Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Parliament

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

June 14th
We are continuing our exit from this country.  As stated yesterday we flew from Kakamega to Nairobi and today we fly out of Nairobi back to the states.  But first, we have a full day planned.

Today we got to go to the Parliament building and meet with a few officials (Millie and Wilberforce).  This is really more Valerie and Richard’s thing but they let us tag along.  🙂  We initially arrived at the parliament building and eventually found a place to park outside the area as they have no real “guest” parking for visitors.  We then proceeded to wait and wait in in the parking lot for at least an hour, I don’t know how long as I didn’t have a clock with me; but it was a long time in midday sun.  No shade and they wouldn’t let us in without a Member of Parliament’s Personal Assistant; preferably Millie’s assistant as she was who we were meeting.  Eventually it came through that there was a mix up and we just weren’t in the schedule for that morning.

After waiting long enough, we decided to try to see if the 2nd appointment with Wilberforce could receive us a bit early as we were already there and the first appointment didn’t pan out so well.  So in that process (which was somewhat complicated with sending messages back and forth) we found out that we had the appointments backwards.  We were actually very late for what was our 1st appointment with Wilberforce and our appointment with Millie wasn’t until the afternoon.  Oh dear.  Luckily, Wilberforce is a gracious gentleman and gave us some of his time despite having a full schedule and other commitments.  My impression of Wilberforce is that he is a genuine gentleman, nice, good dreams for what he can do.  That being said, he is also new to the office.  My hope is that he will stick with his guns and not bend and/or break like most politicians due in their political career.  Big dreams can often turn sour.  Wilberforce, I hope to God you keep your foundation!

We then left the Parliamentary building for awhile to find some sustenance and wait until our scheduled appointment with Millie.  We found a nice, neighboring restaurant where everyone essentially ordered the same thing; chicken (kuku) and chips.  I had kuku and chapati but it’s similar enough (fried tortillas instead of fries).

At the appointed time we headed over to the Parliament again to meet with Millie.  Her assistant came down to meet us and informed us that Millie would love for us to join her for lunch.  Doh!  Well, so as not to insult we graciously accepted and prepared ourselves to eat another full meal.  This was a fun experience as we got to eat in the MP “lunch room”.  Which is basically a 5 star restaurant (5 star in Kenya).  We waited for about 45 minutes at the table, not eating or ordering anything.  Valerie or Richard (I don’t remember who) was texting Millie’s assistant and she was keeping us somewhat up to date.  We weren’t quite sure what was going on at this point truthfully.  Eventually Millie’s assistant told us to go ahead and order food as Millie wouldn’t be eating with us.  So we ordered our grub, ate it and waited a bit longer.  Heather and I ordered the “Meat on bones” which was some weird translated name but it sounded good to us!  It was tasty, and it was meat on bones; with large arteries and everything.  Yowza.

Overall we waited about 1.5 hours at the table before heading up to meet Millie.  We met her in a private office.  I don’t know who normally worked in that office but it wasn’t Millie.  Either way we all stuffed in to the office and she came in a few minutes later.  She was a pleasant enough gal though some of her priorities seem a bit off.  One of her big things is that she’s setting up a conference to discuss the amount of time teenagers are spending on facebook.  Shoot, if those teens come from a rich enough family to afford the internet time necessary to sustain facebook I’d worry about something else.  Like the large slums just outside the city.  Sigh, politicians do tend to reside in their own warped world.  Hence my comments above about Wilburforce, let’s hope he keeps himself out in the real world.  Not to drag on Millie however, I’m pretty sure she is one of the better Members of Parliament as she did seem to care and spent a lot of time dealing with some of the female issues in Kenya.  But flack was deserved for the facebook thing.

After that we headed headed over to Juliette’s house for a feast!  It was supposed to be a light dinner but she prepared the Kenyan equivalent of thanksgiving.  It was fantastic, corn, chapapti, chicken, beef, mandazi, mango, samosas.  Yum.  Now Juliette, she is a good woman.  A widow who has done many great things with her lot in life.  She isn’t poor by Kenyan standards, keeps a nice standard of living but rather than isolating herself she keeps herself managing ~500 orphans and works on placing them in homes.  An emotionally tasking job to be sure. 

