Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hike to Mount Longonot, Kenya

View of the Great Rift Valley

Made it to the top of Mt Longonot. Next hike around the rim!!

That large peak behind me, that's where we are going!!

View from the top of the peak on the crater

Almost all the way around, only a little bit further

*side note- Dark clouds came and lots of wind. And once we were only a few hundred yards from the car it started to rain. So there aren't any pictures on the way down the mountain. In all we hiked over 13 kilometers (over 8 miles) from bottom to top, around the top of the crater, and back down. It was a workout and we even got a bit sunburned.  Going to be a bit sore tomorrow :)

Breakfast for dinner at Java House

Monday, October 28, 2013

Giraffe Center- Nairobi Kenya

Rothschild Giraffes

Did you know there are 9 types of giraffes and 3 types living in Kenya?

Did you know that a giraffe tongue turns purple because of the sun?

Did you know that a giraffe has 32 teeth?

Kissed a giraffe

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Birthday Celebration

Family dinner and birthday celebration in Doro, South Sudan

Cards and gifts from many family and friends back home in Texas!
me-- age 30!

For my birthday I celebrated with a day trip to Amboseli National Park in Kenya. It was a fabulous day and got to see nearly 100 African elephants!!! And got to see Mt Kilimanjaro too ;)

Even had a birthday cake too

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Carrying Firewood

These beautiful ladies have arrived to the bore hole for a brief rest in the shade.

Miriam pumping water

Little Julia & young Nadia pumping water

After only a brief rest sitting in the shade, the ladies are off again. Not sure how far they went to chop down the tree to collect the firewood. And I am not sure how far they have til they get home to their families. But it must be a long way for them to stop and rest! The bundles of wood are so heavy it take 2-3 women to lift them up and place them on another women's head. My friend Rebeka was there at the bore hole and she assisted them, while I took photos :)

Would you be able to carry a load of firewood?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Puppies are here!

Catrina & baby Paul

Girls practicing songs for church

Little piglet


The puppies are here!!!
Momma dog, Tubia, and her 5 puppies are here. I always make sure to stay a safe distance from her puppies. However, the children are safe to go right up to the puppies and hold them. The dogs here are very territorial and protective of the families around them. Now that I am regular visitor the dogs don't usually come barking towards me when I arrive. But I am not willing to take any chances with the puppies. Looking forward to watching them grow up. Currently there are 3 sets of 5 puppies within this one village of 5 families. So there will be lots of puppies and piglets growing up together :)

Santi helping the piglets find the milk

Fun times with the kids

baby Wakay

Baby Gideon

Boys eating a small meal made by the girls

Butrus and his bicycle

Oh I just love this photo! It's hard to capture candid photos of the children. If they know I am taking a photo, they get so serious. I have encouraged them to smile but sometimes they forget. Here they were being so silly. Singing and dancing like the adults do for celebrations. They were laughing to hard and having a great time. It was fun to be a part of it. And I was lucky to capture this photo :)

Rebeka & baby Wakay
*My friends all know to exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first 6 months. Even when I bring candies or cookies for the other children, they know their babies can't have any yet. However, they always ask :) The children are able to breastfeed up to the age of 2 then they are cut off. Some are weaned and others are just cut off cold turkey. My friends are all wonderful mothers!

Dinner- keisahr & coudra soup with goat meat

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Estir & Yacob's family

Baby Bulis

All the children



Mom Estire & baby Bulis

Friday, October 18, 2013

Grinding Maize

Coffee with the ladies

cute little mary

Danielle and the kids & baby goat

The ladies have harvested a lot of maize recently. And now as a way to use it all before it goes bad they grind it by hand into a paste. Elizabeth was willing to teach me how. You take a handful of the already pounded maize with some water (in the metal pot) and place it on the elevated concrete. Then using your entire body (back, hips, arms, wrists) you slowly grinding the maize into a smoother paste. It takes a long long time to finish an entire pot. I was able to help out for 15 minutes before I was worn out. The women will complete one pot over half a day. All this while trying to keep the pigs, goats, chickens, and other animals & children away from eating the ground maize. It was a lot harder than Elizabeth made it look. 

Me, children, and baby goat

Rebeka & baby Wakay