Friday, April 23, 2010

Heading to the beach

No, I'm not joking. We're heading to this exact villa in Mombasa for a whole week! We're so excited. Eli's sister and her 7 year old son are in the air on their way to Kenya, and his parents, younger brother, and older brother and his family are all in Nairobi. On Saturday we'll make the 8 hour drive to this beautiful place and we'll be out of touch with the rest of the world for that whole week. Expect lots of pictures when we return!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dying Easter eggs

I know Easter was more than a week ago but we didn't have eggs in Sudan to dye and my mother gave us a lovely dye kit so today I boiled 14 eggs and we dyed eggs. The boys had a blast although Joshua kept stopping my heart by dunking eggs, splashing dye everywhere, almost tipping the dye cups a few times...but it all worked out.

Evan's proud of his first egg.

Do you see the dye dripping?

Once the eggs were dry and while the boys were playing on the playground, I hid all the eggs near our house then called the kids to come look for them. They each had a bowl to put their finds in. Even Joshua was able to find some on his own.

Thank you Mimo, for the great dye kit. We sure had a fun morning and we've already eaten almost half of them!

A Post from Eli

I couldn't help but notice that it has been a while since I have posted anything. While Bethany posts wonderful things about our life, home, and family, I have the task of posting the unusual and disgusting. Well, I have recently run into something of that sort.

A couple weeks ago I was working in Yabus and accidentally kicked a piece of metal. It went right in between my toe nail and the skin, lifting it up all the way except for the skin in the back. I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. I thought back to my years of having a hang nail from 7-12th grade. Mom would make me soak the toe in hot (boiling) water with salt.

Anyway, so after doing the salt and warm water (I remember boiling my flesh didn't accomplish much) I realized that there was just a bit of skin holding onto my toenail in the back. I grabbed my leatherman and set to work. Now I know a Leatherman is a normal surgical tool because I have seen my Dr. brother do home surgery on my Ugandan bush brother in our apartment in Nairobi. I held the blade over fire for a while to clean it (I saw this on TV once). I slit across the back of my toe and voila the toe nail slid right off. I am saving it in case I ever need to play soccer or rugby in the next couple weeks. I figure I would just tape it on and then I would be able to play.

Here is my toe present day. It is healthy and pain free. However, I am not sure how long it will take to get a new nail.

P.s. Bethany was in total disagreement for me to post these pictures as she found them incredibly disgusting. I just wanted to put something on for Seth Meeks and Jeremy Nairn.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A day at Lake Naivasha with our Yabus Team

On Tuesday, we piled our whole Yabus team into a van and drove an hour and a half to Lake Naivasha. We've gone here several times as a family and we love it. Before heading on home assignment, we thought it would be great to spend a day of fun and relaxation with all our teammates. The day was perfect. It truly couldn't have been any better!

Asule, Canberra, and Lori on our walk down to the lake.

When we got to the water's edge, the friendly security guard asked us if we'd like to see a large heard of zebra, gazelle, wildebeest, and waterbuck. We of course said yes, and he led us on a fabulous walking safari. This was a first for all of us! Instead of driving in vehicles to see the wildlife, we got to walk and be right there with them (since they're not dangerous animals.) It was amazing and such a great experience for many of our teammates who had never seen those animals in the wild before.

Lunch was a delicious buffet that we ate outside on the beautiful lawn. We all ate so much we had to take an hour "rest" before our next adventure.

After lunch and a nice swim, we took a lovely boatride on the lake and saw lots of hippos and different types of birds.

The highlight of the boat ride for me was when we found a cove in the lake where a bunch of fish eagles lived up in the trees. Our boat driver brought along some fresh fish and after whistling really loudly, he threw the fish into the water near our boat. From 200 meters away, the eagle flew right towards us and snatched up the fish in the nearby water. It was amazing! It all happened so fast and I was so entralled, I didn't get on camera!

These hippos were right near the shore of the lake where our boat docked. We got to stand on the land and watch them as they fought, yawned, and made their deep gutteral noises.

I just had to end with this darling picture of Evan. Our four year old sure has grown up! What a fun day.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Our last days - saying goodbye

As many of you know, we're heading back to the States on our first home assignment this May. So, during the first week of April, we visited with all our friends, saying our goodbyes, and reassuring them that we'll be coming back in 9 months. On April 7th, we flew to Kenya where we'll be for the next month, debriefing our first three years, getting medical check ups, getting some rest, and closing things up on this side before we head back to Columbia, SC.

Eli and Joseph. Joseph works at the Yabus clinic and is the one who stitched Eli's leg when we cut it open so badly last year.

Martina used to work on our compound until she had her baby. She is a sweet lady and her husband attends the secondary school and is a leader in the Mabaan church.

Mary is ever so dear to my heart. Here she is with her three daughters: Loise, Fatna, and Rahab. She has helped me so much in the past year, mostly in her role watching Joshua and the older boys while I taught math at the nearby primary school. She also taught me so much about culture and how to do things in Sudan. I can ask her anything and she answers honestly. I will miss her so much and so will Joshua!

We've known Esther since the day we arrived in Yabus. She cooks for us and has been a faithful friend.

Our Joshua - 20 months old

He loves reading on the potty though we haven't had much success with potty training yet!

I couldn't believe I got this on camera! I found them this way - no joke! This is Hallelujah who we love to call Joshua's wife. Her parents are our colleagues from Nigeria. First thing every morning he wants to get his shoes on so he can go over to her house. They are quite the pair!

Here they are again, tormenting the poor kitty cat.

This is Josh's friend Peter. He lives nearby and is the same age as Joshua. At the graduation celebration meal, Joshua chose to go over and sit and eat with Peter. It was so cute to watch them eating out of the same bowl.

Water is one of Joshua's favorite things. At home, during the heat of the day, I can keep him happy for an hour at least by putting him in a basin of water with some toys. He loves going to the river even more.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Evan's 4th birthday

Even though we were busy preparing for the graduation coming the day after Evan's birthday, we made sure to make it a very special day for him. He got to blow out a candle at every meal and the whole team went down to the river in the afternoon. We took about 30 balloons and blew them up and gave them out to all the kids who joined the fun. Later, when we got home, we enjoyed a yummy cake with lots of sprinkles, thanks to Evan's help!

Our latest family picture

After almost 3 years living in Yabus, Sudan, we packed up our home and flew to Kenya on April 7th. We're taking the next few days to unwind and catch up on some much needed rest.