Saturday, October 1, 2016

Jacob's parents, John and Christina Gingerich were here for just over 3 weeks. We packed our days full and I think there was just one day where us women didn't go somewhere. Christina agreed to write for me this time. Thanks Mom !
       Janice asked me to write her blog and I don't know where to begin! We are really in Africa! We arrived in Nairobi Sept. 6, travel worn and weary but so happy to be here! We thank the Lord He allowed us this wonderful experience. The next morning we had breakfast at Java House, the closest thing to an American coffee shop/cafe here. Then the 5 hour trip to Kisumu began! The main roads are paved but no speed limits are posted. They put speed bumps randomly on the roads and if you are caught unawares the vehicle flies over these bumps, causing loud harumphs and groans from the occupants. Jacob is a good driver and most of the time he is able to spot the bumps.  Driving in Africa is challenging. I noticed extra mirrors on the van and learned they are to help see the left corner and the back end of the van because they drive so close. Brakes are much used and turning on a dime is a must.
 The views between Nairobi and Kisumu are breathtaking. In my 58 years I thought Africa was all desert, hot and sandy. What a surprise to see mountains and greenery everywhere. The only time I have seen anything close to a desert is when we visited The Mara, a resort where you sleep in tents and go on safari rides with a guide. The Savannah is grassland, not really desert either. We were there Sept. 15 - 17. How nice to have our tents furnished with wonderful beds, meals cooked and ready, clean towels and beds made every day. We saw lionesses close up, stood a few feet from a rhino, watched elephants from 10 feet away and listened to hippos grunt and growl through the night. A few monkeys made themselves guests in one of the tents while we were out on safari but thankfully no damage was done. These monkeys were in the yard as we walked by on the sidewalk. The Lord was so good to provide us with animal sightings that even our guide had never seen before. It was a cool, rainy Thursday afternoon when we went out the first time, a bit miserable and hard to see with the sides down on the rover. But a lioness was spotted walking toward what the guide thought was a rock, only to discover it was an ex-wildebeast and the lioness was feasting on it - in daylight! A rare thing indeed! Anthony, our guide called dead animals, ex-so and so which made me smile. Another rarity was seeing another lioness eating a freshly killed zebra. Seeing three elephants and one baby doesn't happen every day or watching a lioness move her three week old cubs from one tree line to another across the Savannah. Ah, what a thrill!
Here at home in Kisumu we keep busy taking care of family needs as well as church needs, buying items and food for the compound pantry, shopping at "Wal-Mart" and the little shops along the roads. Eating chapatis, a tortilla shaped bread, but not as thin, and ugali, a stiff corn meal mush, two staples of the Kenyans along with beans, rice and lots of chicken has been interesting. The first Sunday we were here they had church dedication followed with a meal. No problem until they ran out of plates so they washed or rather rinsed the plates off in cold water and proceeded to fill our plates. The greasy plate still contained red juice from the tomato sauce and I found it hard to eat. John and I both managed to get part of the meal down!
The thing I am most impressed with is the expressions of the Christian Natives. Their faces glow with a peace not seen on others. It makes me tear up just writing about it. Most of the Kenyans are also very friendly. I fear this is becoming a book. You'll find a few pictures below which barely conveys seeing this in person, but we'll give it a try.

a special treat watching this lioness move her 3 week old (approx) cubs

Another exciting spotting.. a lioness with her kill. She was having a hard time trying to drag it further into the bush away from all the observers.
Cape Buffalo. One of The most dangerous animals we saw.
    The two white rhinos are protected 24/7 year around as guards follow them to keep them safe from poachers. Just an ounce of their "horn" is worth many thousand $$s especial in Asia where it's considered medicinal.
visited a Masai village
Our crew back at our "home away from home"
Masai market

Our tents were by the river and we could hear these hippos grunting and bellowing thru-out the night.

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