04 August 2010

Long winded update

So it's been awhile... obviously! One good reason is we've been on vacation. Bud left a week before me and drove down to Mombasa with two guys, Scott and Todd. They went to get the brick machine out of customs. It's here! The process ended up being very easy to get the machine out of customs. (to just see pictures, scroll down, this is going to be a long one!)

So that left plenty of time for guy time on the beach. They had an awesome week and I'm glad they got most of their guy time out of their system so that I could have Bud all to myself for some family time on the beach. Of course he still went swimming with the guys in the waves during high tide while us girls laid out on the beach having girl chat. It was an amazing vacation. I hope to do it again one day, which we probably will since it was very reasonable on price and easy to get to. The pictures don't do justice for how beautiful it is. This will be the fourth time I've been to the Kenyan coast since moving to Kenya five years ago. The beach we went to this time was by far the best. The first time I went we were right outside Mombasa town in a resort. The next time was mine and Bud's honeymoon and we were in Malindi, which is over an hour north of Mombasa. A lot of Italians there. So the food was great. The pools were great too since it overlooked the beach but the beach wasn't really a place you go and camp out on for the day. The third time was for the marriage retreat that was held for our house parents a few years ago. It was a bit north of Mombasa. Nice place, some seaweed and coral. Again, not really a place to hang out on the beach. And then there's this time. We rented a house from a woman living there who is scottish. It was an awesome beach house. It wasn't right on the beach but 5 minutes walking time. It was in a little gated community and had a community pool, which hardly anyone was there when we went. Such a beautiful and peaceful place... other than those darn monkeys that kept getting in and eating the fruit. Usually we would wake up whenever. The kids often had me being the first one out of bed. I'm sure I wouldn't of been able to sleep in that late anyways. We'd lounge around on the nice front veranda, have breakfast, maybe go for a swim in the pool, and then when everyone was up and ready we'd drive down to a place on the beach. We ended up going to the same place everyday since we liked it so much. It was called 40 thieves, a restaurant. It had a fun atmosphere. We could lay out and play on the beach without having anyone bother us (they call them beach boys, sometimes they're selling touristy stuff, other times drugs). It was about a 10 or so minute drive from the house we stayed in. Which was nice since usually Elisha would fall asleep on the way and sleep in the pop-tent on the beach while I got some quiet time to soak up the sun. Elisha and Claire are definitely beach babies. They loved it. We also had a blast playing with them in the sand and water. Claire got in the water for the first time and was as chill as could be. She was a happy girl most of the week.

We also had a local fisherman that would come to our house any day we'd like. I actually got tired of fish! One night we went all out and had lobster, crab and shrimp. The guys cooked the lobster and crab. I cooked the shrimp. They de-pooped the shrimp for me though. (or i think they call it de-veining... I'm pretty sure it was poo though). The crabs were intense! Elisha does NOT like crabs, alive crabs. I was trying to pick one up for a picture and get an idea how strong they are since I was going to take up the task of getting them into a boiling pot. So Todd came over to grab one and this one was bigger than the ones the guys had the week before. It pinched the heck out of Todd and got loose. So we had a crab walking on the back porch and got trapped in a corner. We're all squealing and Elisha comes out with Bud, Bud squeals and it scares Elisha. He was crying and shaking. He stayed on the bed watching movies the rest of the night saying "no crab, crab gone, no crab". I showed him the crab dead, he still didn't like it. That night he dreamed of crabs, so sad! Bud said he woke up to him tossing and turning saying "no crab!" so Bud woke him up and comforted him, then he went back to sleep and didn't have anymore bad dreams. Great food though. We each pitched in around $15 and ate a ton of lobster, crab and shrimp. We each had four lobster tails- YUM. Can't beat that price. Another night we had calamari and white snapper. I really liked the white snapper. It wasn't super fishy, which I like fishy, but it was nice. Bud grilled it out on a mini grill. Todd fried up the calamari, not my favorite but I did like. One night we went and ate at a place on the beach. It had an awesome view and the moon was full that night so it lit up the ocean. I had sushi, Bud had a huge pizza cooked in a brick oven. Elisha had the "spiderman" basket (french fries and sausage, the two things that are guaranteed he'll eat). One night we had shrimp pasta. The other nights we did easy cheap meals. Good food is part of what vacation is about right?!