Juliette also works with a lot of gals on setting up their own businesses or things they can do to make a living.  One of the gals living with her (or visiting, not sure which) brought out some of her stuff to share.  She is an excellent seamstress and made a good array of dresses and shirts.  Heather found a really cute shirt but sadly it didn’t quite fit.  Teresa found a nice dress and purchased that one. 

After that we said our goodbyes and headed to the Nairobi Airport.  All is well that ends well.  Until next time!

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Posted in Food, Nairobi |

Sheywe House

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

June 8th
So we arrived at the Sheywe House last night, but didn’t get to look around much besides dinner until today.  So check out some of these pictures.  The Sheywe House was one of the most reasonably priced hotels we stayed in.  The bang for the buck was excellent.  Check out these pictures.  Heather and I had our own little apartment with a living space, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.  Granted, the living space and kitchen are joined; oh, and the kitchen stove didn’t really work.  I think you had to supply your own propane or something, it was odd.  Richard and Valerie however had a working stove WITH propane so that was good.  That took care of our cooking situation.  We all had working fridges.  Below is a picture from the door into the apartment of the living space and kitchen.

Just outside our building, while still within the confines of the Sheywe were these Storks.  Now, I posted a little bit about these birds earlier, here.  But at this location, there was a large number of these birds at all times.  Just as before, these birds are HUGE!  It’s hard to tell the size in these pictures but when standing they have to be at least 3 feet tall.  Here is a Wikipedia entry on these birds, Marabou Storks apparantly.  I guess some of them can get up to 5 feet tall and weighing at 20 pounds!  I don’t know if we saw any that big but easily 3 to 4 feet tall on most of them.

I thought this was a funny picture.  Thanks to Heather for working on trying to get this shot.  A few earlier times when we saw the birds doing this she was unable to get a good picture.  Try and try again!  But these storks are the only birds I have ever seen to actually rock back and sit on their knees.  Usually birds stand, sit in a tree or sit on the ground; but sitting on their knees?  I don’t recall ever seeing that.  Feel free to correct me if a bird does that in the Pacific NW.  Maybe flamingos at the zoo, but I don’t recall seeing that.

 

The Sheywe, like many hotels, serves a breakfast every morning.  The Sheywe has one of the better breakfasts as well, with wheatabix availalbe for cereal, milk, pineapple, bananas, and they take your order for toast, eggs and bacon.  Boo yah!  Eggs and bacon every morning, my kind of place.  Often a local cat would be hanging around as well, hoping for some bacon scraps.  Some british ladies who were staying there for a couple months (One of them helps manage the Sheywe when she’s down there) fed the kitty much to her delight.  All cats are referred to as Puss Puss down there.  Which American’s find funny for various reasons.  If you want to call a cat over you do the general cat thing of rubbing your thumb and two fore fingers together, but you also call out “puss puss puss puss puss….”.   It’s a culture thing.  🙂

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Posted in Food, Kakamega, Travel |

Leaving Miwani & Nancy Odwaro

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

June 7th
Oh my goodness.  This morning I woke up around 6:30am to an amazingly large noise of birds chirping.  There was so many of them it sounded akin to a heavy rainfall on a tin roof.  The chirping and fluttering and more chirping.  Crazy loud.  Anyways, it was a good time to get up, everyone else stayed asleep or in their rooms until 7-8 so I got some nice quiet time in the front room overlooking the farm.  Very pleasant, very relaxing. 

Later in the morning we walked over to Karunga School, which was, in essence, personal project for some of the original farm members.  They diligently worked on enhancing their library, studies, and buildings.  Valerie just wanted to show us the school and the kids. 

Then we packed up and headed out from Miwani.  A couple years ago I spent 3 months there, this time, just a night.  Next we headed back into the Kisumu “suburbs” – I’m not really sure what you’d call the non-downtown areas of a large city – towards Nancy Odwaro’s House for the Olive Branch Documentary.  She put together a thanksgiving feast for us!  I wish I had pictures.  Rice, a few meat sauces, pineapple, mango, homemade juice, bread, the table was packed!!  And it was all mightily delicious.

