Friday, April 7, 2017

Mombasa is More than Heat

Mombasa is more than heat and white sands.  Elder & Sister Jensen took us out "into the bush" to see how many people live.  Then we visited a wildlife park, The Shimba Hills National Reserve.  Beautiful country!  The animals were mostly sleeping but it was a beautiful drive.

Elder & Sister Jensen learned very quickly how to take a ferry across this small arm of the Indian Ocean.  They take the ferry every Sunday to church.  Sister Jensen said it was interesting "the first couple of times."  The trip only takes about 5 or 10 minutes but sometimes the line-up is longer.  I thought this body of water was a river, but it's not, it's the ocean.  Cars are often joined by big semis and you can feel claustrophobic.

And there are always lots of foot passengers.  Here they're waiting to board.  Foot passengers are free as it's the only way they can go between their work and their homes.  Cars and other vehicles of course have to pay.  LeRon and I have crossed the English Channel (or La Manche as the French call it) on a ferry from Calais, France to Dover in England and back again a couple of times.  We were foot passengers too.

And these passengers have just crossed the ferry and are on their way to work.  Strong men to push and pull those heavily loaded handcarts.  A fuzzy picture that I took out of the window.
We drove "out into the bush".  Very different from Nairobi!  The homes are made of mud and sticks.  Sister Jensen has lots of good photos that I'll have to get.  Life here is back to the basics.  Just working each day to put food in their mouths.  Water needs to be carried in.  See those yellow barrels.

There is a huge Muslim population here.  School children look cute in their pink and blue uniforms and their white head scarves.

It had rained a lot and this road near the park was very muddy.  Coming toward us were these women with heavy loads of green wood on their heads.  We turned around and went back and asked to take their pictures.  They never missed a footstep as they said no, not very politely.  I wish you could see their faces.  They looked weary and wet.  So we didn't take their picture at that time, but turned back and took a picture of their backs.  I felt angry that the men made them carry such heavy loads and on such a wet, dirty day.  Or maybe they were single moms trying to build homes.

I cropped the photo so hopefully you can see it more clearly.  The women are barefooted.  I had another thought about the green wood.  I know that it's illegal to cut down a live tree, at least in a park (or reserve).  Maybe they didn't want their picture taken because it was illegal.  I don't know if that was so.  But probably they just didn't want to be photographed when they were wet and exhausted.  Plus, many Muslim women refuse to have their photos taken.
Beautiful view of the Indian Ocean.
Every country has beauty and Kenya certainly has its share.  Breathtakingly beautiful.

From the "Elephant Lookout" point we could see out of the park into the rolling hills of the countryside.  A little "church in the vale" and the Indian Ocean.

It's a hot, windy day.  So glad we got to see this part of the Lord's vineyard.  No elephants seen at Elephant Lookout.  Too hot for elephants I guess.  They're probably sleeping.

We had such a great time with Elder & Sister Jensen.  As LeRon likes to say, they are "kindred spirits."  Nice to be associated with farmers!  Nice to be associated with all the senior couples.

This may be a little store.  People use whatever is available with which to build.

Our last walk on the beach.  A big ship on the horizon (you may be able to see it if you click to enlarge), a small fishing boat, and a bird on the beach.  Beautiful sunset.

I wanted to walk in the ocean (without getting my shoes too wet).

Every time Elder Jensen clicked, the wave went out.  But we really were in the Indian Ocean.  It was very warm.  If I were a swimmer, it would have made for a lovely swim.  And by the way, even though junior missionaries are not allowed to swim, senior missionaries are.  I didn't know that and so never packed a swimming suit.

Early in the morning and late at night, people are on the beach, sometimes having a game of volleyball.

These young men are doing volleyball training on the beach.  It's very hard to walk in this sand.  But down close to the water, the sand is hard and easy to walk on.  Nice that Elder & Sister Jensen can walk here every day.


  1. So is it safe to swim in the ocean? No sharks?

  2. Some of those views are breathtakingly gorgeous! Didn't you want to take off your shoes and get your feet wet? Roll up your pants and wade? I don't think I could have resisted, especially if the water is warm!