Sunday, August 29, 2010

God's blessings abound!


This has been a week of blessings.  When I arrived in Eldoret last Friday, I received a message from a fellow missionary that she would be in Eldoret for the weekend and wondered if I was anywhere close.  Wendy Wagoner works in Tanzania and we met last April.  We haven't seen each other since then.  I was so excited that God worked it out that I would be in Eldoret when she would be there and we could meet up.  It ended up that she was able to stay with me in Eldoret starting Monday and then travel with me to Nairobi.  It was very nice to have a traveling companion.  The Lord blessed both of us by working out this little connection without any planning from either of us!

Once we arrived in Nairobi, we had a wonderful evening with some Nairobi teammates.  We got to celebrate a birthday, share a meal, fellowship and have some fun.  It was a good evening and we didn't get lost on the way home!  I am directionally challenged and this was a new area of Nairobi to me.  So, it was a very good possibility that I would get lost.  Even so, we made it to our guesthouse safely with only one small miss-turn.  Friday, we had fun going out for lunch and seeing the movie Inception.  That is a good movie, but very thought provoking.

Saturday morning, I woke up to a message that I had received a nice random gift.  It was such a surprise and really did have me smiling most of the day.  We spent the day meeting up with some of Wendy's teammates from Tanzania and again celebrated a birthday.  I was able to find some ESL story books that are a bit more African that my students will understand a little better.  I also found some colorful posters for some upcoming lessons.  I don't have a lot of wall space in my classroom, but these will help brighten up the room.

Today my Wendy headed back to Tanzania with her teammates.  I was sad to see her go, but I was thankful for the time we were able to spend together.  We had a nice breakfast at Java house.  (One of the more American style restaurants in Kenya {there are only a few} that is really very good!)  Then I headed to church.  It was so nice to be able to worship in my "mother tongue!"  To top it off, we sang one of my favorite hymns at a church that normally sings mostly choruses.  Then, I had lunch with some fellow Kenya CMFers.  It was a nice time of chatting without having to talk about business and pass minutes.  We could just enjoy each other's company.

So, that is my week of blessings.  How about you?  How has the Lord shown you recently how special you are to him?  I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Robin & Update

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to let everyone know that my puppy, Robin, is now doing fine.  It took him about a week and a half before he was able to walk on his leg - gingerly.  Now he is running around the yard with Batman (the other dog) and playing and doing fine.  Thanks everyone for your concern!

I am currently in Eldoret.  That is in the highlands of Kenya at 7500 ft.  It is a beautiful area.  I have been working on my next english class.  The students will be learning how to ask for and give directions.  So I am making an ABC places of Lodwar booklet.  My friend and I took some pictures around town of shops and buildings and I am putting them all in a little booklet.  The students will then have to give directions to those places from a specific place in town.  I think they will really enjoy this.  My camera doesn't have settings to take black & white pictures.  So, I am having to duplicate each picture and then make it black and white and crop it in my computer program.  That is a bit time consuming.  I have anywhere from three to five pictures for each letter.  I thought this would be a pretty quick thing, but it has taken me several hours and I am only finished through L.  I have a few more to do, but I have the hang of it now :).

Tomorrow I head to Nairobi.  I have some grocery shopping that I need to do.  I usually buy for 2-3 months at a time.  So, it takes a little time.  I also tend to shop at several stores around Nairobi as it is hard to find everything at one store.  I have a two day meeting with all the Kenya CMF missionaries next Thursday and Friday.  After that, I will be headed back home to Turkana.   So, that is a bit of an update from here.  What have you been up to lately?  Have a great day and I would love to hear from you!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

An Election Adventure!

The Edapal family.

Kenya had an election last week. The people had to vote on if they wanted the new constitution or not. It had the potential to be chaotic like the last presidential election, but thankfully it was peaceful. Due to the potential for problems, I stayed home on election day. I stayed home that is, until I got a phone call asking for help. My fellow missionaries Keshule (Kay -shoe-lay), Ali, Ben, Chloe(with two dots over the e) and Lydia Edapal live around the corner from me. They work with a mission called "That mission." It stands for True Hope And Transformation. You can find them at

Anyway, Ali called me around 10:15 p.m. to tell me that Keshule's truck wouldn't start. He was driving the election officials back from a couple of polling stations outside of town. She asked if I could help go get them and tow him if necessary. He was close to town - only 5 kilometers or so from the west side of town. That is a little over 3 miles. So, I said sure and we left their house around 10:30 for a trip of about 12 miles round trip. We all live on the southeast side of town. Neither one of us knew where we were going. We were relying on directions given to us from Keshule and the election officials shouting at him to tell us this or that.

