Thursday, October 11, 2012


Today Francis drove Jonnie and me into Nairobi to visit three "wild" sites. First we tackled the Nairobi traffic to travel twenty-five miles to the David Sheldrick Nursery for rescued orphaned baby elephants. The trainers ushered them out for feeding in groups according to their age ranging from one month to two years. The trainers stay twenty-four hours a day with their charges to help them acclimate to their surroundings. At the end of two years in the nursery they are transferred to the Tsavo National Park along with their keeper. We enjoyed watching the antics of the babies and hearing the story of each orphan's rescue. Our heart broke for an older orphan that is kept with the tiny ones because he is lame. The poachers had broken both of his back legs. He still limps badly and has a crimped leg.
We then drove to the Giraffe Center where we fed Eddy the young giraffe and his mother. Other giraffes foraged in the park as the warthogs grubbed for the pellets dropped by the giraffes.
The tortoises grazed on carrots and greens while we watched.
The Java House is always Francis' treat for driving the tourists around town.
Our third "wild" adventure of the day was the Maasai Market which sets up six days a week in various locations of town. We are not big trinket shoppers, so browsed more than we shopped here.
We returned to the Mbuvi house for a delicious dinner to find Tim and John had already loaded the luggage on the top of the vehicle.
After all our goodbyes with Risper, Ester and Olive, the Mbuvi family took us to the airport for more goodbyes.
We arrived at the airport at 6:30 for our 11:15 departure and 27 additional hours of travel. That gives us 33 hours from airport arrival in Nairobi to airport arrival in Midland!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


The Internally Displaced People' Camp has moved to the top of the hill! Many of the original group have come and built their own homes in the new camp ...bigger and sturdier, but similar in form. Their view is awesome overlooking the valley just beyond. The breeze is fresh and the air is clear.
The goat pen now houses ten goats. There are two cows and a dozen chickens in their farm.
The cho has covers for each one and soon will have running water for hand washing!
The dining hall/church building is larger and stronger than any other of the KWO sights. They maintain the flavor of the original church with stone seating combined with the pews.
The kitchen stands as the premier model for future building. It has running water with a fabulous drainage system for the gray water. The stoves are well vented, metal with three cook spots, grates and vents on the doors to regulate the heat! The ventilation system is capped off to facilitate cleaning. And the counters and back splash are tiled! Even the serving window is decorative and tiled!

We shared the last of our gift bags with the 12 widows here who will share the treats with the children. These orphans received our last bubblegum sweeties. As they continued serenading us fore the duration of our visit with a totally different group of songs than we had heard at the other sites.
Our visit ended as we blew kisses from both sides of the van windows.
Back at Kamulu, we repacked bags and regrouped for a night on the town.

Along the road home, we saw zebras, impalas and deer, but no baboons.

The Safari Park Hotel Dinner Show is much similar to a Brazilian churrascarria. We had our contentment of chicken, ostrich, crocodile, camel, pork, lamb, turkey, goat, sausages and beef! The show was well choreographed and included expert tumblers.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Chesyliot and Loundiani

Tuesday was a delightful day! We spent the day on the road and visiting with the Koech brothers.
The road from Eldoret to Loundiani was an interesting mix. As we traveled the highway that runs from Uganda to Nairobi, we found the heavy trucks had created ruts along the way deep enough to lose a boot! Passing from lane to lane reminded me of crossing the wake when water skiing. The road changed to areas where there were even climbing lanes for slower traffic. Then came rough roads similar to those on the AlCan Highway interrupted by diversions even more rugged than the road. We drove along a short section near Loundiani that had been completed with rocked sloping drainage ditches and culverts at each cross road. Then we came to the next diversion where the Chinese were supervising the building of the "super-highway" here. Our quick stop at the roadside sign marking the Equator allowed Jonnie to get a picture.
We reached Richard and Agnes Koech' home and the Chesyliot Feeding Station. The children were lined and singing welcome songs as we drove into the compound. They were so excited to greet us and enjoyed bubblegum sweeties from their guests. We all sat in the dining room where the choirs entertained us with multiple verses of their welcome songs in English. The ladies honored us with bracelets and Mary Sue with a silk bouquet. We took time to bless Agnes with her gifts from so many women in Texas. She was so excited to receive the bag and apron with her name on them!
We took our leave from Chesyliot and drove over to David and Lily Koech' orphanage, Loundiani. This is where we gifted the children with bags made and decorated by First Methodist Church Andrews. The adults all wanted one as much as the children. We actually had time here to teach some of the children to blow bubbles!
One of the class seven boys read an essay he had written to greet us. It was amazing work by such a young man.
Lily was thrilled to receive her gifts in front of the children, elders and her peers.
We were gifted with mursik carriers and Jonnie with a basket. After lunch and a tour of the compound, we traveled on to Nakura for the night.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Kapsabet & Kipsenende