During the documentary us boys, who didn’t have a part to play at this particular time, hung around outside talking, and keeping quiet as our voices could carry.  I checked out Nancy’s house and plot of land.  She is quite the efficient woman!  It isn’t a big plot of land but she had a couple cows, goats, chickens & mango trees.  A worker was working on her water flow system while we were there.  Most Kenyan residents who can afford it generally seem to install a series of concrete gutters to take in the heavy rains that come and dump it where they want to dump it, and take it away from the house.

I talked quite a bit with Mesh during this interlude, about his business ideas and the local response to the Chinese presence.  As figured, most didn’t mind the investment and all the workers.  They generally kept to themselves and didn’t want to socialize with the Kenyans, and so the Kenyan’s let them be.  Anywhoo, we talked and at one point Mesh stood to move away but as he stood I had some serious deja vu.  At that moment I stopped talking and asked if we had talked about this before.  The image of him in front of the van and me sitting down at Nancy’s place was stuck in my mind from a prior time.  I must have dreamed that conversation at some point in the past.  Strongest deja vu feeling of my life and I am dead serious on that.  Based on that deja vu I made a few decisions later on and we shall see where that will lead later on in life.

Anyways, we were at Nancy’s for a decent number of hours.  When we were done we headed to our next hotel, the Sheywe House, dumped all our goods and went to have a late dinner at the hotel restaurant.  We had a great view of some amazing lighting storms in the background.  The power kept going out putting us in total darkness, which while it gave good darkness for watching lighting, when you are hungry and the cooks need electricity to cook you food; well, let’s just say it was about 1.5-2 hours before we were all served.  Many dishes were served cold because they wouldn’t bring them out as they were done.  They waited until all dishes were ready.  Poor Valerie, she always seemed to get the brunt of food issues on this trip.  Either being served last, or served cold food, or both.  Both happened to her this time, cold and served last. 

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Kimbo PEFA – Lunch/Dinner

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

June 5th
After the well dedication the church took the team out to dinner as a thank you.  They took us to a 5 Star hotel’s restaurant.  Now, just because the hotel is rated 5 stars doesn’t necessarily mean that the restaurant is 5 stars.  The food wasn’t horridly expensive, service was still on the slow side, but it was all quite delicious.  I personally ordered a potato cauliflower curry.  Mmmmm. We sat there for at least an hour before food started to arrive intermittently, and arrived for then next ~15 minutes; so some people were done by the time others food arrived. 

Now, I’m not necessarily complaining, it’s just the way it is down there.  There are few restaurants in Kenya that I’ve been to that cater to western style timing; and the ones that do are probably in a major metropolitan area (guessing) and are foreign establishments (one of the best restaurants we had been too a few times was Indian).

Oh, but no matter how long the food takes, it is generally quite delicious!

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Posted in Food |

Safari, Nairobi Game Park

Saturday, June 4th, 2011


Game Park Day!  Boo Yah!  You can see all 44 good pictures here.  Below are a few with comments and/or stories.

A side note on breakfast: they had gizzards available.  However, I don’t know if that is what gizzards normally taste like or not but they were incredibly tough.  Like eating cartilage or rubber.  No way could I chew or digest those things.  I left them alone on my plate after unsuccessfully attempting to eat one.

I thought the above picture was adorable.  Heather was pretending to be another baby Rhino next to the Mama rhino.  See the pose of the baby rhino behind me and compare to Heather.

Virtually right away upon entering the park we had giraffes come great us.  It was spectacular.  They came within 30 feet of the Church Van (which had all Kenyan friends) and probably about within 40 feet of our Van – mostly mzungu’s (whites) and Haron.

The van we used was a classic “safari van” with a pop top.  So about 4 people could easily stand inside the van with their heads poking out the top.  After a few minutes of roaming around the park I decided to keep my head up consistently to keep watch!  and boy am I glad I did, we turned left and one point but I looked over to the right and saw a ton of zebras only a few minutes drive away.  So we turned around and drove towards them and just as we were approaching the zebra leader – would you call that zeader? 😉 – crossed the road about 150 ft in front of us.  So we carefully coasted up to about 30ft from where he crossed and all the other obedient zebras crossed right where he crossed, which was right in front of us!  It was fantastic!

