This was a picture in the car going from Nairobi to Kitale, the traffic was heavy, the road narrow and full of pot holes, no center stripe, and from my spot in the back seat, it looked like every car or truck was going to hit us. Here we were behind a big truck and there was a Mercedes truck coming toward us and a long line of bumper to bumper cars behind us. Add to this was the people walking beside the road, the motor scooters and bicycles, even donkey carts. It was hard to get used to the steering wheel on the right, every time the one in the front passengers’ seat turned around to talk to me, I kept thinking he was the driver and almost yelled at him to watch the road! The good thing is that drivers are polite to each other, they see someone getting squeezed in and they slow down or even stop. Even in all that traffic, the patrolmen stop cars every 40 miles or so to check that everyone is buckled in, they have bars with spikes they lay across the two lanes so you have to stop. Sometimes they put them at an angle so you can just drive around them. At every tiny town, there are speed bumps, they mean to slow traffic to a crawl, you slow down or scrape bottom. There are no speed limits posted, everyone just goes around 40 miles an hour or slower. Where there isn’t a huge pot hole, the road looks smooth but it is like a wash board. It jars your teeth and pops your neck. This is on an 8 hour ride from Nairobi to Kitale, part of the way was after dark, it was a little scary, and I am not ever scared about anything. Elizabeth told me the Lord was with us and I didn’t need to worry~she was right, we made it fine~
There are shops all over Kitale, if you want produce you will need to find a different store for each item. The egg place sells eggs, it is usually right beside several other egg places. The eggs we bought were always fresh and the shells were hard, no cracked eggs~then the meat market might be by the tattoo parlor, barber shop, or even beside the choo (public toilet).
Since there are few if any refrigerators, ice boxes, or even ice, everything needs to be bought daily and in small quantities. There was a place that sold dry beans, seeds and maize. They had big sacks with the tops rolled open to scoop the grain out and weigh it. That day there was a roaming street chicken in one of the sacks, scratching and eating, she had found the meal of a lifetime. The store owner didn’t even shoo her away, he just kept sweeping the sidewalk. I shivered and kept walking.
This next little shop was on the street near Mili Mani, the man carried a variety of things from eggs, to batteries, phone minutes, sugar cane, jars of nuts and soda pops. (I wondered about tobacco, I never saw anyone smoking the whole time we were there).
Rift Valley is a beautiful and massive valley nestled in between Mount Elgon and Mount Kenya in the western part of Kenya. It appears out of nowhere on the road from Nairobi to Kitale. The driver stopped the car and we got out to stretch our legs and what a surprise, the world just dropped off the edge. There are mountains as far as you can see. The air is crisp and clean.
The elevation where we were standing is 8,100 ft. Between the mountains you can see the valley with it’s plots sectioned off and divided into what look like large farms or plantations.
It is almost like looking at Google Earth from above. It has an awesome mystical feel about it. I could have spent the whole day there.
These are just some pictures for you to look at today. I hope you enjoy them.
There is a little village close to the Children’s Rescue Centre called Mali Saba, that has a few shops, churches, and houses. It is more like a big circle of open space with all the business around the outside. There were big trucks filled with corn that was being dried and cleaned.
There were a lot of children there and here are some of their pictures.
If we stopped to visit with them, they were shy at first because we were those strange looking people, but soon there would be a bunch of them crowding around. After we took one picture and they saw themselves on the camera screen, they all wanted to be in the pictures.
Martin Manside’s church was located here so we spent some time in this place.
A few more pictures from my album, it is hard not to show every single one, they were all so special to me. These are the fun pictures.
One of the things I loved about the trip was getting to be a child again and play the games I played when I was a growing up.
We didn’t have toys back then, no multi-color playground equipment, no fancy play houses with kitchens, easy-bake ovens, or have a pink Barbie convertible parked out front. We played the same old timey games these children at the orphanage were playing. They don’t have fancy toys either and I hope they never will. I can’t imagine any of them ever saying, ‘I’m bored’. Their only toy was a soccer ball and a jump rope.
There was a lot of dancing, singing, running races, chasing, and laughing, and at the same time, they were sweet to each other. I can’t ever remember so much energy, I think all of our group played harder than we had in a long time.
