Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Cave!

Hi beautiful grandchildren! This is Zenia. Your Paw and Gema had fun hiking to caves on the hills of Nakuru. I was in school so I didn’t get to go but when they came home they told me to gather my friends and they would tell me a story. Everyone gathered around – Zelda, the Zebra (my mom), Gabby the goat, Tweeter the bird and even the monkeys and baboons from the park came. This is the story as they told it to us:

Waaaaow!! What an incredible weekend!

The Cave! Sounds like a suspence drama. It was just that. Friday we were tricked into going on a short ¼ mile hike which turned out to be a 4 MILE hike to the “holy” caves. The Kingdom Hikers talked us into a hike. I think they wanted to see if we could do it. We should have known when George drove off leaving us at the gate. Well it was really the village of the guards of the prison and their families. They wouldn’t let us pass through so we had to take the long way around. That meant up hills through cow pastures and cow pens full of dung.If we had known how far this hike would be we probably wouldn’t have done it. But in the end we were all glad we did. It was not only good exercise and fresh air but a time to get closer to the young people. Our troupe was made up of me, Paw, Doug, Tara, Yahshana, Brandon, from the good ole USA, and Simon, Kenford, Flora, Diana, Evelyn, Modesta, and Janet from Kenya. Simon and Kenford won the most likely to succeed award – a plate of ‘chips’ (aka French fries) - which they had to share by the way.  They kept running off, up and down the valleys and hills. It made me tired to just watch them. They would disappear but were always there to give us a hand when we needed it. The girls were fun and giggly all the way there and back.

We started out in the van with our faithful driver, George. When we reached the gate where we could no longer drive he just sat there, didn’t say a word, and waited for us to get out. Curiously enough he didn’t get out.

That should have given us a clue. But we were bewitched by the wonderful hikers telling us, “it isn’t far”. That became the most popular phrase spoken the whole hike. Ok so we got out and told George to come back in 2 hours. He knowingly said for us to just call when we are back. Second clue.  So off we went, Paw with his hiking stick, us with our water bottles, Brandon with his camera, girls with their giggles, and Simon and Kenford with their secret.

As we strolled along we gasped at the beauty of the hills. Just like Maria in the Sound of Music we wanted to sing and dance. But as I said we were gasping for air as the altitude increased.

We came to our first of many challenges. To get to the other side we must pass through a cow pen, no cows but full, and I mean full, of obviously well fed cows and what they leave behind. Use your imagination and hold your nose. We had to go down a steep slope and you didn’t want to slip and fall so we let the young men assist us down.

We were going higher and higher with no cave in sight. Simon said, “just around that hill, not far”. So we pressed on taking time to sit down and rest ever so often. Janet, Flora and Diana told us it was farther than they are saying. But it was too late to turn back.

We came to a little opening where Simon was pointing down into it. He said, “This is the first cave”. It sure didn’t look like a cave and upon closer inspection it was only an animal’s hole. Simon likes to tease us.

Then I came around a bend and Kenford was scooping up water in his hands from a hole by a tree. We were thirsty but it was too muddy to drink and I didn’t bring my Sawyer water bottle. Next time I will.

We found pretty flowers and mushrooms along the path but no dragonflies. We miss the dragonflies in at Rose Creek but we did see little white butterflies. They are so cute!

Finally we got to the first cave. But before you can go in you have to go down on your knees and repent.

When we got to the entry. We had to climb straight down on tree roots to get into the cave.

Then you go into a wide open entry way. It was soo dark you could hardly see. There were people camping there and praying. God’s creation will always make you feel close to Him if you are paying attention. We liked being there. It was nice and cool.

After a while Simon, our guide, said it’s time to go to the next cave. We asked, “How far?” He said, “Not far….” This time we didn’t believe him. It was a long way up hill to the next cave but we had fun getting there.

When we got down there was a huge vine that the girls liked to swing on. We walked around and saw people sleeping and praying for God to heal them so we tried to be quiet. We met some little children playing and gave them sweeties (candy). They liked to play with us. We rested and took pictures until it was time to go back. 