Ostriches sure are odd birds.  These were one of the few animals that I could easily spot from 2 miles away, most other animals were at least some what difficult to see.  Zebra’s, despite their black as well, blend in much better into the background.  Ostriches, no blending what so ever!  Good thing they are fast enough to run away from most predators.  Wikipedia says they have a max running speed of 60 miles an hour!  That’s faster than my little diesel rabbit truck, which starts to shake a little bit at 60mph.

These little guys were scattered throughout the plains, and some of them had beautiful horns like this gentleman.  Often they would be near the road but leap and run away as soon as we got close.  Was it my body odor?!  😉

This picture was taken just as the baboon was going in for the attack!  Before arriving to this “picnic area” – which has a sign posted warning you of baboons in the area – Valerie told us stories about how last time they were down here the baboons were vicious little critters.  The baboons I guess were all over the picnic area and were not very friendly to anyone attempting to have lunch.  Anyways, after we all got out of the vans at the picnic area – which is generally the only place one should get out of the van while in the Nairobi reserves – Heather and I walked over to the far side of the picnic area which overlooked a cliff/rift area.  Heather saw the baboon first coming up the roadway and wanted to get a picture of it.  Once I finally saw it and watched it get closer we noticed that the large baboon had a young one with it as well.  At this point we nonchalantly yelled back to the vans “The baboons are coming!”; which being that there was only two this time we thought it was funny that “the baboons” were coming.  Heather did get quite close to them at which point I stated “don’t get too close!” as I’ve heard stories about how vicious baboons can be.  Paranoid?  Maybe.  Either way, the Baboons kept walking up the roadway and then veered off the roadway going away from the group.  Which I thought was a good thing, but they were just angling for a better attack position.  Suddenly they broke their casual walking pace and booked it towards the picnic table where everyone else was.  They ran between the vans, and I guess the group at the picnic table with all the food saw the young baboon first while the larger baboon jumped and perched on the picnic table bench for a second.  Startled everyone there, but especially the 2-4 year old Kenyan girl who was sitting on the bench right below this large baboon.  At this point we had packed a lot of food in a cardboard box, and seeing this the baboon grabbed it and made as if to dash.  Nash (I believe) also grabbed the box and a hilarious (in retrospect) tug of war took place for 3-5 seconds.  The box eventually tore down it’s corners and the contents spilled out.  I missed what happened next, but from the stories I think Valerie had picked up a box of cookies that had spilled out of the larger cardboard box during the scuffle.  The baboon, seeing that she obviously valued that box of cookies huffed and puffed at Valerie and grabbed those cookies right out of her arms!  Nash at this point then proceeded to imitate Rocky IV and punched the baboon straight in the chest.  Which I’m sure hurt at least a little but, but it startled the baboon more than anything because well, if it was a human it would have needed a diaper, but being an animal well, let’s just say that Number 2 ended up on the table he was so startled.  He than ran off with the cookies, and Osborn ran off the younger baboon who was still lurking nearby looking for something tasty to grab.  Overall, quite the story! Below is a picture of the younger baboon enjoying someone else’s lunch or garbage.

Seeing the warthogs was a fun event.  We were driving along and suddenly you see something large moving about in the bushes!  There was a whole family of these guys and after we pulled up they decided to leave the bushes and head elsewhere so we got a decent view of them.  Though the tall grass hid them well so the above is one of the better pictures.

Later one we approached a “nature walk” area.  Which was staffed by two soldiers with mid to large caliber rifles.  One of them took us on the nature walk where we saw three crocodiles, some turtles, a hippo, some birds and monkeys, and I think that’s everything.  The armed escort was even able to get the monkeys up close!

This is the famed Rhino which unfortunately (or luckily) didn’t get very close.  There you can just see his gray scaly back between the Ostrich and Gazelles.

