This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not
that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10

Thursday, March 31, 2011

school supplies

Last week I purchased 200 pencils, 80 big erasers and 10 boxes of crayons for Kitale Family School (also known as Lighthouse) on behalf of my mom’s office! The students at this school come from very poor families and many are orphans.  In fact, a majority of the students who attend school here are supported by outside sponsors because their families can in no way pay for schooling.  Each student is given one pencil at the beginning of the year and that is their pencil for the year.  When I asked Jane, the principal of Lighthouse, if we could purchase pencils for her students she threw her hands up in the air and declared that this was an answer to prayer.  She had been watching her students struggle to stay on top of their schoolwork because many of the kids had to share pencils with one another.  Could you imagine trying to write down and therefore absorb all the information that your teacher is sharing with you when you don't even have anything to take notes with half of the time?  I've always had enough pencils, enough erasers, enough everything.  It's hard to understand how these kids do what they do.  The school is also very excited to have crayons! This is a rarity for a school here and is such an exciting blessing for the kids.  Art classes do not exist here typically because there are no resources available for such classes.  With crayons, these kids will get to experience the simply joy of drawing in color!  Her office also plans to purchase pencil sharpeners to mount on the wall in each of the school’s classrooms.  This will be a tremendous blessing for these students.  Instead of 200 children sharing a handful of razor blades to sharpen their pencils, each classroom will be equipped with a pencil sharpener.   

I want to thank my mom’s colleagues for being willing to bless the children of Kitale in this manner.  School supplies mean more to them than we, as Americans, will ever understand.  Please trust me when I tell you that this is no small gesture.  This is something that will heavily impact and bless these kids' lives.  While a pencil is a simple thing, it means the world to a child who has nothing.  It gives them joy and hope, while also helping to advance their education.  Thank you so much for partnering with me to transform lives here in Kenya!

Clara, the office assistant at Lighthouse, and I after our trip into to town (while it was POURING rain!) to purchase the school supplies!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Be still and know that I am God.

For the last four years I've had a sign hanging above my bedroom door with this Psalm 46 verse written on it: "Be still and know that I am God"

I've always loved this verse.  I love being reminded that God is mighty, that he is all-powerful and that I can relish in his strength.  This weekend God reminded me how important it is to do this.   He reminded me that sometimes I need to step away from my 'I have to do it all' mentality.  I've been told that my dedicated personality (and sometimes overly dedicated personality) is both a strength and a weakness.  I'm pretty sure this time around it's proven itself a weakness.  

I had been feeling ill for over a week.  It started last Friday the 19th with a sore throat.  No big deal, I've had plenty of sore throats.  (although this one was more intense than even the tonsillitis I had experienced just weeks before leaving for Kenya)  I spent the morning in bed and that afternoon went down to Shimo with girls- telling them that if the women in Africa can have AIDS and other crippling illnesses and still fully provide for their families, then I can minister to them with a sore throat.  I probably should have taken a slower approach to things starting at that point- oops, failure on my part!  My condition continued to worsen over the course of the next week as I developed a deep cough and an achy body.  I kept up with my usual schedule, loading up on advil each day just hoping it would actually help.  Of course it never did.  On Saturday I even attended and played in a soccer tournament Duncan was putting on with Liberty Sports Club- an organization which aims to give Kitale's youth a positive Christian environment while at the same time using sports as a way to reach out to a non-christian community.  (I'll have to blog about this organization soon because I absolutely LOVE their vision and purpose!)  When I woke up on Sunday, day 6 of my headache, I was unable to hold down anything- including water.  That's when I decided it was probably time that I see a doctor.  That morning Little Howie had woken up with a fever so Howie was taking him to Sister Freda's to be tested for malaria.  Amy managed to stop them as they were pulling out of the driveway and I hopped in the car.   

I knew I wasn't feeling well, but I was shocked when they told me I had pneumonia.  Pneumonia? Now how did that happen? Perhaps it has something to do with rainy season, which recently started here in Kenya.  I'll never really know the cause, but I'm grateful that it's treatable.  The doctors told me that I would need to stay at the hospital for the night in order to receive IV antibiotics.  I sadly and stubbornly agreed.  No part of me wanted to stay overnight, but I knew I needed to.  It wasn't until I was lying in my hospital bed that the doctor came in and told me that my blood test had shown high typhoid levels.  I wasn't even sure what she meant by high typhoid level, but later when asked to clarify she said it meant that I had typhoid- should of guessed that's probably what she was trying to tell me, haha.  

