great way to put them at ease in a scary situation. I pray for you all daily and we miss you all. God bless – Lorie 🙂

  12. Berenice

    Banners, so glad that Bosco is there with you and is settling in nicely… 🙂 Binty xx

  13. Lynda Corbin

    Dear Ann, I reiterate what Lorie has already posted. I look forward to hearing from you both. My aunt and uncle spent two years in Kenya and what then was Tanyanika (spelling). This was in the 1950’s so you can only imagine how it was then. I’m retired now and it’s a blessing. I have more time for the women of the church groups. Our little Redmond Zion Luthern has only on women’s group which meets in the afternoon so those of us who worked really couldn’t participate as much as we would have liked. Johnny and I keep busy with our veterans groups as well and with Tyler and Lilly as much as we are able. Again, Merry Christmas and Happy New year. God’s blessings. Love, Lynda

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