Definitely one of the highlights of the trip was that we got to see Lions up close and personal.  Apparently Valerie and Richard, despite their many trips to the game park, have never seen a lion here.  Excepting one time where it was far away and “I think that’s a lion, but it could be something else”, but that doesn’t really count.  In the above lion picture you see how they are up high on a mound, well we drove right up to base of that mound and hung out there for 10 minutes.  They would look at us but luckily they weren’t very hungry! 😉

Near the end of the trip we finally got to see a Wildebeast!  They look just like the ones in the Lion King 😉

Beautiful shot huh?  You can thank my wife for that one.

Overall it was a spectacular day, fun, hot and tiring.  We all went back home and ordered meat at the Roasters Restaurant which was loosely attached to our Hotel.  Valerie had warned us that this restaraunt takes forever so we ordered food and then went back into the hotel to change, shower and prepare for the evening.  We spent about 45min doing this but still waited an additional 75 minutes for food.  This place doesn’t have a menu, you just tell them what kind of meat you want and they cook it.  Heather and I ordered Goat, to which the waitress asked “Arm, Leg, Ribs, …” so we got an arm to share between the two of us.  That meat was the among the toughest meat I’ve ever eaten.  My jaw was so tired after we were done.  My oh my!

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Goose Assassination

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

So the other day I got to see a pretty sweet Goose Assassination. Can’t really say too much here, else I might be next….. but check out the pictures eh? and just in case, dont’ be eating while you look. It’s for your own safety, and that of your keyboard incase you have a weak stomach. 🙂

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In Kakamega for Christmas

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

12/21/07
Travel to Kakamega
On the morning of the 21st I caught a ride with the “milk run” which works it’s way to town selling the prior days milk. From Kisumu I got the experience of catching a ‘Matatu’ to Kakamega. A Matatu is essentially a van that they cram as many people and as much luggage into as possible. If everyone is seating in his own seat then consider yourself luckly. I’d say ‘full’ was 16-18 people. A space for 3 people normally had 4, one guy on the floor, maybe 2 hanging off the door. (hanging off the door is normally just if you going a short distance and don’t want to walk.) The matatu stops a number of times every mile to pick up and drop off various people. Once in Kakamega (at least I hoped, I wasn’t really sure where I was) I got a “BodaBoda” which is a bicycle taxi, to take me to my friends pharmacy. Bicycle taxi is just a fixed gear bicycle with a seat small cushion above the rear tire. These bicycles are all over Kenya. One of the main methods of transporation. Human, furniture, animals, whatever. It all gets strapped to the back of the bike on a 6in x 12in ‘platform’. It was common enough to see someone riding a bike with what must have been 40 pounds of corn seed strapped to the back. Or someone caring balancing a couch on the bike (not riding, but using the bike to carry it while he balanced and pushed). During the election madness there was a news clip on the TV showing a guy trying to hurriedly strap what must have been at least a 21″ tv to his bike that he stole from a store. It didn’t work so well.

Anyways, I eventually got to the pharmacy alright with only a little difficulty since neither I nor my driver knew where the Pharmacy was. See the link in the title above for the map relating Kisumu to Kakamega.

12/22/07
Youth Bash
The church had a Youth Bash 2007 today. Being a guest, and being white, I got to sit off to the side in the nicer, plastic chairs and was initially by myself. Somewhat odd and embarrising for me. After they started doing their talks or whatever the ‘leader guy’ sent one of the girls over to sit next to me to translate. So rather than sitting off to the side by myself only understanding a couple words a minute, I got to have the accompaniment of a pleasant female whispering English in my ear, with only a couple giggles from her friends. Maybe I’m just to easily embarrassed. I did get to be in one of the plays though, so that was a bonus. Simple part with only a couple Swahili words to memorize. But the audience seemed to enjoy it.

Gabriel seems like a nice guy
I ended the evening talking with some crazy guy outside the pharmacy for a fair while. Initially he was talking to me in the pharmacy but I led him outside so as not to detract from business, that and I didn’t want George (owner of pharmacy) to get annoyed with whatever this guy was talking about.

12/24/07
Met one of the pharmacy’s suppliers and he took me, George and his daughter to Mumias (east about 10 miles) for roast lamb. Oh man, that was some fine tasting meat. Fire roasted meat is always so good. Roast lamb and Ugali for lunch. fabulous.