After about 6 hours and several antibiotics, my headache was finally gone and I was starting to feel better.  I had requested my Kindle, Bible and toothbrush to keep me company during my hospital stay, but with those things came Jade, Amy, Cody and Jason!  I was so thankful to have them around for a few hours- 6 hours alone in my room had been more than enough already.  At around 6:30 everyone but Jade headed back home.  Sweet Jade had packed her pajamas for a slumber party at the hospital.  Do I have amazing friends or what?!? God has surrounded me with an incredible community here in Kitale and this is one example of how amazing they really are!  The next night both Jade and Michelle stayed with me.  I don't think I'll ever be able to repay them for the nights they spent with me in the hospital, or at least I hope I don't ever have the chance to repay them- I'd prefer not to have anyone else require an overnight stay in the hospital!  Their willingness and desire to love me in such a way is a example of incredible love and servanthood.  

I'm very glad to be back at home.  While the doctors and nurses at Sister Freda's hospital took excellent care of me, I am thankful to be recovering in my own bed now.  I certainly won't miss the late night and early morning vital checks or that the only bathing option is a bucket of water and a bar of soap.  Besides, I'll be back to Sister Freda's soon enough- fortunately not because I'm sick, but because it's one of the places where I volunteer each week.  I'm looking forward to once again visiting patients in the hospital ward, not being one.

My days were full of feeling sick, reading, chatting, napping, laying in bed and medicine.  Quite a change from a typical day in Kitale which is full of non-stop energy exerting activities.  My body had decided the week before that it was time to slow down and now I was finally letting that happen.  While ideally I would have chosen another method to pull me away from my full-steam ahead mentality, this is perhaps the only thing that could have made it happen.  By trying to do so much, I often start to believe everything relies on me and start to minimize my need for God.  In the future, I should not let my desire to go and to do get ahead of my ability to be still.   Because in being still I find that God is in control and that while I am finite, he is infinite.  I love that I am able to meet God in the midst of everything because in spending time with him I realize how important he is and how unimportant everything else besides him really is.  So take a moment (or perhaps a few days, which I'll be doing as I recover) and be still.  

overflow room

Wow, God is absolutely amazing! This Friday afternoon we had our first women’s bible study in the slums of Shimo.  This is something we have wanted to do for some time and today was the start of something truly great!  We had mentioned the idea to our friend Anne, a resident of Shimo, who immediately took interest in making this happen.  In fact, we were visiting families in Shimo a few days ago when Anne asked why we hadn’t come to the bible study last Friday.  Apparently she had already organized a group of women that wanted to hear us share the word of God.  I couldn’t believe it! God is working in this community so fast and we are just trying to keep up with him!  I love it. 

So today at 2 p.m. we met in Anne’s tiny, one-room house.  When we arrived there were already several women gathered, but as we moved into her house to begin the bible study women came from all directions—some old, some young, some carrying bibles, some carrying babies.  The room, which can’t be any bigger than 150 square feet, was filled with loud songs of praise as we worshiped the Lord together.  Throughout the bible study, women continued to fill the house until there was no room left inside.  At one point I counted 35 women and at least a dozen children piled onto chairs, benches and the dirt floor.  It didn’t matter that there was scarcely room to breath or that sweat was seeping through our clothes, these women were so excited to be experiencing God’s word.  Before dispersing, we held hands and prayed together—a beautiful picture of women, from all walks of life, coming together before the Lord.  As we exited the house we saw that more women, at least 20 of them, had been sitting around the perimeter of the house listening in!  These women were so intrigued by the Holy Spirit that they didn’t need an overflow room like we have at most churches back home.  There were no comfy chairs, no television monitor broadcasting our talk, no coffee or snacks.  There was just God’s word.  And these women had come to hear what He had to say.  Please pray that the Holy Spirit will awaken in this place and that the women of Shimo will come to know and exemplify God’s love.    

Friday, March 25, 2011


Jiggers.  I absolutely despise jiggers.  These monsters are consuming the feet of people, especially children, all around us.  You're probably wondering, "What exactly are jiggers?" Jiggers are sand fleas that embed themselves in the skin and feed on the skin of its host. Jiggers typically embed under the toenails first; although I've seen jiggers in so many different places--in the heel, achilles tendon, arch of the foot, bottom of the toes and everywhere else imaginable.   A jigger infested foot becomes grossly disfigured as the insects takeover.  As the jiggers infestation worsens,  the infected person ability to walk is impaired due to pain felt from ruptured flesh.  Jiggers are brought about by lack of hygiene and most easily attack those who do not have foot protection.  

