Tuesday, May 25, 2010



Yesterday it took me 12 hours to go 280 miles. I thought I was making good time until I was about an hour and half away from home. Then it started raining really hard. I made it through about four riverbed crossings that had a little water in them and then came to one I could not cross. I had to wait an hour and twenty minutes for that river to go down enough so I could cross it. Our road from Kitale to Lodwar has about 44 crossings through normally dry riverbeds. There are a few other places where the road has washed out because of rain, but these are the "official" river crossings. So, I got to one of these and it had more water in it than I cared to cross. There was a rushing, raging river where there is normally only sand and a cement slab.

It had taken me about seven hours to get to that point. So, I got out of the truck and went and chatted with the other drivers as we waited for the river to go down. There was a big truck there and 3 hiluxes (that is what my truck is). The big truck finally decided to try it and made it across. Then the bigger trucks on the other side crossed. It was the turn of the smaller trucks, but the other drivers were afraid. So I decided to lead the charge and went through with no problems.

I drove another five minutes and had to stop again. This river crossing was even fuller and had many more vehicles waiting to cross. The other two hiluxes from the previous crossing waited about twenty minutes more before crossing and then joined the rest of us at the second river. There were three seasonal rivers emptying into the main river just above where the road was. So, I waited there for almost two hours for the water to get low enough for us to cross. It had stopped raining where we were, but the rain was still coming upstream so we all had to wait. While there, I had some interesting conversations with some of the other drivers and passengers. We all got to watch the power of that raging river. It uprooted two trees on the banks and carried them away as if they weighed nothing. It is good to be reminded from time to time how powerful nature can be!

Then the big semi's finally decided to cross. They did fine and the bigger trucks followed suit. A couple of hiluxes had crossed from the other direction so I got in line behind some of the land cruisers and other smaller trucks. Four vehicles before I was to cross and a police land cruiser found a hole in the cement as he was crossing. He got stuck and as he was trying to get it out, it looked like he was going to go over the edge and get swept away. We all had some tense moments as we watched and many yelled advice at him. Finally he was able to get straightened out and didn't stall and got across. So, then people were nervous again and one of the three trucks in front of me decided to get out of line. The others were all bigger land cruisers with their exhaust pipes up in the air. My exhaust pipe comes out at the bottom of my truck. If the water gets into it and backs up to the engine then you stall out and are at the mercy of the river.

I decided to go ahead and cross since two hiluxes had already made it before the police truck had problems. So, I unbuckled my seat belt (for easier jumping out if there were problems :} ), said a quick prayer and took off - trying to stay away from the hole and yet still stay on the cement road slab. As I came up out of the water on the other side, the people waiting to cross were cheering. It was kind of funny, but it was good to have made it across with no problems at all. Thank the Lord for his protection, 4 wheel drive and new tires!! By the time I made it across that river it was about 6:30 and getting dark.

This road is not the best road in the world (an understatement of many magnitudes). There are more holes than pavement. So, it is not fun trying to drive it in the dark. Headlights work, but they often get misaligned so that you can't see very well. This happens as the vehicles bounce down the road. Thankfully, the next 15 or so riverbeds were either dry or only had a few puddles in them and we didn't have to stop again for rivers. Even so, the last hour and a half was not a fun trip. I was quite tense by the time I made it home. I left Eldoret at 8 AM and didn't arrive in Lodwar until a little after 8 PM. So, it was a very long day. Thankfully, my passenger's (Keshule Edapal) wife was waiting for us. Ali had prepared a very nice dinner for us. So, I didn't have to try to figure out what to eat once I made it home. That was a real blessing!! Keshule and Ali are fellow missionaries to the Turkana people. Keshule had taken a vehicle to Nairobi to be sold. He made it back to Eldoret and then was able to ride back to Turkana with me. He was a real help and encourager when we had to cross the rivers!

After a quick but very nice dinner of chicken, peas, carrots, rice and cabbage, I made my way home. I unloaded only the things that had to go into the fridge and freezer and left the rest for this morning. I was so tired that once I got things put away and got cleaned up a bit, I went straight to bed. It was a nice end to a very long day!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Eldoret "fun"


I made it to Eldoret on Saturday. I did the math and found out that it is about 280 miles from Lodwar to Eldoret. It took me a little over 8 hours to make the trip. I had four Turkana men traveling with me this time. They all wanted to come to Eldoret and heard I was coming. I needed at least one to travel with me to help in case I have any problems on the road, but this was a bit more than normal. Even so, we had a good trip. There were only a few spots in the road that were wet. The two places that could have caused problems were passable in 4 wheel drive. So, over all it was a good trip. I am still a bit sore from all the bouncing but that is pretty normal. Aleve is my friend :).