That evening we had Plantens (pronounced Plantains) which is boiled bananas. Go here for picture and description.

12/25/07
Christmas Service
For Christmas we had a nice Christmas service of typical length (3.5 hours in length. A church with services like that wouldn’t survive long with the American attention span! 🙂 ) Followed by a pleasant meal prepared by the ladies of the church.

Chicken Fight
Back at Simon’s house I found that a chicken was in my room and had apparently been in there awhile as he left little Christmas presents all over the floor. And not the good kinda presents that chickens give, but he did leave an egg on my pillow. I guess the wind blew the door shut after the chicken had entered my room. I don’t like that chicken. Chicken’s in the house are common enough but usually only in the kitchen and dining room. They don’t usually venture far back enough to the bedrooms but this guy did. Later that night I went to go grab my telephone charger and found that the chicken also attacked my backpack with his butt. Luckily for me I decided not to turn the light on and found out with my fingers instead of my eyesight. Yuck. Nothing a little water and soap can’t fix!! darn you no running water! 🙂 Nah, it was fine. It’s just more fun to complain.

As always, look for links on the titles above for pictures.

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Pre-Holiday/Election Catchup

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

Primarily due to the fact that I’m horribly anal when it comes to doing things in ‘sequence’ here’s a couple events that preceded me leaving the Miwani Farm and going to Kakamega.

12/17/07
Armed Robbers nearby
My first case of violence in Kenya, little did I know it was just a touch of what was going to happen later. But anyways, some armed bandits robbed a Motorcycle driver going by the road that runs along the Miwani Farm. Then proceeded to escape through our compound after villagers from around the area started running everywhere (all the talking was in Swahili so I had a hard time following what was going on). Initially I had heard some shots but didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t loud where I was figured it was something else. But then I heard all the kids running and yelling as they were going to the gated entrance to the compound. Being one to follow the crowd, I joined in to see what was going on. After a few minutes they jumped the fence and ran through the middle of the compound at out the other side. No one was hurt or anything. Guess they had a bag of money.

Egg Lovin’
This was also the same day that the main leaders of the compound had gone for the weekend. The CEO’s parents came in a couple days prior to stay for Christmas and they went off for the weekend to show them some bit of Kenya. Thus, with it being just me and the three boys, I wanted eggs for lunch. So made eggs with stuff in them for the four of us. As I normally make plenty of mistakes, I didn’t want to exclude this cooking event so I broke 8 eggs in the process, all over the floor. My excuse lies in that my hands had some oil on them and the egg holder wasn’t very good and the refrigerator hit my hand and and and and. Whatever. I hate cleaning up broken eggs. Pain in the arse to get up off the floor.

Ugali is a one way dish
As this day was proving so eventful, for dinner we had Ugali (african dish) and that night I got the pleasure of regurgitating it for the sewer animals. It wasn’t the Ugali that got me as the boys were fine, but maybe the water or something on my hand? I dunno. Nice case of Food poisoning that took me out the next day as well. Oh, and Ugali is a dry maize dough/bread that is eaten with something liquidy. You can’t really eat it plain, like trying to eat saltine crackers with a dry mouth. So imagine eating a fair amount of dry dough and having it come back out. Uber thick. Uber Green. Not cool. Not kosher. Don’t want that experience again. I like barfing up malted shakes like I did when I got my wisdom teeth out.

12/19/07
Monkey Love
I saw a pack of monkeys today! I was assisting with moving a toilet house from the workshop where it was built to Tobias’ house on the far side of the compound. We all cut our hands pretty good on the sheet metal. Nothing like putting blood into your work. But I was driving the transport truck from the workshop to his house on and the way about 8 monkeys had jumped over the fence and were chillin’ on the path. Unfortunately they were too fast so I didn’t get to run them over with my Toilet Truck. or is that fortunate? I forget. 🙂

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Week 1 Events, Kakamega

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

So like i said prior, I visited a place called Kakamega. Now, one point of clarification before i start, when I say Kakamega, I could be referring to the Church OR the town. I’m sorry, it’s just habit now to refer to the chuch as Kakamega. I’ll attempt to utilize the term “church” but I make no promises.