Needless to say, we got lost! I have never been out to the West of Lodwar and it was a very dark night. There was no moon and few stars to light the way. I really miss street lights on nights like this! The roads are dirt and you have to watch for potholes. Anyway, we went the wrong way at a fork in the road. We turned around and found a couple of Turkana to help us. They also told us the wrong way. We think they were just looking for a ride home :). Finally, we saw a lorry (a big truck - no trailer) coming towards us and I stopped. Ali jumped out of the truck and went to ask them if we were on the right road. Alas, we were not. One of the ladies in the full to overflowing truck was a clerk from the election out that way. She agreed to go with us and show us the way. We basically had to go all the way back to town and then take the other fork of the road. We were given landmarks that we didn't know and names of places that we couldn't read the signs on, so I think we had a good reason for being a bit lost. We were at least in the correct area :).

During all this time, Ali was talking to Keshule on the phone. People were yelling at him and Ali was getting stressed. Ali is British by the way. So, at one point she just said to me - "He's got his knickers in a twist" and wouldn't answer the phone when he called. I laughed out loud at that. I was having fun. I was just the driver listening to all that was going on so I wasn't near as stressed as she was. I am sure she had a hard time not slugging me when I laughed like that. Anyway, the lady helped us get to Keshule and I towed his truck, him, the police guard and the election boxes back to town. Ali and I had the rest of the passengers in the truck with us. The police guard was very upset with Keshule because of the broken down truck. Keshule later told us that he was afraid things were going to get violent, but the other election people calmed down the police guard.

When we got to town, we left Kesule and the truck and took the guard and the rest of the people to the campaign offices. I am not exactly sure the name of the place, but it was up on the top of a steep hill where most of the government offices are in town. I didn't want to try towing his truck up that hill. So, we dropped off the people and the two sealed but transparent election boxes (one for yes and one for no). Then we went back to town where we left Keshule and towed him home. I got home around 12:30 am. So, it took 2 hours to go 12 miles, but it was a success and it was fun.

This was a real adventure! It was very dark and we didn't know the way. The road had holes that came up unexpectedly. We were looking around trying to spot places we didn't know in the daylight much less in the dark. I have never towed a vehicle for that long. Their truck is a land cruiser. Mine is a hilux. Mine is a small pickup and theirs is the next size up vehicle that Toyota makes. So, it is bigger than mine and I wasn't sure about towing it that far. We did fine, but I wondered about it. At one point in the towing, I had to stop because I heard a horrendous noise coming from my front right tire (passenger side here). Ali and I in our hurry to get to Keshule did not bring a flashlight. So, I had to try to find the problem with no light. I did find it eventually. It was a stick about a yard and a half long that was stuck between the tire and the frame of the truck. It took a bit of maneuvering to get it out, but then we were on our way again.

In all of that, we had a lot of help. The two men we picked up who gave us wrong directions were happy to help us (even though they knew as much as us about where we were going). The lorry was happy to stop. They made sure we had someone to go with us that knew the way. They even watched us to make sure we got to the right road to get back to where we needed to be. (I am sure they wondered about these two white women out on their own at night and just wanted to help "those crazy white women!) The other election people calmed the guard who wanted to hurt Keshule. They were all gracious to us about getting lost (after they told us we didn't do what we were told). They pointed out the landmarks they had given us on the way back to town. They even acknowledged that you couldn't see any of the signs for those landmarks in the dark. So, what would have been a short trip with no adventure turned out to be great fun and gave me a glimpse of the way elections work here in this country. I even got a nice hearty laugh in the midst of it. :) Keshule was able to find the problem with his truck and fix it without a big expense too!

All in all, it was a great adventure and I thank the Lord for letting me experience it. What about you? Have you had any adventures lately? Why don't you comment and let me know about one. I would love to hear from you!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Robin & budgets


Yesterday was not a good day. It was a Sunday and all was well until I started to go to church. Normally, that is good thing. Yesterday, it was bad as my puppy decided to run under the back wheel of my truck as I was starting to back up. Thankfully, I was not going very fast so I didn't run over him completely. I moved forward as soon as I heard him yelping and jumped out of the truck to go investigate. It looks like he got his right back leg caught under the part of the tire. Remember I live in what seems like the middle of nowhere and this is especially true when something like this happens!

