Sunday, July 29, 2012

Nestled back in Mombasa with the Kelvinator

After a looooong three and a half days of traveling, I am finally back in Mombasa. The trip wasn't all that bad. Just terribly, terribly long. 14 and a half hours on a plane? I think I will avoid doing that again. Friday morning I walked off the plane in Nairobi with a new surge of energy knowing that the Kelvinator was waiting outside the gates. I rushed through immigration, thankful that I am a resident and don't have to stand in the ridiculously long visa line, and found my bags immediately. No questions at customs, another big blessing, and through the doors I went finding my hubs waiting on the other side! Reunited at last! 

We took the night bus back to Mombasa and arrived saturday morning. Getting back into my apartment was so comforting. My precious kitten welcomed me in and I cuddled her like no tomorrow. Kelvin had done such an awesome job keeping the house so tidy and organized. I was so proud of him.

I fell into a deep sleep around 9am and had to force myself to wake up around 10 so we could have breakfast and head to our friend's wedding. The whole reason I booked this crazy ticket was so that I could make two weddings in two weekends: one in Canada and one in Mombasa. I wasn't going to sleep through it. 

I am sure glad I didn't. The wedding was awesome. It was fun to see so many of our good friends in one place and celebrate with them all. 

It was also incredibly colourful! The first thing I noticed was all the amazing colours the people were wearing. Take a look for yourselves. 

These wamamas were so gorgeous in their bright, traditional clothing. I also love the kid staring at my in the right hand corner. I was the only mzungu at this wedding.  

 Like I mentioned, pretty much all our closest friends were there including this beauty, miss Eddah. She is my neighbour and shares in my love of all things sweet and sugary. She actually designed and made the bride's dress, the grooms outfit, and the best man and maid of honour's clothes. 

 My favourite part of the wedding is when the bride and groom return from taking pictures and all the wamamas (women in general) welcome them with lots of dancing and traditional songs. 

 Can you spot the bride and the groom? They are in there.

 Beautful, bright colours. Kelvin was amazed at this picture. I didn't do any editing on it. 

Eddah showing off her best moves.

Lots of dancing and joy!

Congrats Alex and Cathy!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Top 5 Questions that I have been asked since being home

If I did a poll over the last two weeks, these would be the top 5 questions that people have asked me. I am blessed that I have so many people in my life and amazed that most of them really do care about me. Here they are: 

1. Q: Wow, you must be so tired and jet lagged from that journey. How long is it anyways? 

    A: As a matter of fact, I am exhausted but the jet lag ain't so bad. It took a full two days for me to get here. The journey was long (and pure torture for me who is a very nervous flyer). It was really expensive to fly through Europe so I had to connect in Qatar and then fly to Montreal which was a 12 hour flight. My flights home are even longer.

2. Q: Hmm, where exactly is Qatar?

(It has surprised me how many people don't know where Qatar is)
    A: It's a small country that looks like a little wart that pokes out of Saudi Arabia. Doha, the capital city is one of the coolest cities I have ever been there. Because I had a 10 hour layover, Qatar Airways actually paid for a hotel in the city for me to spend the night. It was all expenses paid for. Super cool! I almost wish I had more time there to explore. 

3. Q: So, how is married life? 

   A: It's wonderful. I really enjoy it. 

 (I want to expand a bit more on my married life but I don't think so many people are interested in all the details. There is SO much to married life and 'wonderful' doesn't quite sum it up)

4. Q: Do you miss Kelvin? 

    A: Terribly! I was ready to go back 3 days after I arrived......(then I get the unimpressed look from my parents.)

5. Q: How is it over there?

   This question has been hard to answer. What exactly is 'it'? Life, ministry, work, marriage, security, politics, what?? Really, I could talk to you for hours about all the 'its'. 

   A: It's not always easy, but I do love it. 

I only have a few more days here in Canada. Honestly, I am ready to get back. It has been harder than I though being away from Kelvin. I am not so sure I will come back again without him. 

Anyways, here are some crazy pics of my parents and I checkin' out the sculpture walk in Castlegar.

Anybody home?

 Let's ponder

 Wouldn't want to mess with this guy

This one was my favourite. If you look closely, you can see all the neat things the artist used. 

I didn't even know Castlegar had one of these crazy head things!

Surprise!!!! Ha, just kidding. I must have done a good job sticking out my gut because we had a friend drive by and ask how far a long I was.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What is man that You are mindful of him?