So the Kakamega Church (see! told you I’d try) is loosely connected to my home church, Westside through work we’ve done with them and some financial help. Through that connection I am meeting up with these guys. I just stayed the night there and got back late the next afternoon (a bit before men’s bible study); and in that 25 hour period, a couple key events:

Trip Over to Kakamega
I was picked up late due to a mechanical issue with the car (break line finally broke) so I got to see first hand the Kenyan mechanic shop! or rather, lane. It was a street of old cars everywhere, people everywhere, parts strewn everywhere. Pretty awesome. Dr. George showed the bad peice and off the guys when on a quest to find the part. 20 or so minutes later we got the part, they haggled for a bit, I was able to pick up that they were fighting between 5 to 6 hundred shillings for the line (8-10 bucks); and ended up with a happy 550.

We also stopped by one of the guy’s parents or sisters house for some Chai and Ugali. Apparently Kenyan’s just drink a tea called Chai. No other flavors. In fact it was directly mentioned that he didn’t understand why so many flavors. Chai with a couple scoops of sugar is apparently the way to go. Ugali was pretty sweet though. Kind of a doughy, heavy bread that you squish in your hand and scoop up some boiled, spiced greens. First taste of authentic Kenyan food!! Then they brought out the milk; to which I was happy about. Sounded good at the time. Then they mentioned that I might not like it as it was fermented. Ever seen chewable milk? whoooooa there. While it actually didn’t taste too bad (I could stomach about half a cup) it was one of the more ‘odd’ things I’ve seen. Pretty stomach turning to a Westerner, seeing milk slop into your cup! hehe. Like I said though, tasted alright. Like a mix of plain, unsweetened yogurt with the consistency of watered down cottage cheese.

Simon’s Cell Group / Small Group:
Let me tell you, these African guys know to give an intro. When Simon introduced me to his cell group, I have to admit, I sounded pretty awesome! Hehe, just kidding… kinda. Seriously though, most of you know how I dislike being the center of attention but here I was crowded into a very small room with about 13 people where I was the center of attention; and then to have a pastor (Simon is one of the pastors at the church so he’s a practiced orator) talk about me or at least a solid minute. Can we say awkward? No worries though, I thought I made a pretty good comeback, err… introduction and thanks, when it was my turn to say something. I don’t remember what I said, but it’s one of those times where God helps me out because I was not only articulate but had a solid message/greeting. And you all again know that’s not me! That’s one thing I do love about missions, God always seems to be a little more obvious in the simple things. Maybe it’s that way normally, or maybe I just depend on Him less. but that’s some spiritual thoughts for later.

“African Shower”
Slept at Simon’s place. Nice house. But I found out later that their plumbing wasn’t fully finished. I actually started to suspect when told “We’ll make the preparations” when I accepted his offer of a shower. Huh? Preparations? His response to my look was a smile and something about experiencing an African Shower. About half an hour later I was led outside to their latrine/shower where one room had a hole in the ground (a good 40 feet deep) and some toilet paper; and the other room had a candle, a bucket of water (warm!! whooo hoo) and soap. So picture this if you dare! Me, bucknaked, crouching over a bucket of water holding soap. wait, actually I don’t know if I want you to picture that. Bucknaked crouched men are not the best to have dangling in ones cerebral cortex. …. hehe, sorry, I never stop when it starts to get inappropriate… and i love it…. anywhoo, I started to wash but cut it short when I got the water soapy and then realized that with soapy water it would be difficult to wash off the soap on my body. I made do with what I had and ended the shower. Next time, avoid the soap in the clean water. Note taken.

Detention Center
I posted a number of pictures that describe the place pretty well, check those out for visual and text. I got to give a couple speeches there; let’s hope I get good at this before God does the ol’ “push the bird out of the nest”.

And that’s roughly it for Kakamega! oh, and politically, Obama is from the area I guess, so everyone there want’s Obama to win. and yes, it was hard for me to “keep out of a political discussion” but I did it. aren’t you proud?

Upcoming Events!
Awesome Farmer’s Tan in the Making! Wait till you see how my sandle tan is turning out!
December 9th I get to give the Church sermon! my that’s getting close…..

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