Today I want to show more pictures from Children’s Rescue Centre.
These faces are embedded in my mind and it does something to my heart to look at them.
Every child was special, they each had personalities different for the others, some were even little characters, they were funny and entertaining and loving.
It was like going to a party every day where everyone was nice. The boys danced too, when they did the big circle dance, the one in the center did the kicks and threw the grass but they also rolled their eyes back in their heads until you could only see the whites of their eyes. It was hilarious! Everyone laughed, this was the best part.
This was the day all the kids got to go shopping for clothes and it took a long time for them to each choose four outfits.
When we were done, we went for ice cream at Transmatt. None of them had ever had ice cream before, they didn’t know cold and they didn’t know sweet, we had to show them how to eat it.
One of the little girls dropped hers onto the floor first thing. I borrowed a spoonful from the others and piled her cone up again.
This was a wonderful day. We got them back home without losing anybody. They will be remembering ice cream and maybe be able to enjoy it again sometime.
The next day, they were wearing their new clothes, topped it off with their new jackets with hoodies, even though it was warm and balmy outside.
More pictures from Kitale. One of the surprises is when you walk down the roads, they are lined with huge lantanna hedges or tall fences that are made from black wooden logs that have been split.
There will be an entrance with a gate but most of the time the gate is just corrugated metal doors, large enough for a car to drive through. There is a guard house inside and if you rap on the door, someone appears.
Inside there will be a beautiful compound with several nice stucco homes that have red metal tile roofs. The yards are landscaped, there are courtyards, patios, thatched roof huts and interesting paths.
There are some are mansions with ornate iron gates and impressive grounds.
While walking down Mili mani we passed a museum, a country club, a private girls school and more compounds. It was a beautiful 35 minute walk to town. Here is a couple from our group on their way home, it gets dark here every evening at 7:00.
I couldn’t get all the pictures on yesterday’s blog so today I will show you some of the people who live in the villages out from Mali Saba.
The children are beautiful, something you notice all over Kenya. They are quiet and polite and don’t fight with each other.
You can see the older children taking care of the babies in the family. I don’t know how they wrap them up to carry them on their backs, I wish I had asked. They would have been happy to show me.
I didn’t hear any babies crying the whole time on the trip, this little girl had tears but it only lasted a minute. I wanted every baby I saw. I wanted this one~
More pictures from the Children’s Rescue Centre in Maili Saba. When Paul and Lisa were there for six weeks this summer, they saw things that were needed. He hired a man named Jacob to dig a water well and now there is clean water for the orphanage and they share their water with neighbors. They called it Jacob’s Well.
I noticed there were gutters on the roof of the building and two huge tanks on each end where they could also collect rain water, the kids were washing their hands at the faucets all during the day. Another summer project was to buy chickens and have a chicken coop built. Then they needed a fence to keep the chickens out of the garden.
When we were there this time, some of the chickens had died so he replaced them and had them vaccinated so they would no longer get sick. Benton bought them garden tools since they had no hoes, shovels, rakes or picks. I bought the kitchen stuff, the churches around the Colman area paid for new mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets and linens. One in the group had electricity put in the orphanage, now a light in every room. The rooms were all painted with fresh light colors. Then the best of all were the many Bibles we took. Now each child has a King James version in English and the ones in Swahili they gave them last time. You can’t change the world but you can change a life~
Today I have a few stores in Kitale to show. They are lined up on the street, blocks long and are no more than 12 feet wide. They can cram a lot of merchandise in a small space.
The hardware store was larger but was packed in between a little shop that sold CDs on one side and a shoe repair shop on the other. It was crowded, lots of people buying building materials. Then they loaded the stuff on a pickup right on the busy street. There were several tailor shops with men sitting out front with Singer treadle sewing machines making clothes.
This music store had lots of strange instruments. It seemed like everyone was working and had a good business. The open markets were interesting, they sold everything you could think of.
Now the Transmatt was a nice store and large. We saw one store that had a freezer and had packages of meat in it, still I wondered how it had been handled before it was frozen. While the others ate dinner every night at Karibuni, I stayed home and enjoyed scrambled eggs and hash browns. It wasn’t long before some of the others joined me for my simple meal.