Monday, June 18, 2012
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Friday, June 1, 2012
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
Last week, Ashley and I had the opportunity to visit the family of our dear friends, Julius and Esther Kosgei. They were my friends and CC/track teammates at Harding--a precious couple. We awoke early to begin our journey to Timboroa, which we thought was much closer to us than it really is. By 3 pm, we had finally arrived to their home after a hike up the steepest hill I have seen in awhile. What a beautiful place with a gorgeous view of the surrounding hills, farms, and forests! We immediately met Julius' mother, who is the sweetest, cutest, most joyful African lady. We also met his brother, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews. What a blessing to be with them! In one morning with Julius' family, we seriously drank 8 cups of chai by the time we had visited with everyone. They kept saying: "You must drink tea. It is very cold here." They served us a feast of chicken, rice, potatoes, and chapati. And we even watched some American music videos on their TV. Ha!
During our time here, I have struggled with my Chaco soles. One split, so I tried to repair it with duct tape. I finally broke down to buy some Super Glue (which cost about $0.50 here). Just when I fixed one, the sole of the other shoe broke off. The dusty dry season took one, and the rainy season mud took the other. Africa: 2, Chacos: 0. When we went to visit our Maasai friend's home, I couldn't find my Chacos one day. Come to find out, our host had taken them to be repaired in town! When I got them back, the sole had been sewn together. Now they are better than ever, and I own a one-of-a-kind pair of Chacos. Africa: 10, Chacos: 0. :)
Thursday, May 3, 2012
1. Hanging out with the Sarah, Reed, and Andrew Fraser
2. A scenic dhow ride along the coast
3. Camping trip to Msimbati with the Trulls and the Sims
4. Swimming in the Indian Ocean
5. Amazing food! (Sarah is an incredible cook.)
1. Spending time with our new friend, Tumaina, and his family
2. Seeing Mt. Kilamanjaro up close!!
3. Visiting the Osotua Enduet Women's Group: fully experiencing Maasai culture through dress, jewelry, dance, and milking a cow
4. Watching music videos of Charity Tajeu, Maasai Christian singer
5. Amazing food! (fried bananas, mashed bananas/potatoes, at least 5 pieces of fruit daily)
1. Spending time with Larry and Hollye Conway
2. Experiencing Made In the Streets, which ministers to people living on the streets and provides children with access to education and job skills
3. Walks with Hollye on the country club golf course, with monkeys running around!
4. Visiting the Village Market and eating fro-yo
5. Amazing food! (Hollye is an amazing cook.)
1. Meeting Seeyian and Evans, who instantly welcomed us as family
2. Hiking to the top of the hills and seeing the beautiful view of the Rift Valley
The children will be returning to Mariann next week and starting school! We are so excited to get back into our daily routine. Also, we will be welcoming Dr. Cox, some elders from Downtown Church of Christ, and our new teammate, Abbie, in a week and a half. :)
Blessings to you all,
Katy and Ashley
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
We are sad to announce that Laura decided to return to the U.S. last week. She will be greatly missed by all here at Mariann. May God bless her in the next chapter of her life.
Mr. Oscar, our beloved head teacher, was transferred to another school closer to his home. Thankfully, we are able to see him on the weekends when he comes to Sang’alo to check on his field. Mr. Yego, a teacher at Mariann for the past decade, was promoted to head teacher and has been doing well. We have welcomed some new teachers, Jonathan and Paul, who are quite the jokesters.
Toward the beginning of the month, we found out that the children had a mid-term break for one week. On the spur of the moment, we decided to travel through Uganda to Kigali, Rwanda. We were able to visit some old friends from Harding who are teaching at schools there. We also were blessed to meet new friends from Rwanda, who welcomed us into their homes and took us to their favorite places in the city.
View of Kigali (with Parliament to the right)
We are so thankful to be back at Mariann with our students, even though we will be leaving soon for another break for Easter holiday. We treasure every precious moment!
Friday, February 24, 2012
The past few weeks have been rather eventful! We apologize for the silence, but we hope that the Facebook photos have been entertaining and informative. Here are some highlights:
-We witnessed the baptism of Nicodemus, the 20-year-old son of Rosa, a woman from the Sangalo Church.
-The students who had gone home due to illness have now returned to Mariann. Those who were ill at school have recovered. Praise God!
-Several of the students and church members have invited us to their homes for delicious (and generous!) meals. We have just about sampled all of the culinary treats here in Kenya (ugali, chapati, samosa, mandazi, ndengu, chai, kitheri, etc.) We have hosted several families and the teachers by preparing American meals (tacos, pasta, and pancakes).
-Madame Caroline taught us how to make chapati. It has taken several attempts, but each batch seems to get better.
-We learned how to milk a cow!! It was much more difficult than we expected, but we are on our way to becoming true Nandi women. We also held a newborn lamb—it was so soft!
-The students had several exam days leading up to Visiting Day, when their families came to the school to tour, check on their progress, and love on them. It was so wonderful to meet them and watch them interact! The students were so proud and thrilled to introduce us to their families.
