Monday, February 20, 2017

Missionaries at Stake Conference

Here's for all you moms and dads.  Pictures of your amazing sons and daughters after Nairobi West Stake Conference.

I obviously should have used a flash out here in the bright sunlight.  Elder Torrie, Elder Cotts, Elder Gimeyi, Elder Manu, Elder Jameson with Elder Elliott in front.  This is the only picture of Elder Elliott because when we were eating sandwiches, he and Elders Kyuvi and Muzwenje were teaching a discussion.  That's more important than food or photos.

Sister Auma, Sister Masibo, Sister Okila, Sister Shanya

Sister Atieno and Elder Musasia are both released from their missions.  So nice to see them again.  Elder Wafula is happy too.

Sister Atieno, Elder Musasia, Elder Wafula, and Elder Odundo (also now released) and an unknown young man who stepped into the picture.

Elder Manu and Elder Warenga

Elder Cotts and Elder Gimeyi

Elder Musonda and Elder Jameson

Elder Torrie with new senior couple Elder & Sister Jensen

Sister Msane doing her thing with the food.

President Msane and Sister Jensen sharing a laugh.

Elder Manu, Elder Wafula, Elder Warenga, Elder Gimeyi, Elder Hales

Elder Cotts, President Msane, Elder Musonda

Elder Torrie helping Sister Jensen with her phone.

I thought President Msane was tall and he is but not next to Elder Manu.

Elder & Sister Jensen, me, Elder Jameson, LeRon

Now we've added on Elder Gimeyi.

Sister Msane's delicious sandwiches

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Big Five

I'm enjoying the longer evenings.  The sun now goes down about 6:50 p.m. rather than the 6:30 it did when we first arrived in May.  The days are not much different in length because the sun simply rises a little later but it's nice to have a little longer of an evening.

We had a great Stake Conference this weekend.  We are being led by God-fearing, good men.  It's nice to see the strength of the African leaders.  I'll post pictures of the missionaries in the next post.  Sister Msane brought sandwich fixings and we had a little lunch with all the missionaries.  So great to see their enthusiasm and their love of the people and of Kenya -- even when they tell me about their water problems, mosquito problems, etc. etc.  They are fine young men and I am blessed to be associated with them -- black Africans as well as white Westerners.

Our sons Michael and Craig spent a few days with us last week and it lifted our spirits to be with them.  I'll post about that later also.  But for now I want to post about "The Big Five'.

The Big Five -- the lion, the leopard, the rhino, the buffalo, and the elephant -- are called that because apparently they are hard to hunt.  So people come here to Africa to see the Big Five.  Hopefully not to hunt them!  LeRon and I have now seen all five of the Big Five!

Just as we entered the Nairobi National Park last week with our sons, there in front of us on the road were two lions! 
We were so excited that we could hardly get the camera to focus.  They actually laid down on the road in front of us and played with a bit of something on the road.  So great to see lions!

Doesn't this lion look majestic?  Aslan in person!

When I heard that the buffalo was one of the Big Five, I was not impressed.  One of our kids' school teachers raised buffalo and we passed them regularly on our way to town.  And one of our nephews raised buffalo for awhile.  But these African Buffalo are very different. Look at the horns on the buffalo at the left.  These buffalo looked like they were ready to attack us.  We backed up and went on our way.

 Love those horns!

We went to a Senior Couples Conference down in Tsavo National Park.  As we were driving out of the park, there crossing the road were 7 elephants!  How cool is that?  So cool that I forgot to take the cap off the lens and so missed a lot of great photos.

I love the big floppy ears!  Elephants tend to take on the color of the dirt they roll in.  Lots of red soil here in the Tsavo Park so the elephants are red.

When our daughter Heather came to visit in December, we went to the Hell's Gate National Park by Naivasha.  Towards evening, I was scanning the bushes and saw a cat face in the distance.  I yelled at LeRon to back up quick.  There was a leopard.  I know the picture is fuzzy because I zoomed in and the leopard was starting to move as it sensed our presence.  Apparently leopards are shy creatures and it's very hard to see them.  So excited that we saw a leopard!

