31 January 2009


So really you should probably start looking at these pictures from the bottom up...I always forget that I need to load them in the opposite order I want them to appear...but in any case, these are pictures from our team's retreat at Semliki Safari Lodge...a once in a lifetime opportunity to stay at a luxury safari lodge for a *fraction* of the cost for 5 days/4 nights...it was amazing. We did an evening game drive one night, and here's one of the many warthogs we saw...I love these little guys...
And here's a colobus in a tree just outside the front of our tent...we would get tea/coffee delivered to our tent's front porch each morning and wake up and sip away while watching the monkeys play in the trees....so fun.
Here's a couple buffalo from the game drive...they call these guys "rejects" or something like that because they are too old to run with the young guys, so they are rejected from the pack and run on their own as a group...
Mama warthog and her nursing babies...so cute
team girls having fun (Sarah, Julia, Bethany Ferguson, and Naomi)
Quinn eagerly looking for elephants and leopards...we were dreaming big...Usually it's the singles on safari together, so it was fun to hang with the Pierces on this game drive, and none of us had to drive for a change...
Semliki National Park at dusk...there's a beauty about a dry savannah that I never knew before this trip...

Cob in the grasses
The inside of the tent I shared with the lovely Ashley Wood...we groaned together from our respective beds (with real mattresses, not just foam ones!) in the mornings when the coffee and tea arrived, chatted in the dark about life and whether or not that was a lion or an elephant we just heard outside the tent...we prayed and laughed and just had an all around good time
my bed.
from inside the tent
the porch...it was from here one evening that we each caught glimpses of an elephants trunk...we never saw the rest of it but heard it trampling around in the woods and trees and bushes JUST in front of our tent...it was soooooo cool. I had been talking to my brother on the phone just before, and we lost connection (surprise surprise) so he called me back and I whispered in a whisper loud enough to be heard over international phone wires..."jeff, I've gotta call you back, we're watching for elephants!"...you just have to laugh about it, when else in life are you going to say such a thing?!?!...

23 January 2009

Nairobi photos

Okay, so these are in no kind of order, really...This is the low rider station wagon Kimberly graciously lent to us for a safari through Nairobi National Park, and me in my stylin' safari hat :) I had no idea I would actually go on safari in it when I bought it....crazy...
Kibera slum, the railroad tracks right through the middle are the main thoroughfare for pedestrians.
Kibera slum...notice the power lines...yes, there is electricity in the largest slum in the world...
Electricity but not so much sanitation...so interesting.
On New Year's Eve after an early toast with champaign we ran outside with pots and pans and spoons and made a racket running up and down the stairs, living up to our loud Americans status
Nathan and Ashley and I on the ice
Ashley, me, Abby and Rachel - Abby and Rachel were two of our 3 gracious hostesses (Karis was in Ireland at the time - returning a few days later)
Holding on for dear life :)
Speed skating in Nairobi
tea plantation
home on the tea plantation owned by British folks who do tours and tasting and lunch
Ashley and Nathan at the lovely lunch in the English Garden at the tea plantation
Can you see the two lionesses?
zebras and ostrich
what's up?!
and then the giraffes...my favorite spotting of the day...

So, those are a lot but hope you enjoy them. I still need to write about my interesting thoughts about Nairobi, don't I...another day...

21 January 2009

Brief report

We're back. We drove safely back from Semliki Safari Lodge yesterday, and we wrapped up the day by watching the Inauguration on CNN at Myhre's...can I just say the lovely man who did the Benediction totally stole the show! (in my opinion :) Benedictions aren't usually meant to be show stealing I don't think...at least in my 30 years of experience as a PK...that's not to say there aren't some kick butt benedictions out there...Jude 24&25 and Numbers 6:24-26 are particularly remarkable...but anyways, I digress...I of course forget what his name was, but he did a great job. Oh, but then there was that incredible performance of Simple Gifts by 4 incredible musicians...such a cool demonstration of the melting pot of ethnicities and gifts and talents our country takes for granted...and there weren't any words sung, but I think the words to that song are pretty poignant in the context of a presidential inauguration as well...I have some research to do, and you might read more about these things in days to come, but this in indeed just a brief report :)

The retreat was 5 days of God answering prayers above and beyond. Thanks to all of you who prayed for us. There was swimming and praying, eating and drinking, sleeping and chatting, game drives and animals all around.

I'm going to try to post some pictures this weekend if not before...and those Nairobi pictures are coming too...