We met a sweet little girl named Nancy.

We rested.....

We climbed up and out of the hole. I felt like Alice in wonderland coming out of the rabbit hole.

Walking back was easier because it was downhill and we took a short cut.We got to the gate to wait for George. We had hiked for four hours! We were so hungry. Next time we go we will bring snacks. We decided to go to Kokeb, our favorite restaurant, to get some samosas, (little meat pies, Gema says we can make some when she gets home and eat them all up!),

....Stoney’s (ginger sodas) and chips, (that’s what Kenyas call french fries).

.......and fruit punch (Paw and Gema had fun sharing one),

It was so much fun we were glad we didn’t know how far it was but we will definitely go again one day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bora boras, Butterflies and Baboons

Well … Jambo (hello) to all you wonderful grandchildren! This is Zelda, and we want to tell you all about the fun things your grandparents and friends have been doing here in Kenya, Africa.

Do you remember my friend Gabby the goat? Well he’s been listening at the door again and he told me everything your grandpa, grandma  have been doing for the last couple of weeks. So sit back and relax and we will tell you all about it.

First of all Papa Doug and Pa have been teaching families here in Nakuru, Kenya all about following Jesus. When they finished teaching on this day, they rode a boda, boda all the way home. A boda, boda is a bicycle that someone else pedals and you get to sit behind them. It only cost 40 shillings for this 3 mile ride which cost only 37 cents in American money. In Kenya we call our money shillings instead of dollars.

Here they are riding home. Papa George is taking the pictures as he rides behind them.

Later Papa Doug and Brandon played outside George’s house with the neighborhood kids.

Some of the children quietly sneaked up to the widow of Pa’s and Gema’s room, pushed a big rock next to the window where Miss Yahshana was knitting to stand on and asked for candy. Everyone laughed.

Another funny thing happened last week when a kuku (chicken) got out of its pen and decided to sit on Papa Doug's freshly washed shirt. The kuku thought it was a great place to sit in the sun. Miss Tara did not agree. So she ran outside and tried to make the kuku get down; but the kuku wouldn't leave till Miss Tara shook the shirt really hard. That's the kuku in the last picture underneath Miss Tara's arm.

Sometimes everyone likes to drive down town to shop for food and watch people working on tall buildings. These men walk on small wooden poles very carefully so they don’t fall. These men were working on a building 50 feet high in the air.

Last Sunday was “Grain Day”. That’s when the church gives grain and rice to all the people who need help with finding enough food to eat. The kids love it. Gabby was complaining because he thinks they should have given him a bag too.

Later that week everyone went to see the silly baboons down at the entrance to Lake Nakuru Park. They always try to take over everything and are very sneaky. Sometimes they like to try and get in human's truck or bus and steal their food. Bad Baboons!

The baby baboons are always fun to watch. They never get far away from their mother and are always playing around.

One day Pa and Gema took Doug, Tara, and Brandon all the way up to the top of a high mountain called “the Crater” to see the beautiful view from the crater's top. This high mountain was once a volcano. Now it’s dormant. That means it’s asleep. I hope it doesn't wake up! Don't you?

There was a cow herder with his cows on the top of the Crater who wanted his picture taken and there are always plenty of little children asking for “sweeties” (candy).
Grandma acted like she was throwing Brandon off the cliff. Brandon looks like he’s really falling but they were just playing around.

On the way home all of them stopped at a restaurant and had some “Chai”. That’s what we call tea here in Kenya. There was a little poinsettia tree in the yard with many beautiful butterflies flittering around. Aren’t they pretty?

Well that’s all for now. Only three more weeks and everyone will be coming home to see all of you. Gabby heard them say they can’t wait to hug and kiss all of you. What’s a hug and a kiss?

Well, don’t worry I will write you again and let you know all they do before they go…   Bye for now;

All our love to all of you …Zelda, Zenia, Gabby and the gang!