They would never let me do this…

At the Wild Animal Park.  Zebra!

I met some friends down in Lukenya.  There is a place that rents quads, so they went down to use them and Caleb, Taylor and I rode down to meet them.

Unfortunately I did not get it on video, but later I chased wildebeest, impala, Thompson’s gazelle, and even found a jackal.  There were some giraffe too, but I have heard they can throw a lion 8 feet in the air with their neck, and can kick, and throw rocks…

We did not see the warthog, but Taylor found a hole…

creepy crawlers

Everyone seems to ask if we have big bugs and creepy crawlers around here….DSC02693

Oh, it’s not real!!!  Andrej found this remote control spider at a garage sale.  He has had fun “spooking” people with it, especially me!  No, I have not seen a REAL spider this big around here.  Thankfully!  However, one of our friends did find a tarantula last year under their dining table on Easter Day!!! Yikes!!!

Birthday Party

Saturday we went to a birthday party for Petr’s friend from school.  They had a bounce house, and a clown.  Petr did a trick, I thought it was cool.

Prayer at Morning Star

Photo-0020Some of the members of Calvary Chapel Amarillo, TX were out for the dedication of the new children’s home.  However because of the bus accident the actual moving in has been delayed.  Stephen let me know they were going to be out there for prayers, so I jumped on my bike and headed over.  It was really muddy, but I made it there.  The kids were all there too, so we had a great time.  I asked the older boys, “Kiwanja ya mpira iko wapi? Niko tayari kucheza.”  (Where is the ball field? I am ready to play.)

Who needs toys?

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I found Petr boxing at the wall the other day….turns out he was boxing his shadow!

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The boys with boxes from all those wonderful packages people send us.  They painted them and set them up as a horse drawn carriage – with no prompting from me!  I love Andrej’s addition of his bike helmet.

The Pharisee Effect

I very rarely post about politics, and this post is only tangent to a political discussion.  This observation has application to life anywhere.

When I was attending UCSD with my cousin, we used to play pick up basketball on Friday afternoons.  We would form a team of 5 from the people waiting to play.  When the game on the court finished, the winning team would then play us.  If we won, we played again, if we lost we left the court, and another team played against the winners.

The process that any organization goes through depends on the structures that are set up to control it.  However, those structures are less and less meaningful if they are not enforced.  Think of it like a game, two teams competing to win.  If there is no referee around to punish infractions against the rules, or the referee is too weak, the game gets out of hand.  The rules get broken and nothing happens.  This leads to more rules being broken.  In the minds of the players, they are doing whatever it takes to win, and that goal, above all, directs their actions.  Sports are not really about winning.  They are about competing.  By losing the structure, they have lost all the meaning of the game.

This is exactly what happened in Jesus day.  The Pharisees had learned to play the game.  They bent the rules to their advantage to such a degree that it put them in power.  Then the rules had no other meaning other than keeping them in power.  When someone came on the scene to challenge them, they killed him.  We all know about Jesus, but he was not the only one they destroyed (just the most important).

The purpose, the vision, the constitution of any organization is the structure.  If those rules are not adhered to, the organization will fail in its purpose.  It will no longer be about the vision of the organization, it will be about empowering a group of people.  Those people will do whatever it takes to “win.”  They will bend the rules, reinterpret them to their advantage.  They will learn how to use every loophole.  They will resist any changes to the rules as they have reformed and learned to use.  When someone comes along challenging their way, they will be destroyed.

Winner stays.

Charlie’s visit

DSC02679We were blessed to have my brother, Charlie, come and visit!  He came back with me after our trip to the States.  It was so nice to have someone to help with the boys for the long journey back.  (Paul had left earlier because he needed to get back for work.) P1010110P1010108(picture of Charlie and the boys when we stopped for the night in London)

Charlie planned on staying one month…one month turned into two months, which turned into three months.  He decided to push back his original return flight because there were some missionaries going to Mombasa.  But then that flight was canceled because of the British Airway strikes.  The soonest he could return was April  – so he decided to go to Mombasa a second time (he like it so much!).  And then, his flight was canceled AGAIN because of the volcano irrupting in Iceland.  He left two weeks ago and we miss him so much!  It was great to have him LIVE with us.  After three months, he really got a sense of what is like to live here.  And I had a chance to get to know my brother in a different way, now that he is all grown up!

Here are some pictures of Charlie’s visit:

P1010151P1010157The weather was nice and hot so we took Andrej (Petr was in school) to SPLASH, a pool place with slides.

P1010164In case you were wondering about the water situation – they do filter the water so it is “safe”.

Note: the small filter in the picture.  Charlie and Andrej were swimming for a while before the pool workers brought the filter.  Once they hooked up the filter we realized that the water was not very clean so we move to a different pool.  Thankfully, no one seemed to get sick from it!

P1010323Charlie “Stay-n-Alive” in Africa! I couldn’t resist the pun!

P1010399On the top of Ngong Hills (it is extremely windy as you can see in the picture)

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Charlie and I were able to go on a brother-sister safari trip (Paul was able to go with another gentleman in November so he took care of the boys and let me go with Charlie)  I am not a fan of small planes so you can see my tension in the first picture (Charlie had some fun with it all).  The second picture is the from our seat.  I could see out the front window of the plane (didn’t like that part very much).  And we landed on a dirt airstrip….oh, the joys of flying in Africa!

P1010426We arrived safely and this was the scene as we were driving to the camp.  This picture looks like it is straight out of National Geographic.  We were amazed at the beauty of the wildlife  (different from the Wild Animal Park in CA).

P1010440Charlie with a Massi Man who was walking around the camp.  We had a nice conversation with him trying to understand the customs of his people.

P1010635P1010634We had breakfast with a view….

down the road from this guy – P1010624Fortunately for us, he already had breakfast!

We had an incredible time.  We kept wanting to pinch ourselves to make sure we weren’t dreaming the adventure.  I was so glad to have some “bonding” time with my younger brother.  But after two days and one night, it was time to get back to city life….

P1010804Charlie had many opportunities to visit Kenyan homes and eat their food.  He seemed to enjoy getting to know the people and experience “life” with them (and us).

Then we got out of the city again and took a drive to Paradise Lost:

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P1010825P1010822Charlie was brave enough to venture into this dark tunnel.  After the fact, we found out the tunnel is often used as a bathroom facility…Yuck!

At Bomas of Kenya:

P1010841This is a picture of Charlie in front of the “Boys Hut” ( as the sign states).  We went to a tourist area where you are able to walk around and see huts from different tribes. It concluded with traditional dancingP1010848

Some fun pictures of Uncle Charlie hanging around:

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DSC02665Boxing with Andrej

DSC02691Being the “Cool Guys”

Charlie, thanks for a wonderful visit! We love you and miss you very much!