After a wonderful breakfast buffet at the Tea House, we pulled out around 8:00 heading to Benard Kibet's orphanages. Kapsabet is in the middle of a building project as they are adding a school on their property. It is progressing well in anticipation of beginning the new year in January.
Kipsenende is our newest orphanage. Last year we visited the feeding station on this location and were pleased to find the church had built a school there with two levels and two teachers. The church was also operating a tea plantation. Each day different members came to pick tea leaves for the day with the proceeds benefitting the orphans. I even tried my hand at plucking the tender shoots. Now a full orphanage with school and clinic is running smoothly. Our sweet young albino friend was not as shy as last year, but he was much too big for me carry around. We honored Florence with her gifts and passed out bubblegum from Andrews First Methodist youth group and shirts from ASB. Jonnie gave the children of Kipsenende Bible cards and stickers as she entertained them with songs. It was here that Frances Mbuve tried his first cup of mursik - a clabbered milk drink reserved for special celebrations.
The drive today was beautiful through varied rolling hills and farmlands.
Wilson and Hellen joined us for dinner tonight at the Sirikwa Hotel in Eldoret. Hellen was most pleased with each of her gifts.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Uriri Worship

Rising for breakfast this morning, Jonnie & I decided to rearrange the furniture in the girls' guesthouse just like good Girl Scouts...striving always to leave things better than when you arrived. One thing always leads to another...

We had pancakes and plum jelly for breakfast...Kenyan style...with chai.

Then we were packed up and on the road to Uriri. Several hours on the road with beautiful scenery and interesting conversation brought us to the gates of Uriri Orphanage. Before the gates were opened we could hear the choir singing how happy they were to have us there.

The church building was packed with children and church members waiting for us to arrive. They introduced each of us and service began! The choir sang several songs-first English, then Swahili; scriptures were read and explained introducing each segment of the worship; then John preached. When the offering was taken, I leaned to Maureen and asked her to arrange for me to buy the offering basket. We were greeted with love, hugs and kisses. Kenedy and Mourine served a bountiful lunch in their home. We had time to present gifts to Mourine before it was time to hit the road again.

Bouncing along the road, we arrived at the soap stone shop for our stretch stop just before the clouds burst. Then we enjoyed the ride through two hours through the pouring rain. About thirty minutes before arriving at the Tea Hotel, we came to dry lands...a welcome sight for unpacking a vehicle.

The gardens here are gorgeous. The weather is pleasant and the food was delicious.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

WBS Workers

The morning was a productive meeting with WBS follow up workers and orphanage directors. The men and Juliet (our first female follow up worker) were delightful and eager to learn from John.
Sharon brought her four children up from Sondu to visit for the day. Casy, 9, Sid, almost 7, Neal, 1, and Cherie, 2 months, entertained Mary Sue and Jonnie all morning. They are very sharp young boys with excellent English skills.
Frances drove us over to Dirubi so Mary Sue could see how the facilities have changed. The children sang for us till the rains began. Jonnie returned after the rains to enjoy time with the children.
We were thrilled to be invited to evening vespers with the ITC students who were in our orphanages just last year. They are well into the first year of a two year trade program in one of five trades: agriculture, cosmetology, computers, business accounting or auto mechanics. The choir was phenomenal and the young men well prepared for their talks. John Kariuki gave a great charge to the students and then John Defore added a blessing for them. The secondary students from Dirubi had been in Saturday school preparing for exams when we visited, so they came over to sing at the end of vespers.