11 January 2009

2009 get's going

So, I'm back home in Bundibugyo. Ashley and Nathan and I drove back in yesterday, a day later than anticipated but TIA, you know? The drive was fine; long as usual but fine. How about a few numbers...(Jennifer loves to count things, not sure if it's the MPH in her but it's starting to rub off on me I think :)

- 1, 2, and 3 - the number of poles in groupings scattered along the early part of the Bundibugyo road driving from Fort to home...poles for what? for power. No lines yet but a few poles are there.
- 4 - the number of birds almost added to my avian road casualty record
- 3- the number of new ipod playlists we listened to along the way (thanks to my dear sister and to all of our newly updated iTunes Genius functions...love it.), and the number of stops made along the way (potty stop at the gas station in Mubende, loading/unloading stop at the Chedesters' just outside Fort Portal, and Fort Portal for fuel and lunch.
- 6 (at least) - the number of Police checks we passed through along the way
- 2 - the number of times I thought I was going to get a speeding ticket
- 0 - the number of speeding tickets I actually got, and also the number of monkeys we saw along the road this trip.
- 1 - the number of near head on collisions with Kalita buses on the road, and the number of times we changed drivers. Nathan made his distance driving debut in heroic fashion taking the wheel after the Karagutu police check and getting us the rest of the way home in one piece.
- boat load - the number of mangoes we got for 1,000 Ush along the Bundibugyo road after I got out of the car and "kody'd" until the boy selling them appeared from the compound down the hill from the lone bowl sitting full by the road.

Now that we're back at home I feel like 2009 is really actually getting underway. Nairobi was wonderful and a fantastic way to start the year, but kind of a time warp feeling...the reality of real life has hit now that we're back home. May this year be one of more clear vision and hearing of God and what He's up to around me.

05 January 2009

Copy Cat Post...

...and I'm not at all ashamed, it's just that good. Jennifer posted this article that someone sent to her on her blog last week or so. And now I'm posting it here as highly recommended reading in regards to life and work here in Africa...fascinating, intriguing, thought provoking, and truth telling, I had a conversation with my mom a few weeks ago trying to communicate pretty much the same idea...


Let me know what you think.


Vacations are so wonderful.  Especially this variety, the "no responsibilities" variety...no having to worry about a car and how to get from here to there and where are we going to stay and when, etc etc etc.  

So, what does a vacation to Nairobi look like exactly?  You shouldn't have asked.  For Ashley and Nathan and I, it's been pretty carefree.  Like I said in the last post, we're visiting WHM com padres who live and work here in Nairobi.  Three single women who do a variety of medical/dental/youth outreach/discipleship type work here, Rachel, Abby and Karis have been wonderful hostesses.  The three of us from Bundi are actually staying at the Carr's house (East Africa Field Director and his family) who are currently out of town.  It's a great house with a wonderful back yard/garden/patio, and two animals to keep us company (Emma, a wonderful black lab with slightly short legs, and Brady, the demon toe biting cat).

What have we done since we've been here?  Um, primarily a lot of sitting around and talking...for hours at a time, actually.  We never really do this in Bundi.  Maybe it's the magic of the rocking chairs in the back yard or the white lights on the christmas tree in the sitting room...not really sure, but we've had a great time just gabbing...about close to everything under the sun...from evolutionary biology and young earth creationism to bad dating experiences and family philosophies on video games...we've stayed up late and slept in late, just enjoying the quiet of the big city (believe it or not) and each other's company.

Surely you've done something other than gabbing, you're likely thinking.  Indeed, you are right.  We've enjoyed Java House (coffee shop started by an MK who grew up in Kenya), the Nairobi National Park (a game park just next to the city, imagine seeing lions lounging under a palm tree with high rises in the distance, and giraffe's meandering across the savannah on the horizon with the lights of the city in evening begining to dot the back drop), a tea plantation tour (Kenya is the biggest exporter of tea in the world, and third only to India and China in production) complete with a glass of wine and lunch in the English Garden on the plantation, a tour of Kibera (the largest slum in the world, one of the most densely populated places on earth), ice skating, swimming (don't know that I've ever in my life done both of those things in the same week), shopping at the Masai market, church at New City Nairobi, and eating BAGELS for breakfast :)

I will write more about the things we've done and the really interesting contrasts to life in Uganda but just wanted to say it's been a wonderful week.  Just FYI, we fly back to Uganda tomorrow evening and then drive back to Bundi on the 9th.  Happy New Year.