My week in Eldoret is going slowly. Actually the week isn't going slowly, but what I am getting done is going slowly. It has taken two days to get my truck inspected, serviced and some small repairs done. I thought it might all be done in a day or a day and a half, but it took longer to do the welding under my hood. So, I didn't get the truck back until about 4:30 this afternoon. That leaves getting tires for tomorrow and then I can go do all the other errands that need done.

I discovered last night that I forgot my checkbook in Lodwar. I usually pay for my tires with a check so I worried through the night - waking up around 5 AM thinking about how I was going to pay for the tires that I need to get. I did find out this morning that I can pay with my ATM card from my Kenyan bank. So, that is a relief. It isn't a credit card, but it says Visa on it and I had heard that you could use it like a debit card, but had never tried it. So, I am happy that little problem is solved so maybe I can sleep through the night tonight :).

While I am here in town, I will be trying to get several things done for the house here and do some shopping for things in Turkana. I also need to work a little on my next lesson so I can get some copies made here. They are half the price here in Eldoret from what they cost in Lodwar. So, I try to do them here when I can. So, the rest of the week will be busy trying to get those things done. Please pray with me that things go smoothly and that I am able to get it all done. I am now planning on leaving on Monday to go home to Lodwar since things have taken a bit longer than anticipated. I am hoping for a little rest in there too :).

How are things in your neck of the woods? I hope all is well!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This week's ESL class & prayer requests


I sent my students to town today. Their assignment was to find 5 people wearing or carrying accessories. These include jewelry, hats, phones, glasses, scarfs and other things. They were also asked to ask people what brand of soap they use to wash their clothes. They will bring a report tomorrow morning. I hope to find them using more complete sentences in describing the people and the accessories.

The students also spent the last two nights in the homes of English speakers here in town. They enjoyed the time away from the school and they got some good practice in. Their hosts spent time with them and taught them a few things too! I think this has been a good experience and look forward to hearing what the hosts thought about it. Hopefully, we will do this again next month.

We will end class early tomorrow. I need to travel down to Eldoret so I can get my truck inspected. The annual inspection ran out at the end of April. The road was impassable in April so I have to go down now. Therefore, class will end after lunch. That will give me time to pack and get ready to leave early Saturday morning. Please pray for my trip. The recent rain has really messed up the road. So, it could be a challenging trip. Pray also that I have no problems with my truck. I need to get new tires on this trip. I have been getting too many flats lately. I can't get tires here in Lodwar, so I will get them once I get to Eldoret. It has rained three times this week. That is really good for Turkana, but not so good for the road :). So, pray for safety for this trip and no getting stuck in mud! Thanks for your prayers!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Laundry day ESL song


Here is a little song I came up with to help my students remember what they do when the wash their clothes. I hope you enjoy it. It goes to the tune of some song that I can't remember the name of, but I a sure you will figure it out :)

This is how I wash my clothes …Wash my clothes … Wash my clothes. This is how I wash my clothes here on laundry day.

First I have to sort the clothes … Sort the clothes …Sort the clothes. First I have to sort the clothes so white doesn’t go pink!

Then I have to scrub the clothes … Scrub the clothes … Scrub the clothes. Then I have to scrub the clothes with water and soap.

Next I get to rinse the clothes … Rinse the clothes … Rinse the clothes. Next I get to rinse the clothes in clean water.

Then I have to wring the clothes … Wring the clothes … Wring the clothes. Then I have to wring the clothes so the water comes out.

Next I get to hang the clothes … Hang the clothes … Hang the clothes. Next I get to hang the clothes to dry on the line.

Then I must fold the clothes … Fold the clothes … Fold the clothes. Then I must fold the clothes when they are dry.

Sometimes I will iron the clothes … Iron the clothes … Iron the clothes. Sometimes I will iron the clothes to get the wrinkles out.

Then I must put them away … Put them away … Put them away. Then I must put them away to finish laundry day.