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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I found the Baboons

Here are some of the Baboons that I finally saw on an early morning walk. I stayed a distance from them and they stayed a distance from me. :)
Ah - the freedom of braids! It took almost as long to take them out as to put them in.

Bones went swimming in the round cement pond... he's been hugged by many children and thought that a bath would feel great.

I am leaving Kalacha tomorrow morning, if everything goes according to plan. (Of which it never does because we were supposed to leave this morning, but we got held up yesturday.) I hope to spend the next couple of nights camping in game parks and spotting more of God's fun animals. By Sunday I should be joining up with my Ugandan team-mates. Pray that the Land Rover doesn't break down and that I will enjoy close quarters with a family of seven. :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ostrich egg

On Saturday a wonderful treat was delivered to the door. An ostrich egg was "For Sale" and Rachel bought it up in a hurry. We weighed it and it is the equivalent to 37 regular eggs... so it was a day for baking and scrambled eggs for dinner. I had the pleasure of blowing out the egg. Holes were drilled at the top and bottom and I spent 20 minutes blowing it out.

A desert thorn bush. Three year old Miriam says, "Wick it... it's a pokey!" (Look at it... it's a pokey tree)

Rachel and I are loving our quality time together. Rachel was one of my college room-mates.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Adho's hairdo

Two ADHO's with their beatiful hair do's. Very tight!
Here is Sabdio cutting the meat with a knife between her toes.

Adho braided my hair in the late afternoon. My hair is very tight right now and believe it or not... it hurts to laugh. Who knew one had muscles on the top of their head that were used for laughing. O ya, in Gabra culture I am also Adho... it means born on Sunday morning. So it means that we are twins - in name and hair do.
(Mom are you jealous that I got my hair played with for an hour and a half?)

Sabdio's House

Drinking chai and eating local donuts in Sabdio's hut

This is how dark the inside of her home is. Only the front door offers light.

Sabdio and her youngest daughter.

Meat is hanging for a day.

Adho is frying the treats.

Yesturday afternoon I was escorted by Barbara to the home of Sabdio - we spent an afternoon frying local donuts and drinking chai. Sabdio speaks a lot of English, so we had an easy time chatting. I sat in her little hut, it sheer darkness and let the light from the door guide my eyes, but when I asked if I could take pictures, I saw a whole lot more because the flash went off. Meat hung on a string. Sabdio later cut the meat with a knife that she held between her toes. Sabdio spoke a lot about women's rights and openly says that she breaks a lot of the Gabra rules and traditions. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

God's children

Children are a blessing from the Lord and they offer so much to life. I often think of my precious niece, (Kylee) and nephews (Jaxsen, Jacob & Caleb) and ponder how quickly they are growing and learning.

Then every day, here in Kalacha, I am surrounded by the Andersen’s five children - Uriah, Ja-el, Acacia, Miriam, and Silas. They have busy lives of home schooling, looking after goats and sheep, playing with the neighbours, and helping with household tasks.

I wish the children of Kalacha were not so afraid of a Muzungu (white person)… they yell out “YoYa” - hello - from a distance, but when I come near they run away. A few kids were brave enough to come to my door the other day and it took me ten minutes to introduce my teddy bear to them. They were even more afraid of a stuffed animal than me. J I slowly touched the bear on the head and then walked away. I picked it up and hugged it, then walked away. I danced with it, then put it down. Each time the children watched with curious eyes. Eventually one had enough courage to touch it on the head and run. Others followed suit until they realized it was a toy to be played with. Bones, my teddy bear, has made a huge hit in Kalacha.

The Kalacha kids need your love and prayers though. They have lonely lives as half of their family often spend time out in the desert - as nomads, looking after their herds. Fresh fruit and vegetables are a scarcity unless a relative can get down country to purchase more, but then the heat and rough travel often bring the produce back in a withered and beaten manner. Thorns poke through their thin flip flops or bare feet and create cruel sores. Children haul water. Throw stones at each other for something fun to do (a game which parents hate)…. And just last night I heard a very sad story of a three year old girl who was molested by her older brother. The village is in an uproar because something like that has never occurred here before. The town chief is debating jail or death. The youth group is really shaken up and are praying for everyone - for peace, justice, forgiveness, and wisdom. Join with us… that God’s truth and light may REIGN!

Monday, February 16, 2009

No Baboons in the Goda

This morning Charmyn, Barbara and I woke up at 5:45am to go for a long hike. Rachel and Uriah joined us as we hiked out to Kalacha Goda - a beautiful oasis where baboons are supposed to roam as the sun arises... but no such sight seeing today. :) That's okay, the scenery was absolutely amazing. In the pics you will see all the girls, a woman carrying her child, Kalacha from the air, the moonlight, and my bedroom in the village.

Here is a delightful picture of a Scorpion!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rain in the Hurri's

Last night I walked over to Charmyn's mud hut by the light of the moon. I checked the floor for scorpions and didn't find any this time. :) I went to bed around 11pm and kept the window open all night because if the fresh air isn't blowing then it gets suffocatingly hot inside. By morning though I had three sheets on and you could see the dust whipping in through the screen in my tiny window. At 7am, when I went outside to get some water I saw that the Hurri Hills in the distance had rain pouring down over them... no wonder it was cold and windy in Kalacha.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Travelling to Kalacha

Karibu (welcome) from Kalacha

Hello... I have finally arrived in the world of blogging and I am super excited. I am currently relaxing in Kalacha, Kenya, a remote desert oasis village and I am absolutely loving it. After a three day drive north of Nairobi, I unpacked my bags and decided to visit friends who are serving as "Station Managers" here. Rachel and Eddie Andersen are college friends of mine and I am glad to be able to fellowship with them before heading to Uganda in March. Eddie runs a garage amongst the Gabra people, just beside the Chalbi desert and the garage services people that travel from Ethiopia to Nairobi and beyond.

I have been in Kenya for two weeks now and have seen so much - zebras, gazelles, baboons, herds and herds of camels and goats. I have seen animals butchered and chai tea being served. The roads are brutal out here but the weather suits me just fine. Hot and humid - my favourite!

I hope to update some pictures and send you stories so that you can walk with me on my African safari! Karibu (Welcome) !