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Friday, February 24, 2012

Class 6 Field Trip

Kenya continues to treat us well!!! This week we went on a field trip with class 6 to Kakamega. We wentto the Rondo Rainforest, which was really nice. We could have spentthe whole day there, but unfortunately we had other destinations onour tour.

When we went into Kakamega town forlunch, we also got to stop at Tuskey’s. This is comparable toWalmart in the U.S. We decided to indulge ourselves in a chocolatemuffin. This is one of the only places we have found to have bakeditems in Kenya.

One of the biggest highlights of thetour was finding that Tuskey’s had real toilets (a commode with aflusher). It was seriously the nicest bathroom we have been in inKenya since being here. It would even beat out some Americanrestrooms for niceness.

This weekend we are staying in Eldoretwith Manasse and Sharon (Manasse ran with Katy and Laura at Harding). We are extremely excited about this trip!!

Life in Kenya

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

Living Water

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!

Top Ten Things About Kenya

  1. Eating two huge meals within a period of two hours and drinking chai 4x per day
  1. “There is always room for more on a matatu.”
  1. Walking everywhere, which gives us a chance to think and take in everything
  1. Running with schoolchildren and getting annihilated
  1. Looking up into the night sky and seeing EVERY star, just like in “The Lion King”
  1. Singing “I’ve Got Peace Like A River” and “Halalalalalalalelujah” on a daily basis
  1. Bonding with little children through “chamgeis,” high fives, and giggles
  1. 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