There is little to do in the way of entertainment in Malindi. By “little to do” I truly mean less than a handful of activities. There is no cinema, no public parks with walking trails, no real playgrounds. To be honest, our usual entertainment or activity is the trip to the grocery store in town.
So, we often get creative on our adventures. One of our recent adventures was to a place called the Falconry, located in the heart of our city. Mzee, a giant land tortoise, calls the Falconry home. His size is bewildering. However, he is a gentle giant. Cooper thoroughly enjoyed getting to feed and pet him. I have a feeling this will become one of our repeated adventures in the months to come.
Keith recently challenged his youth soccer team to come together and complete some community service. They chose to build desks for a local school. Many of the boys had never assembled or built anything before. This created some unique challenges for this project. Several desks were assembled and then reassembled due to mismatched pieces. They were mostly amazed at the power skill saw that Keith brought to cut the wood. At the end of the afternoon, the young men now had some building experience and gave back to the community. It was a great day!
This is a picture of a local treat here in Malindi. One of our youth soccer players brought it to a match to eat. The person who comes closest to identifying it will win a gift from Mungu With Us, delivered in December of this year. Happy Guessing! Hint: the base of it comes from a tree.
(Please note if you live in Kenya or have had considerable contact with Kenyan culture, you are excluded from this guessing game out of courtesy for others. Thanks so much!)
We recently went to the rural and did a bit of exploring with friends. We visited a local mangrove forest. Our feet became very dirty from the silt and sand. Locals offered to wash our feet for a very nominal fee. I snapped this picture as Cooper was having his feet washed.
I was reminded of the love Jesus had for his disciples as he washed their dirty, stinky feet. He told his disciples “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).
While it is now uncommon to wash our feet before entering a home in Western culture, what am I doing to reach out to others and serve them in this same humble and sacrificial manner? How am I “washing the feet” of those in our neighborhood and community. This was a beautiful reminder for me to do something out of my comfort zone this week to serve someone else. I hope it encourages you as well!
Now that Keith is coaching youth soccer, we spend quite a bit of time at the soccer fields. Friends are in abundant supply. Cooper has made dozens of new friends who gleefully agree to dig holes and build alongside him for the two-hour practice! We also get the opportunity to practice our Swahili most nights as many of these children speak little English. Thankfully children are very forgiving as we practice!
Graham’s due date is quickly approaching. We have been to Nairobi for several doctor’s appointments over the past few months, and all is well with baby and mama.
Next Monday, we travel to Mombasa to board a train to Nairobi for the last time before delivery. Then we wait for his arrival. We are so thankful for this sweet gift and cannot wait to introduce him to you!
The Lord places special people in our lives. Friends we were not expecting, and friends that become family. Fabish is one of these people to us. This young man is bright, caring, and exceptional in so many ways. Although we are now on opposite sides of Kenya, he still manages to come and see us during his holiday breaks. The Lord has big plans for this young man, and we are so thankful that we get to walk alongside him to see them unfold!
Government offices are a part of life here in Kenya. From maintaining resident status, to having a work permit approved, or applying for an identification card, the visits to the offices can seem as if they are many. However, the office in Malindi has radicalized the way that we think about the immigration process in Kenya. Not only are they super knowledgeable, but they are always so kind to assist us. We recently had to go to renew our national identification cards and we were in and out and fingerprinted in 10 minutes time!
Government offices are a part of life here in Kenya. From maintaining resident status, having a work permit approved, or applying for an ID card, the visits can seem as if they are many. However, the office in Malindi has radicalized the way that we think at least about the immigration process in Kenya. Not only are they super knowledgeable, but they are always so kind to assist us. We recently had to go to renew our national identification cards and we were in and out and fingerprinted in 10 minutes time!
Fridays are generally viewed as happy days in the United States. It is the end of the work week and the start of the weekend. On our way home each day, we pass the mortuary. Every Friday without fail, the streets are lined with people, loved ones of the deceased who have come to pick up the body from the mortuary. In Kenya, the tradition is that the person or body sleeps one more time at home, after they pass away. So, on Friday the body is picked up and taken back to the rural home. Then on Saturday, the funeral occurs and all of the family is in attendance.
While Fridays are still happy days for us, we are reminded of those who have lost loved ones during the week. It certainly keeps us grounded as we count our blessings in Kenya and our family in the USA who are still with us.