Showing posts from May, 2016

Wild animals . . . lots of them

It was early and sunny morning and we saw them. Lions! A male and a female on their honeymoon. The majesty that was presented in them was stunning. It is one thing to see them in a book, but it is another to see them mere feet in front of you. We had been there for only moments when the male stood up and begun to walk towards us. Corri, Kayla and Naomi all became skittish, and Jonathan and I became excited. His royalty came and brushed up against our Land Rover. After that we saw a many more beautiful creatures in the Mara. From elephants to zebra, the morning was not boring. After the ride we came back and relaxed poolside. -Zach   We hung out at the pool for a while, while some swam, some laid out, while others played Euchre. Apparently being on the equator means you have to apply sunscreen every five minutes or some people get awful sunburns . . . aka me. After relaxing for a few hours, we went on our afternoon game ride. We saw more lions, baboons, secretary birds, and a large herd

Greetings from Masai Mara!

Today, we left bright and early to experience a different side of Kenya. It was a five-hour car ride, most of which was spent sleeping until we met some true Kenyan roads! As we approached our destination, we came upon a road block: A GIANT MUD PIT. After watching our van nearly tip over avoiding the mud, the rest of the group learned to drive really fast through the center of the pit. It resulted in a funny story and some great pictures! Once entering the game park, we were greeted immediately by an assortment of critters (although some of us had been looking for birds most of the way). To our amazement, impala, Masai giraffe, zebra and a rare, heavily guarded white rhino were waiting within. For most, this experience stirred emotions, and in my case, resulted in a few tears (guess who wrote this section…). Once at the resort, we settled into our “tents” and proceeded to eat a meal that left many of us too full to move. Once we were all settled in, we got to experience a wonderful saf

Seeking the lost

When one of our vans broke down today, half of the group had to wait on the road until the second van could return for us. At church we sang in three languages (Kikuyu, Swahili, English), and Isaac Munji preached on the parable of the lost coin and the lost sheep. Isaac dropped coins in the field and the entire congregation searched for them, reinforcing his message. Normally we think of ourselves as the lost coins or sheep that Christ searches for, but Isaac introduced a different concept, that we should be going out to search for the lost sheep in Maai Mahiu, Canton, and the world. After church, the entire congregation, adults and children, gathered to share lunch. We sang songs, had our hair played with, and spent time laughing and playing with the children for the last time. Later in the day, during a hike down the mountain, a pair of sheep with a trailing goat meandered away from their herder. Even after they disappeared in the bushes we could hear the goat crying before we turned

Tiny hands and big smiles

On day six of our adventure, we went to the Lulu House where we spent the day with a group of local children that are supported by RVF. Our team split into two groups after we were introduced to the kids. One group played with the older kids outside and the other did activities with the younger ones inside. The first group played soccer, ran races, and had a dance competition outside. While we managed to beat the Kenyans at running (minus Jonathan, who lost his final race!), they definitely out-danced us! We might have embarrassed ourselves while dancing for them, but we earned lots of smiles, which made it worth it. Inside, the younger kids worked on crafts and taught us some of the games they play at school. We didn’t understand much of what they were saying, but it was so much fun to interact with them and earn their trust. After this, we had the honor of serving all of the women and children of the Lulu House lunch. It was a beautiful moment for our team to be able to serve those w

Experiences of grace

On this fine Friday we started off with house visits to deliver much needed food to various families associated with the Rift Valley Fellowship. Our 12 person crew was split into 4 groups and each was accompanied with RVF staff members to show the way. Each of the groups was handed bags filled with smaller bags of cornmeal, sugar, and rice for these families in need, and were to visit 2-8 houses. We set off walking not quite sure what to expect, but I am sure everyone who went can now talk about how their life has been changed this day. There were many things my group witnesses and like the rest of our crew we will never be quite the same. I could tell you about Peter and his three children, whose wife past away this week, or the single mother who left her nine children alone in a bathroom-size house all day in search of food, but instead I will share about the unanticipated visit our group made today. Our guide Maggie took us to a house that she lived nearby that she said desperately

Gratitude was on her face

(Corri): Today we got to experience the stories of the Women of Courage with the Rift Valley Fellowship. These women have been on the streets of Maai Mahiu and the Rift Valley Fellowship has helped them find a home, put their children in school, and make a living. They have work by making crafts such as jewelry, bags, and figurines. We had the opportunity to support these women by buying some of their crafts. After we had looked around and bought what we wanted the women got to have fellowship while the men went out back to pack food for the women. Esther explained to us that even though the women were going to be singing in English, Kikuyu, and Swahili, we were still welcome to sing and worship with them. At first, it was kind of awkward because we had no idea what was going on, but the women had so much energy while worshiping that it was contagious. Even though I know all of three words in Swahili, I found myself singing along to the parts I knew and stumbling along of the parts tha

Day 3: African Birds and Fried Green Bananas

This morning some people from our group went bird watching with Dr. Case. Seeing the great mountains and the variety of African birds was a great way to start the day! Afterwards we headed to Esther and Isaac’s house where we were served some delicious banana bread, breakfast salad (which is a mix of tomatoes, avocados, and onions) and fresh mango slices. Then we went back to Rift Valley Fellowship to do a second coat of paint and some manual labor (we even took some time to play with the children living on the streets). In the afternoon we took a tour of the Rift Valley Academy where we met a teacher who was an expert of bird watching, which made Carey’s day. For dinner we went back to Esther and Isaac’s where we were served goat meat and fried green bananas. Overall, it was a great day and we are excited to see what is in store for tomorrow. ~Paige Jennings and Kayla Stewart

How to Peel a Mango

Our time in Kenya so far has been one of contrast. Yesterday we drove through industrialized Nairobi on a new highway. Today we followed the road from Kijabe to Maai Maihiu which is dirt and pocked with potholes from the last rains. On the road we met both herds of cattle and goats as well as motorcycle taxies and trucks. Children on the road waved and smiled as we passed, unafraid of the moving vehicles. We spent the day sanding and painting the Rift Valley Fellowship’s church and home for street boys before coming back up the hill. Everyone helped, serving food and sharing during our meal. The Kenyans we worked with are very involved in their history and politics and the group learned a few new Swahili words to share with the children on the road back to Kijabe. Today we learned a lot about service. A Kenyan man’s cart lost a wheel in town and soon three other men came to help fix it. Another man cleared the tall grass and bushes on a well-traveled walking route to Maai Maihiu. We al

First Day

After traveling for 24 hours, 3 different plane rides, and no sleep for 35 hours, we are finally all settled in Kijabe, Kenya and ready for some rest! We have some amazing hosts. They have cooked us some delicious meals! The people down here are so nice. We went on a walk, as a group, and the children loved seeing us! They would always say hi and then laugh. We were so confused as to why they were laughing, but we just laughed with them. Many of us love the nature here as well! It is a beautiful country! From the trees to the animals, we have seen some amazing things. Carey has been obsessed with bird watching! She has taken a bunch of amazing pictures. Some of us are really starting to like watching birds too! We are so happy to see what God has in store these next couple of weeks. Stay tuned each night to hear from a different member of our team about what we did for the day. Enjoy some of these pictures as well!   ~Jonathan Davis

New Set of Kenya Blogs Coming Soon!

Stay tuned to this site.  In a few days the 2016 team of Service-Learning students will be arriving in Kenya and they'll be blogging about their trip.