Saturday, February 26, 2011


It all started with a pile of papers that were being neglected. I decided to finally go through my "I'll deal with these later" pile of papers from the last two months. "Later" arrived, and I can now see my desk again. But I am left with two pages, double-sided, of Sudoku puzzles. Compliments of Union College Student Missions Office. I have spent literally hours this weekend feebly trying to master these non-mathematical number games from Satan. Just this morning I worked on a single puzzle all the way through Sabbath School and Church before giving up and handing it over to Ricky for him to solve. During that entire time I was able to get one number of that "Evil" puzzle. In other words, Sudoku isn't really my thing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Masai Mara Safari with Mom and Dad

While on Safari at the Masai Mara, Mom and Dad and I were able to see everything! What a great trip! Can you find the Wazungu in this collage? Hint: Their the white people ;)

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Safari at Lake Nakuru

Our second day on Safari, mom, dad, and I visited Lake Nakuru National Park. Rhinos are a common sight as well as Flamingos and baboons. Unfortunately it rained on us most of the afternoon.

Looking out over Lake Nakuru from the Baboon Cliffs.

A special sight to see. Mama and tiny baby rhino. What a playful little guy.

Birders paradise.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Safari Camping

Sitting down for a nice lunch before heading to Lake Nakuru.

Our safari cook, Geshira, made awesome meals for us every day. He especially made good soup.

Two of our five nights on safari were spent in little tents.

Mode of transportation: Remodeled French military truck. We sure got a lot of stares...

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Boat Ride at Lake Baringo

The first destination on my Safari with Mom and Dad was to Lake Baringo, a beautiful island-spotted lake in central Kenya. At lake Baringo we were able to see tons of wildlife like Hippos, Lung Fish, Fish Eagles, and dozens of other birds. The highlight of our day and night at Baringo was th e 2 hour boat ride tour of the area.

Mom and Dad scanning the water for any signs of Hippos.

A fisherman caught this HUGE Lung fish which he had a hard time even getting into his tiny little balsa wood boat. When we drove up he was beating it senseless with a metal rod.

The Fish Eagles enjoyed a nice little meal when we came around and threw talapia in the water for them to eat. We bought some small fish from a local fisherman in a tiny boat and then crammed balsa wood down its throat so that it would float when tossed to the eagles. This trick makes for some pretty awesome shots.

The hippos we saw were only in a small area near the shoreline. At night we could hear them grunting at each other as they came ashore right into our campground.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Masai Outreach Project

Almost every Sabbath, Maxwell Adventist Academy participates in some kind of outreach project or Sabbath afternoon activity. Several Sabbaths each semester we fill a 2000 liter water tank on the back of a truck and drive 40 minutes away to distribute water to the local Masai people. 

Water Truck

There's something you must know about the Masai people however; they live simple, primitive lives in small family groups under the hot sun of the arid Great Rift Valley. Most places lack any sort of reliable water source, and in many villages the women have to wake up much earlier than the sun in order to walk upwards of 20 kilometers to fetch water. The women tote a 5 gallon jug in a satchel that they carry with their head. If they are more wealthy, they take a donkey pulling a cart. Water IS life! But most of the time they don't get water from a tap or well, they draw it from ditches, ponds, and rivers. This water is used to drink, to water the cows, goats, and sheep, to wash clothes, and maybe to bathe. Many of these people have never taken a shower as we know it in the Western world. Under these conditions, disease and poor hygiene are prevalent. Just recently Kenya reached a new level of critical drought, and the people in the rural areas such as the Great Rift Valley are struggling to provide themselves with enough water to sustain life. If droughts continue for too long here, animals begin to die, people can't make a decent living, and sometimes children die due to diseases caused by unclean water.

Jessica playing games with the kids. Those Masai really love jumping!

Last Sabbath, several students and staff drove the 40 minutes to a Masai village to grant the men, women, and children there with the gift of life, water. We filled the 2000 liter water tank with clean, fresh water from our well and emptied it into dozens of barrels, cans, jugs, bottles, and whatever the people brought to us to fill. The joy on the faces of these children and adults as they walk away with fresh water is something that is rarely seen in most people. They are not only receiving water, they are receiving hope in the form of compassion and love from complete strangers. However, we are not only helping the Masai people when go on these "water runs", we are giving the students here at Maxwell Adventist Academy a chance to give back to the world around them. We are providing them with the opportunity to show the love of Jesus to those who are less fortunate than themselves. ALL benefit from giving; not only the recipients, but also the givers.

Quite hesitant at first...

When 2000 liters of water is given out at a single village, it lasts roughly four days. That means four days that the women don't have to walk 12 hours for a 5 gallon can of water. It also means four days of clean water that will not harm those who drink it. It is my personal desire to return weekly to this village next to a dry riverbed. I will continue to develop a relationship with the people in it through water distribution and preaching the gospel; maybe not using words, but using the gospel of Jesus: Meeting people's physical needs first and gaining their trust. "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:40

Inah getting her chance to fill jugs of water for the women.

It is a big event when we come around with a truckload of water.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Passing Over the Kenya Equator!

While on Safari between two different game parks, we unintentionally came across the global equator. While at this exciting landmark, mom was thrilled to learn about the effect of opposite magnetic poles just meters apart. It was quite interesting to have a local woman give us a demonstration of how the whirlpool affect of water changes direction depending on which side of the equator you are on. Mom was also excited to do some hardcore bargaining  with the women who sold soapstone souvenirs there. Way to go mom!!

Mom in BOTH hemispheres!

Dad in NO hemispheres!

Bartering with the locals.

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Nairobi National Museum

The Nairobi National Museum is a fantastic stop for anyone who is curious about the history of Kenya. They have everything from early man skeletons to the modern economic, political, and cultural developments of Kenya. Mom and Dad appreciated the background information to much of what they were experiencing outside of the museum.

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