About two months ago we spend a weekend with a missionary family in Northern Kenya. They work among the Samburu and Rendille peoples in the Marsabit and Samburu counties. Northern Kenya is as beautiful as it is dry. I’ll write a blog post dedicated to our trip up North and share our experience. Our hostess, Melodie, intimated that the women in this area split their day into 3:

  • Finding water
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning

I bring up the Northern Kenyan women to excuse myself for the delay in sending blog posts. My mom often says “work never ends” when she wants to encourage me to stop so I can have a meal or rest. I’ve come to see that she is right.

I spent the last two months with my parents in Nakuru, Kenya. In April we had the pleasure of hosting my sister and her three children – one of whom was a newborn. It was nice full house and we loved it. But 5 children under 6 years of age meant lots of work 🙂 We have access to plenty of water so I did not have to go looking for it, but majority of the other work is manually done. We hand wash our clothes and dishes, cook from scratch, sweep the house and compound, and feed and pick up after animals. All that took a lot of time. By the time I am done with dishes at 9/10pm, I was too tired to write. But I promised myself to be more productive once back in the US as I have so much help – from the dishwasher, washing machine, and vacuum cleaner.

In Samburu with the pastor’s wife and her cousin. They make the baskets I am holding.

The second reason for my silence was my parents’ electric source. They use solar energy which turns off when a device uses too much energy. My computer would turn off their electricity whenever I plugged it in. But their neighborhood is growing and will hopefully be able to get a transformer in the near future from the Kenya Power and Lighting Company.

What we’ve been up to the past two months

New Baby

Our third born sister, Naomi, had her third baby on the 29th of February. We enjoyed snuggles with the new born as well as helping the new mom. Naomi and my brother in law have an almost two year old and a 5 year old so they have a busy household. We spent a week with them in early March. Once the older daughter’s school took a break for the holidays in April, they joined us at my parents. My daughter – Neema – has blossomed in two major ways:

  • She started emulating aunt Naomi in how she cares for her doll. She wraps the doll up in blankets, gives it naps, feeds it, and walks around with it in her ‘baby carrier’.
  • She is almost fluent in Swahili. As much Swahili as her cousin Mia spoke, Neema speaks it now. Mia also picked up on Neema’s American English accent. The two girls sounded so similar that if they called out to us when we were in a different room, we had no idea whether it was Neema or Mia calling.

Farm Animals

Ronald is obsessed with farm life. He enjoys harassing the chicks and chickens and imitating the rooster. For the last few weeks, they’ve watched a chicken lay on its eggs until they hatched. That has been such an exciting life lesson for them.

The cousins all love the kitten – now cat – which they nicknamed “Smokey”. They pet and hold him so much that the kitten is terrified of them. If you want the cat to leave the house all you need to do is call out to one of the children and it will disappear as soon as they scream “Smokey” There’s also Bella the dog who they enjoy running around the neighborhood with when going to the shamba (farm). Most recently in April, sokoro (grandpa) added bunnies to the mix. So the compound stays busy with animals to feed and animal waste to clean 🙂

Ronald patiently waiting for the chicks to hatch

Throw back

Jared left for the US the first week of March. The week he left was hard because we missed him and also got sick from the pizza we ate in Nanyuki on his last night. We got medication and after about a week we were much better.

Before Jared left we had so many adventures. His last week we traveled to Nairobi, Meru, Nanyuki and Northern Kenya. In Nairobi we hosted my pastor, his wife and daughter as well as some family and we had a delightful dinner.

I also met some author friends and the management of the company we bought our land from. The company treated us to a delicious dinner at the Zen Garden in Nairobi. 

Limiri Family

In Meru, we met the Limiri family. They run the Limiri Farms and Limiri Travels and also have a foundation to improve the lives of the people around them through business and charity. Meru is a neighboring county to Laikipia County where our land is (Nanyuki) The Limiris featured us on their YouTube channel and have since become good friends. They live about 1.5 hours away and we are looking forward to more adventures together when we move to Nanyuki, Kenya.

In Nanyuki we loved exploring around. It’s a very small town and we’ll love living there. We already made friends through homeschooling connections and spent an evening at the Nanyuki Sports Club and an afternoon with them at their house.

From our land, we have a breathtaking view of Mt. Kenya. We planted some trees because the area is naturally Savannah with grassland and acacia trees.

What I‘ve been reading

I decided to read some Kenyan  literature while visiting. Below are some books I’ve gotten through:

  • Ndoto ya Almasi (Almasi’s Dream) is a Swahili novel written by Ken Walibora in the late 1970s. Ken Walibora was a prolific writer and the author of Siku Njema – a Swahili novel that I had to study in my junior and senior years (from 3&4) and was part of our high school completion test. Ndoto ya Almasi started painfully slow and had a lot of repetition. Walibora could take a whole page to say the same thing in different ways. I got through the novel and wanted to reach out to him to discuss the book but discovered he passed away in 2020. May he rest in peace. 
  • White Mischief – by James Fox is an investigative journalism book about the white settlers in Kenya in the early 20th century. The book features a group of amoral settlers including Karen Blixen, Lord Erroll among others. The settlers whose lives are analyzed belonged to a group called Happy Valley where adultery, and alcoholism were commonplace. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I didn’t finish it.. I later learned from our missionary friends in Northern Kenya that White Kenyans are considered “unreached people”. This means that the gospel has not gotten to them and they need missionaries. It really isn’t hard to see this, given their ancestors’ lifestyles. Praying for God to make a way for the Gospel to reach them.
  • My Life in Crime by John Kiriamiti – the author was a Kenyan thug from the 60s until his arrest in 1979. This is one of the most read and well-known books in Kenya. This book proves the saying that “done is better than perfect”. Kiriamiti wrote this book verbatim while in prison and it seems like his publisher never edited his work. Nevertheless, it was an incredible story of his thug life and how he got away from the law until it caught up with him.

Looking forward to sharing more of our experiences in Kenya and more. Please write back and let me know how you are doing and what you are upto. God’s blessings until next time.