Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Erica, Kerry, Melanie, Maddie & Emma
Emma's teacher, Melanie McKee, is using a sports theme in her third grade classroom this year: In the spirit of teamwork, the class called itself the "3A All-Stars" and today they all came to school in their class T-shirts. As the class mom, Erica wore her All-star shirt as well. Three Cheers for 3A!
Yum yum !!
Each day from 11 am till noon, hundreds of visitors and school children come to the David Sheldrick conservatory to see the dozens of orphaned elephants and rhinos that are being cared for and made ready for release. Since 1977, this trust has continued the work of David and Daphne Sheldrick who pioneered techniques in raising orphaned elephants and rhinos and reintroducing them to the wild. It is facinating to hear the individual stories of how each of these creatures came to be orphaned and of their rescue.
We said good-bye to the Vancouver team on Sunday as they headed to Machakos for their time with the Africa Brotherhood Church. It has been a wonderful week full of rain and an appreciated day off from work and school as Kenya celebrated a national holiday on Tuesday. Tristan and Emma have begun their rehearsal schedule for the Christmas play and they are having a blast!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Tristan celebrating with his buddy Michael
Happy Birthday Jessica
The fourth day of the Self Help Group training took place at the beautiful Heart Lodge. After a short time of review, the day's focus was on record keeping. Each of the volunteer community facilitators will become trainers within Eastleigh enabling their neighbours to establish functioning groups. Understanding and having competency in accurate record keeping is essential for the success of the program. As part of their training, the women are translating the group and individual record books into their own language. This led to some very interesting discussions as the ladies wrestled with bringing concepts of savings, loans, and terms of repayment into their own culture. Rather than charging interest, Muslim Self Help Groups work on a fee based system.
The ladies also had a chance to apply some of what they've been learning about running a meeting as they tried to find words in their own language for the concepts of "setting an agenda" and "keeping minutes or a record of decisions". We thought Somali was a challenging language, but Oromo is quite a tongue twister too. Here is a little sample: "Galii Tarbaaningalu Bekkumssa waan bitamtte" (translation: "Weeks total brought forward").
This has certainly been a great opportunity to get to know these ladies on a deeper level. Yesterday, one of the women shared about her own struggle coming to Eastleigh as a thirteen year old girl hoping to be able to go to school, but instead being married off to a man who did not love her. By age fifteen she had the first of her four children -- she never was able to attend school. She lives with her children and an unmarried cousin in the dusty clutter of Eastleigh. She knows that she must depend upon herself to provide a future to her children. Tearfully she told us how she decided to accept this role "not only to help my neighbours, but... I'm here to help myself!"
Zahra, the Iftin Community Coordinator, helping the community facilitators work through the final translation of the SHG materials into Oromo and Somali.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The sun rises by 6:30 am in Nairobi, but in our house the day begins when Ava (our little ray of sun shine) rises -- at least an hour earlier! Will we ever need an alarm clock again?
Ava is enjoying the new routine of going to Potter House pre-school each morning. She is making new friends, learning new songs, and joining in several fun activities.
Now that our adoption is complete, we continue to work on her Canadian citizenship. This part of the process is much less stressful than when we were going through the court system. In quiet moments like this, we are so thankful for the ways that God has answered our prayers.
This past weekend, Erica joined two of our good friends for a birthday getaway to celebrate our friend Mel turning 30. They traveled three hours south of Nairobi to the Tanzanian border, where they stayed in the Amboseli National Park.
Erica up early to catch a glimpse of the snow covered peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro. As the highest mountain in Africa, Kili forms a spectacular backdrop to Amboseli National Park, located on the southern border of Kenya.
The girls on their camping adventure.
And yet, there remained thousands more struggling to survive. We pray for the rains to return and renew places like Amboseli.
A family of elephant crossing the plain.