We’re really enjoying being with the family, and they have such a
nice room and bathroom for us, but it is really hard for me whenever we go
out, to see the poverty and dirtiness everywhere. I am really trying to
understand some of the mixed up thoughts and emotions that this experience
is giving me.
Today, the church service was two and a half hours long, with both the
preacher and the interpreter yelling loudly the whole time. Pastor Steven
was out of town. It is a very friendly congregation, and everyone was so
nice to us. Afterwards, we went out to lunch at a Holiday Inn restaurant
Those of you who know me probably know that I have always been fascinated with maps. In high school I had my room nearly wallpapered with maps. Quite a few months back I was looking for better map resources for Nairobi. There is a company that sells Garmin maps of Kenya from South Africa, but they are really expensive, and I did not know what kind of quality they were.
However, in my search I came across OpenStreepMap. It is a really nice “open” map website. They have the whole world and you can modify the map however you want. So can everyone else. It is like a Wikipedia for maps. And, wonderfully, a lot of Nairobi has been mapped, some in very great detail. You can export the maps from the website and put them right into different brand GPS units and off you go, driving along, even with turn by turn directions. (I had ordered a unit to put in the car but it was also waterproof for use on my motorcycle. My brother-in-law, Bob, brought it out, then gave me this awesome one for in the car.) Even a bunch of points of interest have already been added, and we used that to go to the Karen Blixen museum with my parents.
I have been using the one on my motorcycle to map missing roads when I get a chance. Nothing too far out of the way yet. The other day, I thought I would map another part of the unpaved bypass road Nairobi desperately needs. Trucks heading from Mombasa all the way to DRC go right through the middle of down town Nairobi. I wrote a diary entry over at OpenStreetMap.
I also uploaded all the pictures we took while my parents were here. There should be more of those coming when my dad uploads his.
We also went to the “Safari Walk” at Nairobi National park some weeks back with the kids from Morning Star. It is kind of like a cross between the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, but just the animals and enclosures, not the rest of the stuff.
The other day I placed my barefoot into my shoe and felt a tickle…..out came a HUGE cockroach. Yes, I screamed!!! This is the second time my foot has graced the presence of a cockroach. I sure hope it will be the last, but I don’t think I’m being very realistic….UGH!
We only have a couple of days left here. Leaving will be difficult. I am very thankful we have had the opportunity to experience Kenya for a few weeks. I could stay longer, but don’t want to wear out my welcome. It has been great playing with the boys, (they are regularly in our bed by 6:40 AM), visiting with Cammy and seeing Paul in his element, both at the hanger, and in the community. We would love to see them come back to the States, but are confident that God knows what is good for them, and will let them know where they should be, and for how long.
The significance of the photo is in the shadow of the vertical pipe. The photo was taken at 12:21 PM (apparent noon) on Saturday, September 26. Paul and I calculated that to be the day the sun would be directly overhead at his home. We put the pipe in the ground in the vacant lot across from their house. I made a makeshift plumb bob to be sure the pipe was vertical and we watched the shadow on the westerly side shrink to nothing and then reappear on the easterly side. I’m sure all of you reading this are sorry you missed this exciting event! Paul and I are interested in, and amused by, many of the same things (we really are geeks).
A couple of weeks ago, Paul and two of his friends from AIM took a Thursday off and the three families drove north to the base of Mount Kenya. We saw the mountain on the way, but by the time we got to the National Park entrance it was in the clouds. It was a great trip anyway. We had spent a relaxing time at an airfield near Nanyuki (almost exactly on the Equator), and we had dinner at the “Trout Tree” restaurant.
On the Saturday before the wall fell, we visited the Karen Blixen (Out of Africa author – you know, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford…) Museum which is in her African home in a Nairobi suburb appropriately called Karen. The boys enjoyed running around the grounds, holding a green chameleon and playing on old farm equipment.