We saw a rhino in the Nairobi National Park and before that in the Nakuru National Park.  This one (pictured above) is a young Black Rhinoceros.  There are White Rhinos and Black Rhinos and there are not many of either.  

Here's a close-up of the baby rhino.  Aren't God's creations amazing?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Life in Kenya

I'm trying to get caught up on posting my pictures so this is the fourth post I've done today.  I think I'm a zombie now.  At least my brain is a zombie!  Just wanted to share some more pictures.  I tried to find a photo book that truly shows life in Kenya but all I could find were animal books or books about the Maasi tribe.  But I wanted a book that showed the many cultures that are here.  Since I couldn't find a book like that, I tried to take more pictures of people.  I don't like to take photos without asking permission so I often take the backs of people!  So here's a few more pictures.  Don't forget to click on the pictures to enlarge.

People here are very creative.  Look at what is being used to hold the sugar cane onto the wagon.  Ladders are also made of simple poles.  They use what they have handy.

These flat-topped Acacia trees say "Africa" to me.  But Kenyans don't like to be called "Africans."  Africa is a huge continent and the countries are not tied together like the countries of the EU nor like the states in the US.  So Kenyans are Kenyans.

They have passing lanes going up hills.  The funny thing is that anyone can use the passing lane -- those going up the hill or those going down.  So you really have to watch, especially going around corners.

So many kinds of flowering trees here.

Kisumu has LOTS of tuk-tuks -- these 3-wheeled motorcycle engine covered carts.  They're very cheap to ride so they tell me.  LeRon and I rode on some in Thailand but they were open to the air.  Our mission rules don't allow us as seniors to ride in tuk-tuks.

This tuk-tuk is loaded!

"For some must push and some must pull . . . "  Kenyans don't have to imagine pushing or pulling handcarts because they do it all the time.  Heavy loads too.

Trying to get more photos of people . . .

So many cultures and nationalities here.

More people pictures.  People walk everywhere.

You can only see two young women in the beautiful blue dresses but there were actually three.  Women mostly wear dresses except for in the city but even there they usually wear dresses.

The little children are so cute.

I wonder what he's selling.

This matatu was going full speed down the highway with the young man hanging on to the roof and the doorway.

Cows, even in the second largest city in Kenya (Kisumu), are a common sight.

I call Kisumu "tuk-tuk city."  So many tuk-tuks.

This is a gorgeous flowering tree but I'm too tired to look it up to find out what it is.  Maybe someone can help me?
A close-up of the gorgeous flowering tree.

I never get tired of seeing women carrying things on their heads.

Stone houses work better in termite country!

Look closely and you can see a pivot sprinkler irrigating the cropland.

What in the world does this bumper sticker mean?

More fish for sale.  What would we do in our truck with fresh fish and 200 miles to go?

Tea Fields and Sugar Cane

We're always interested in anything to do with farming.  Even though we don't drink tea ourselves, we found the tea fields to be gorgeous.  The sugar cane was interesting too.  I grew up on a sugar beet farm in southern Alberta, Canada.  At harvest time there were often sugar beets on the road.  Here in Kenya, there's sugar cane on the road.  So fun to see the harvest!

The tea workers live in these small houses right next to the tea fields.

Every three days they clip off the tops of the tea plants by hand and throw them into the baskets they carry on their shoulders.

Glad to see they're wearing hats to keep off the hot sun.

This worker just arrived for his shift in the field.

I wonder how they know where they've been and where they're going.

Hard working tea picker.

The tea fields are beautiful and the little houses with their red roofs make a striking contrast.

More workers outstanding in their tea fields.

It was also sugar cane harvesting time.  These trucks loaded with fluffy sugar cane often lost some of their load on the road.  It was a treat for the cattle that often wandered on the road.

Sugar cane (in back) and tea fields (in front).

This is a very young crop of sugar cane.

Lots of loads of harvested sugar cane carried on wagons pulled by tractors.
A motorbike load of not dry sugar cane.

We love crop land!

Younger tea plants in the front.

Can't get over the beauty of the crop land!  Interesting how they farm around the trees.

Somebody told us that it was against the law to cut down a living tree.  That's why there are trees mixed in with the crops.  That would be hard to farm around.