So, I didn't make it to church. There is a vet who lives near-by, but he was not home. I had a Turkana man who works with goats and dogs come look at Robin. He got to feel his foot, elbow (I don't know the technical term - but elbow seems right) and upper back leg, but Robin would not let him touch his hip. So, I was afraid that the hip might be fractured. I asked my facebook friends for help in figuring out what I could give him for pain. In the evening I finally got a hold of a vet in Eldoret (a days drive away) and he told me I could give a very small dose of ibuprofen for swelling and pain, but only for 3 days as it is not good for dogs. So, I had to wait until today to find out anything else.

Today, I went to the district office of veterinary medicine and found two doctors. I have gone here before and found a vet, but he was afraid of dogs and didn't want to come. This time, they both were willing to come and look at the dog. They told me I would have to find something to tie his mouth shut and I would have to do the tying. Otherwise, they were willing to see what they could do. They have no medicines for animals - other than a few vaccines for rabies and some for a goat illness. So, they didn't have any better pain meds for Robin. When they got to the house, they saw Robin favoring his leg and not putting weight on it. Then he laid down on the leg that was sore. This is the first and only time I have seen him do this since the accident! They decided from this, that there was no fracture and that he would heal on his own. Of course, when Robin got up from lying on that leg, he made a big yelp of pain because he had to use the leg more than was good for it. So, I haven't seen him lay on it again today. At any rate, Robin is going to get better. I can give him ibuprofen until tomorrow and then he has to handle the pain on his own.

After running around with the vets this morning, I had to work on my budget for next year. For those of you who don't know me very well, I hate number crunching. I can do it and do fine, I just hate doing it. So, I usually procrastinate extra hard on doing my books or budget. I put it off until the very last minute because I don't like doing it! This year, I didn't have much choice as I was teaching right up to the time I needed to get it done. I could have worked on it Saturday, but I was tired from teaching and I knew I would have today. So, I had to get it done today. Our team is having a meeting tomorrow to approve budgets for next year. It had to be done today and I wasn't planning on having to deal with a hurt puppy! I am happy to say that I got it done and all is well. I am going to watch the winter olympics tonight as a reward. I am on the second day of competition. I just got the DVD's in June and am just now getting to see them. So, don't spoil it for me if you can remember back that far as to who wins what medals :). So far in what I have seen, the U.S. has gotten a gold medal in women's mogul jumping and 2 medals in short track speed skating.

I hope all is well with all of you! I also hope that if you procrastinate on some things, that you get them done when they need to be done in spite of unexpected happenings! Have a blessed day!

Doctor, Doctor give me the news!


This past week I held my 14th English class. I have 12 students that come on a fairly regular basis now. The students don't get much practice at home, but when they come to town I make sure they have plenty of opportunities to talk. This class was focused on health care treatments and visiting the doctor. The students had a great time at the end of the week. They had to divide into groups and put on plays. Each skit had a doctor and three or four patients. In this picture you see the doctor trying to read the thermometer. This doctor had quite the time doing this. Most of the time he had the bulb of the thermometer sticking up in the air and tried to read it that way. It was very funny. My students have a sense of humor and they enjoy getting to try it out in English :).

I tried something a little new this time as well. I had the students listen to a story. I read the first "Magic Tree House" story to them. These books are written for early readers so my students should be able to read them on their own at some point in the near future. This particular story is about two kids who go back in time by way of a magic tree house that they find in the woods near their home. They went back to the time of dinosaurs. So, I had to explain to the class about dinosaurs and fossils before we got into the story. I also had to explain that the story was fiction so most of it was not true. They enjoyed the story and even laughed in appropriate places. So, I think they understood a good part of it. Of course, I tried to act along as I read it and I did handout some pictures from the book and showed them the rest. They asked for the next story - so I guess I will be trying to read one of these for the next class as well. The next book is about knights and castles. So, that should be fun and a bit familiar since we just studied about armor in our last lesson.

All in all, I think it was a good week of class. I enjoyed seeing how the students put their skits together and used the words they had learned this week. They enjoyed getting to be a bit funny and still learn their lesson. I hope you had a good week too! blessings!