-Laura, Ashley, and I have quite a bit of preaching under our belts! We are in the middle of preaching about the ministry of Jesus to the students. So far, we have shared some of our favorite parables (The Unmerciful Servant, The Pharisee and the Tax Collector, and The Lost Sheep) and miracles (Jesus Feeds the 5,000, Heals Ten Lepers, Heals the Blind Man).
-To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the students made valentines in Creative Arts. We passed out lollipops, including Obama Pops (yes, his photo was on each wrapper).
-The students had their first athletic competition against another school. Boys and girls played volleyball, football, and netball all in one day! I had flashbacks to marathon track meets. Kenyans can get pretty worked up during a football game; but it was practically silent during the volleyball game, except for the crazy Americans yelling.
-Laura and I have started running every morning, which has been wonderful! Many mornings, we have about 7 or 8 young children running alongside us. We’ll have a running club in no time! We have also started doing Pilates with the girls. They get such a kick out of it!
-We have received so many wonderful letters, cards, and packages. We cannot thank you all enough for your thoughtfulness and support.
Please keep the prayers coming! We feel God at work here at Mariann and in our lives! We love you all!
Sunday, February 5, 2012
We have had another blessed week here at Mariann! Classes are going well, and we are growing closer to the students and teachers every day. Several of our students have been sick lately. Some are now well, but others have gone home to recover. Please pray that they may be healed soon and return to us.
The system that usually pumps water from the spring to the school is currently broken. As a result, we walk down to the river with the children to fill our water buckets. I have never felt like such a wimp! The students showed us how to place the buckets on our head in order to carry them back. At first, it seems so easy and tolerable. Then, as you walk uphill, the pain starts in your neck and starts to creep down your spine. Some day, maybe I will be as strong as these sweet girls, who always offer to carry our water for us.
This whole experience, even though it has only been a few days, has made us appreciate our water so much more. It has made me reexamine John 4, when Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman about the living water that he gives. Water has been so easy for me to obtain. But for someone who has to fetch water daily, the words of Jesus are so rich!
- Eating two huge meals within a period of two hours and drinking chai 4x per day
- “There is always room for more on a matatu.”
- Walking everywhere, which gives us a chance to think and take in everything
- Running with schoolchildren and getting annihilated
- Looking up into the night sky and seeing EVERY star, just like in “The Lion King”
- Singing “I’ve Got Peace Like A River” and “Halalalalalalalelujah” on a daily basis
- Bonding with little children through “chamgeis,” high fives, and giggles
- Being welcomed into people’s homes and welcoming them into ours
2. Singing words that you don’t understand, but knowing that you are praising God
1. Spending time with the precious Mariann students and members of the Church
Monday, January 30, 2012
Laura took some great photos that we will try to add soon! We love you all! Praise God for His goodness and faithfulness!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Well, we have been here for a while, but we have finally started teaching our classes! And boy, we have a full schedule! School here is very different from school in the states. First, the kids are MUCH MORE RESPECTFUL! They also truly value their education. Each family here is responsible for paying tuition for their child's education, even if it they are enrolled in public schools. Families are much larger here as well, which takes a toll on their families' income.
We are also cooking for ourselves now! We are still learning, but each of us has discovered a new passion! We have really enjoyed cooking here! We have to be a lot more creative... especially because the local store is 2 hours away! There is a small shop behind our house, but they don't sell much.
We are taking a trip to western Kenya this weekend with some of our fellow teachers to a small-game park! We are also going to one of our student's homes this Friday night. It is going to be an excellent weekend!
Please continue to pray for us! We can see God's finger-prints everyday, and we KNOW that we were sent here for a reason!
God Bless you and your families!
Laura, Katy, and Ashley
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
After a long journey across the world, we have finally arrived at Mariann! We were so thankful to have Sarah and Reed Fraser guide us through our first week in Kenya. We would have been lost without them!
When we first arrived at the school, we were very surprised to find that our house has running water, a toilet, a shower (WARM TOO!), and electricity! Praise the Lord! We are just thrilled about that! We have settled into our home quite nicely. We also have been enjoying our roommates, the popo (bats in Swahili).
On our first official day, one of the teachers from Mariann, took us to her home for tea. On the way, one of her neighbors came out to greet us. She brought her small children with her. We were apparently the first mzungus (white people) the children have ever seen. When the smallest child saw us, she fell down onto the ground and started screaming. The two little boys ran away. Welcome to Africa!
Sunday morning worship was quite enjoyable! We were able to have worship service with the children. We sang songs and had several prayers. One of the songs that was sung that morning was “Our God is a Handsome God” instead of “Our God is an Awesome God”. The children also had us sing for them. We sang “Blue Skies and Rainbows”. It was a wonderful morning!
We were finally able to have some bonding time with the girls who live here at Mariann. We decided to go to their dorm before bed to visit with them. We talked with them for a very long time. They were also fascinated by our hair, and really enjoyed playing with it.
Please continue to pray for us! More updates to come!
Laura, Katy, and Ashley