I sat down to read my daily devotions. Before I left Kenya, I arranged a bible reading schedule for all my girls in hopes that they will actually get into the Word themselves and it would unite us. Yesterday we were to read Psalm 8 and I did. The middle section really stuck out for me: 

"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, 
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 
What is man that You are mindful of him, 
And the son of man that You visit him? 
For You have made him a little lower than the angels, 
And You have crowned him with glory and honour."
Psalm 8:3-5

It's the beginning of summer and being outside is simply delicious. The small town I grew up in is probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The snow-capped mountains are full of evergreens and the convergence of two major rivers divides and conquers our town. It's truly majestic here. And it's ALL God's glorious creation! He did it all, He made it all, He thought and planned all of it, He maintains it all. So naturally I am in absolute awe as to why He is mindful of little ol' me? Tiny, frail, sinful, funny looking me. How majestic His creation yet He has made ME a little lower than angels and has crowned ME with glory and honour. He has even put all this stuff under my feet. Crazy, I know. 

Anyways, right after I finished reading this passage my brother asked if I wanted to take a walk. I said yes and off we went. 


My family kept telling me how high the river has gotten. It's the highest we have ever seen it. This fast flowing river used to be a small dirt road that attached the mainland to a small island. 

If you look closely, you can see that the water is almost overtaking the small bridge. Usually the water is at least 7-8 feet below the bridge. 

 Mark found a nice bench to sit on. 

 And then he decided to walk over the bridge. 

 For those who don't know, our house is actually located right on the river. Fortunately, there is a pretty large bank that separates us so there is no chance of flooding for us. Today, Mom and I decided to go veg in the sun on the new swanky deck/stairs my parents have built down to the river. This was my view.

Momma was on the next little landing.

I have not enjoyed the many creepy crawlers that come out this time of year. Its worse than the bugs in Mombasa. 

Here's me, just below the angels, bestowed with honour and glory - me!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


A few months back, my dad emailed me and asked if I would be interested in surprising my mom for her 50th birthday. At first, I didn't really want to. I dreaded the thought of making the 2 day trip to Canada alone again and well, I am still newly married and have a hard time leaving my husband for more than a day or two. However, after some convincing from Kelvin and some prayer, I said yes. I booked my ticket and kept it a close secret for two months. 

Dad was the only one who knew plus a handful of friends. I kept hearing that Mom was telling everyone how she wished I could be there. I played it off as if I was still in Kenya, sending her emails of what was happening in our lives and so on. The last email I sent her, I was sitting in the Calgary airport about to board a plane to Castlegar. I was writing to tell her how Kelvin and I got back to Mombasa safe and wishing her a good party. Little did she know that I was just a short plane ride away. 

So I snuck onto the property and went and sat on a bench in the back yard. Some friends, who were in on it, had taken her down to the deck. As she came up, she was told to look over my way and, well, the pictures will tell the rest of the story.

The ugly cry came out in full force. It was a great moment. Now that I am here, I am glad I came. I will be around for about two and a half weeks then I must jetback to my hubby. Meanwhile, I will enjoy my family!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What happens when the girls take over my camera

I learned my lesson. I can never expect my girls to take decent photos. We went bowling yesterday as a fun treat. I handed over my camera (since these girlies love love love taking photos) thinking that I could get some decent shots. In the past, some of my greatest pics have been when I gave the camera to someone else (like small kids). However, this was not so. I had turned off the flash so most pictures turned out incredibly blurry. As Kelvin was sifting through them this morning, he actually asked if something was wrong with my camera! Funny enough, while the girls were taking photos, they didn't seem to mind that they were blurry. They thought they looked pretty awesome - blurry and all. 

Here are the best of the bunch. We had a blast! Most of them had never been before so it was a new experience. They were pretty hesitant at first but managed to get the hang out it pretty fast.

Most of the girls actually got better scores than me. I believe it is because the gutters were up and their strategies involved hucking the ball so it purposely knocks against the raised gutters and bounces nicely into the middle making a strike. Whereas I am trained to try get it down the middle and not try hit the gutters. They beat me...

 Kayla came down from Nairobi for the day and got to come with us. 

 One thing I love is when the Muslim girls take off their buibuis. They wear them mostly outside and in public but when inside, they take them off. I love seeing their own personal fashion come out. Aren't they cute!

I got a text from Irene in the morning asking if she could wear shorts since bowling is a sport and all. I giggled and told her to wear whatever she was comfortable in. She made bowling look sporty.

My bowling style - all blurred up. 

It was an awesome time!! I just adore these young women. If you would like to support them and our activities, please click the link on the left and donate online. 

It's Canada day today! Happy Canada day to all my lovely canadians! Every year that I spend in Kenya, I am more and more grateful for my Canadian citizenship. I only remembered in the middle of church that it was Canada day and then tried to figure out how I can celebrate. My first thought was food - what food could I make that is distinctly Canadian? The only thing I could think of was pancakes with maple syrup. Since it was an after thought, I didn't really want to put the effort into making it plus I know that Kelvin wouldn't get full on pancakes. So we are celebrating Canada with some good ol' Kenyan ugali and sukuma while watching the finals of the Euro cup. How canadian of us, EH?