Friday morning we split into two groups. Frances took Mary Sue to visit in the orphanages and homes of Tobias and Alfayo. They had a wonderful experience giving Jonnie her first look at KWO! She was amazed and will not stop talking of her adventures for a long time. Mary Sue and Jonnie enjoyed honoring Alfayo's wife Eunice and Tobias' wife Agnes while they were on their campuses for tours.

John, Maureen, Rispa and I met with the "name getters" all morning. We had a very productive meeting as they got to visit with each other and learn methods and ideas to enhance their work in entering every secondary school in Kenya. There they visit with every student to offer them the opportunity to study the bible through correspondence courses. The names they collect in the schools are forwarded to Maureen who sends them their very first lesson. From there the students send the completed lessons back to Maureen who mails them to the US to be distributed to teachers for scoring. Then the process is continued between teacher and student with Maureen serving as our liaison.
The evening held a precious moment as Mary Sue presented each of the twelve workers with a pencil sketch she had done of them. The men were delighted with their gifts. As they began to head out, the lights went out. Everyone stayed in our great room for a sing-a-long till time for dinner.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Today's trip from Kamulu to the ITC is a long road trip, but filled with joy and blessings! Rispa, Maureen, Mary Sue, Jonnie, John & I watched as Frances tied our luggage on top of the vehicle before we all piled in for an 8:00 departure.
Our first stop was at the Rift Valley overlook for Jonnie to see and to purchase musical instruments. The weather was beautiful and clear enough for great pictures.
On down the trail we stopped for samosas at the Delimere and one other stop for petrol. We enjoyed the herds of wild zebra along the road as well as the crested cranes. The flora and fauna are gifts to behold!
The highlight of the road trip was certainly our impromptu visit at KERICHO. The church members all gathered for kisses, hugs and blessings as we glorified the Lord together. The children petted our heads to feel the mazungos...each eager for a handshake and a smile.
Frances and Lily met with us in the dining hall as we blessed Lily for the work she does supporting Frances in every aspect of his responsibilities with the feeding station, the church and the WBS work. Lily and Frances were all smiles to see her honored before her peers. The butterfly effect continues to change lives and bring glory and honor to the Lord. Frances and Lily had gifts for John and Mary Sue, the children sang and the women welcomed us with song and choreography. Three of the older girls took me around back to see their artwork. They had created a floor plan of the house they would love to own one day. It was permanently raised clay under the chicken coop complete with scaled movable furniture.
On down the trail our paved roads glistened with the aftermath of an afternoon shower and we reveled at the blessing of rain on the thirsty lands. Our souls have been refreshed with showers of blessings.
Soon - before the sun sets on our day - we will arrive at the training center which we will call home for the next three days.

Jambo Kenya

We made the connection in London only because they held the plane for us. We arrived in Nairobi only a few minutes late. The last ones on the plane and the last ones off because our carry-on was in the very back! Maureen and Frances were glad to see us finally make it out with most of our luggage. Jonnie had one suitcase lost in transit, so we hope to gather it tonight before we leave town in the morning. We were finally settled in and ready for bed by midnight.

Today we exchanged money, got me a sim card, enjoyed lunch at the Java House and headed out to see Simon and Susan. Susan was the first of the WBS workers to receive her bag and apron from Montie, Merita and Ann Marie. She was thrilled to find the pockets loaded with a book from Jackie, lotion from Melissa, cards from Bible class ladies, pictures of prayer warriors. We also visited in the home of Elizabeth, a WBS student of Mary Sue's.

Tonight we had a lovely dinner with the Coulstons who live next door to the Mbuves and are the creators of MITS-Made In The Streets.