The house we stayed in was a big two story house. It was an awesome design. It had a huge grass thatched roof on it. We stayed their with friends of ours: Todd, Scott, Bethany, and Betsy. There were two rooms downstairs so we had the one with a huge king size bed and the girls had the other one. Upstairs was like a hug open loft with two queen size beds and a sitting area, so the guys slept upstairs. The dinning room and sitting room was outside on the front veranda. And there was also a kitchen and bathrooms downstairs. Scott went to Nairobi to pick up Bethany from the airport a few days after Betsy and I got there. Bethany is/was his girlfriend and is now his fiance!!! The day after they got to Mombasa, Scott took her on a walk on the beach and proposed... AWWWW!!! It was neat to be there for that. Bethany is here for a few weeks. She is one of Lucy's sponsors and absolutely loves the Mattaw kiddos. She came for the first time last year on a team. I hope they'll be regulars in coming back every year! Ok, back to vacation...

We cooked dinners together and were on our own for breakfast and lunch. Some days we'd eat lunch in town but mostly we had them at the house. Two of the ten days, we went to Mombasa town. We had to cross a ferry to go there. It was about 45 min or less to get there, depending on if the ferry line was long or not. Both times were to get our vehicle worked on. It needed the air conditioner fixed and the new shocks put on that came on the crate with the brick machine. (the price of all four shocks in the states was the same price for one in Kenya, ridiculous). The first time we just did grocery shopping at a big Nakumatt. (we don't have one of these in Kitale but they are SO nice, very westernized) The second time all of us went except Todd. We went and toured Fort Jesus and old town Mombasa. It has a lot of Arab influence. You'd almost think you left Kenya when walking through the streets of old town. A lot of history though. It was interesting to take the tour through Fort Jesus and learn the history. It used to be the old port and the fort was built to protect the port. The Arabs and Portuguese fought there. The Portuguese were Catholics and from an aerial view, the Fort looks like a man, who is supposed to be Jesus which is where the name comes from. It was then once used by the British for a prison. And other things too, I don't remember it all off the top of my head. Vasco de Gama visited there but was not liked so he went to Malindi and was accepted. (we saw the place he went when on our honeymoon) We also had cassava chips with chili and lemon juice. Delicious! I saved some for later but they go stale quick and just aren't as good as when fresh. They are made at little kiosks on the streets. Cassava is a root plant and they slice them up like potato chips. The vehicle ended up taking longer so when Bud went to go pick it up, Betsy and I waited with the kids in front of the fort. A lot of drunks come around and drugs being dealt happen the later it gets in the day. Or at least that day. I was ready to leave. We were perfectly safe though, no worries mom!

It was so needed though. We were able to relax and get refreshed before coming back to a busy schedule. It was nice to have the break after a busy summer of visitors. I loved it but glad to be back in our home and back out at Mattaw with our children. We have now hit the ground running! The brick machine is here and the guy we bought it from is coming in less than two weeks. He will train Bud and some of the Kenyan work crew on how to use it. They'll learn how by building a small structure at Mattaw. I'm very happy to find out that the structure will be a office and small storage. So I can now store all the administration and financial records out there and separate it from our house. Very exciting. We're INCREDIBLY excited to find out groups throughout the past several months have raised money for Mattaw. There was a youth camp that Kevin Kirkland preached at that raised some. A 5th grade class at a Christian school in San Angelo did a fundraiser by selling car wash tokens. Another Chrisian school in Minnesota did a fund raiser and are also going to partner with our school. Also a church in San Angelo is raising money for Mattaw at their VBS. We are incredibly thankful and humbled by the people that come together to raise support for the children at Mattaw. I will have to give a more detailed story on each of these groups. Especially how most of those giving are influenced or done by children in America. It's really neat to see God use the heart of a child in America to give towards helping children here in Kenya. I know it makes a huge impact in the lives on both sides. Our ministry is completely faith based. God knows our need and continues to provide at just the right time. He is so good like that!

I know this a lot of updating but I could probably write about five times as much as this. I'll have to save it for later though. Things are going great out at Mattaw. Please pray for Geoffrey, who is in house one. He was sick again last week but recovered within a few days. Pray against malaria since it's rainy season and common right now. Now that we're back and getting into full swing again, I will update regularly again. Thanks for still keeping up with us! We love you all and I can't even begin to express my gratefulness for the love and support we have back home. We are so blessed.

Enjoy the slideshow from vacation...


MANY more updates to come soon!


The Beavers said...

Wow! It sounds like you guys had an amazing time! Thanks for sharing!

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