On the shore of the Indian Ocean in Nyali, Kenya.
The monsoon winds of the Indian Ocean have produced a regular ebb and flow for travelers sailing along the East African coast for thousands of years. The prolonged southernly wind of the Kusi tends to stretch for six months each year between April and mid-September.
As the Kusi brings cooler air and waters currents to the Kenyan coast, the long grey clouds of winter blanket the highlands of the interior. Our home on the Northern edge of Nairobi will dip down to around 10 to 13 degrees Celcius in July. Without central heating, we will bundle up and light a fire in our fireplace to help with the morning chill.
This time of year in Kenya reminds us of living in Canada. Along with our July 1st celebrations of Canada Day, we pull-out our sweaters from the back of our closets and spend more time indoors out of the mist and drizzle.
Our friend Andrew Myers, visiting from New Brunswick.
This year for Canada Day, we traveled to the coastal community of Nyali just North of Mombasa with our friends the Myers family. It was a great couple of days enjoying the breezes and beauty of this tropical region.
A rainy Canada Day at Haller Park, in Bamburi, Kenya
A highlight of the trip was visiting Haller Park, the home of the famous Owen and Mzee. Owen was an orphaned hippopotamus calf that was separated from his family during the 2004 Tsunami. Local fisherman rescued the baby hippo and he was brought to Haller Park where he bonded with a 130-year-old giant tortoise named Mzee.
If you haven't already read the children's book or seen footage of this remarkable friendship, you may enjoy this video of Owen and Mzee.
One of the many giant tortoises that roam freely throughout Haller Park.
Owen is now far too big and dangerous to share the park with Mzee and the other tortoises. He now lives in a large fenced-in-pond within the park. The heavy rain kept the hippos near the sheltered of a small island in the pond, so we only had glimpses of Owen and the other hippos peaking up through the water.
Despite the rain, we had lots of fun meeting curious monkeys, watching the menacing Nile crocodiles, and monitor lizards. Having grown up reading the story of Owen and Mzee, it was a special treat to bring Lauren and Leah to Haller Park.
A friendly waterbuck we met on our walk
The girls finding some shelter from the rain
Andrew getting out of the rain
Always up for an adventure!
The Myers Family
After a fun weekend, the Myers family returned with us to Nairobi on Sunday evening. We are so thankful for their family and for the opportunity to share with them a bit of life in Kenya. As they return to Canada, we are very mindful that this will be our last July here in Africa. We are savoring these experiences and the unique rhythms of life and ministry that have shaped us in so many ways.
We are truly privilleged to serve with Canadian Baptist Ministries in such an amazing part of God's good earth.
Andrew and Aaron enjoying our backyard
Lauren, Leah, Kelly, Erica, Aisha, and Emma
* Please keep us in prayer as we travel this coming week to Rwanda and Uganda to meet with our CBM team and partners. We are praying for a safe journey and for discernment as we meet with potential partners.
* We are thankful for our colleagues Wendy and Ken Derksen, who will be completing their ministry as global field staff in Rwanda this month. Please join us in praying for the Derksens return to Canada and for the Lord's direction as they transition back into Canadian life.
* We continue to pray for peace in South Sudan. The recently announced plan of President Salva Kiir to extend his term by another three years has been branded as "illegal" and "anti-peace" by the opposition leader, Riek Machar. We pray for humility and wisdom for these leaders.