A few weeks ago, Jade and I assisted Leila in removing jiggers from Lucy's feet.  Lucy has a long history with jiggers- a result of poor living conditions and unfortunate neglect by her mother.  I wanted to share some pictures with you so that you might understand that damage jiggers can cause.  Keep in mind that, while it is extremely painful to remove jiggers, it is more painful to have them inside your foot than to take them out.  

rotting, disfigured toenails are a result of jiggers

the black dots inside the white circles are the jiggers and their eggs

jiggers eat away at the skin as they burrow and lay eggs

you must fully extract all jiggers and their egg sacks

white egg sack 

Lucy after having the jiggers removed- pea sized holes were the jiggers and eggs used to reside

Lucy enjoying playing with her cousins just a few hours afterwards

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Take heart; God has overcome the world!

Perhaps it was the culmination of several events.  Maybe it was the feeling of helplessness in the midst of situations far out of my control.  It could be the anger felt towards those who bring pain into the lives of innocent children.  Whatever it was, it made today harder than most.  I had no unusual expectations for the day, although I should clarify that my usual expectations for a day in Kitale are vastly different than my usual expectations for a day in the States.  It’s impossible to explain the difference, but let me just say that a day here involves seeing poverty and hardships most Americans can’t even comprehend—at least I couldn’t before I came here.  

When the girls arrived at Oasis, we walked into the office to find Leila crying.  She told us that Dennis, one of the kids who regularly comes to Oasis, had died less than two hours before.  Having lived on the streets for the past three years Dennis, his brother Samuel and a friend had been renting a small house in the slums of Shimo.  In order to pay their 500 shillings rent (which is equivalent to $6.25) the boys had been collecting scraps of metal.  It was a very rainy morning and Dennis was collecting metal as he made his way to Oasis for the day when he was electrocuted by a nearby power line.  The loss of Dennis has deeply saddened the Oasis family—both the staff and the students.  It’s never easy to lose someone, especially someone so young— Dennis was 13 years old.  It’s moments like this that I have to trust in a God that is much greater than I am.  I might not understand why today was the last day of Dennis’ life, but I understand that through this God is going to do powerful things.  He is and will continue to reveal himself to the children at Oasis.  I firmly believe that God will change hearts during this time and he will bring joy even in the midst of sorrow.  It's moments like this that challenge me to continually and openly share the love of God with absolutely everyone.  We never know what today will hold and we never know when our time on this earth will come to an end.  As James says in chapter 4 verses 13-14, "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make profit'—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes."  This life of mine is so fleeting and for this reason I should not focus on myself; instead, I should focus on glorifying God and making his love known to all people.  I want everyone to know what God has done in my life.  I want you to know that God loves you so much, and in his great love for you he sent his son Jesus Christ to save the world.  Because of his relentless grace God chooses to show mercy on each one of us despite our fault and failures.  We simply have to believe that Jesus, in laying down his life, paid the ultimate price for our sins and that in him we have redemption.  I would also like to ask you to pray for Oasis of Hope and everyone who has been affected by his death.  Please pray that through this people will come to know the love and hope of Jesus Christ.  

I wish I could say that the day only got easier from there, but that just isn’t true.  Over the last month and a half, I have found that children here rarely get to experience the joys of childhood.  In fact, most kids experience a ‘childhood’ where they fight for their survival and incur terrible abuse along the way.  Dorcas’ story is no different.  It is not a pleasant one.  With no parents to care for her, Dorcas has been forced to live on the streets where she struggles to live.  Although she has been able to find a place to stay for now, this place is far from safe and last week Dorcas was severely beaten by the woman she was living with. Her wounds, because they remained untreated, had become severely infected.  We knew that the only way she could experience healing was to completely remove the infected scabs on her back.  My stomach ached.  I knew that this process would be excruciating.  I don’t think I will ever be able to fully describe the heartbreak I felt as Dorcas screamed in pain.  Despite the pain she let us clean her wounds.  She must have known that proper healing would only come once the old, infected scabs had been removed.  It's incredibly sad that at just 14 years old she has been so abandoned and abused.  As I look at her childhood, which has been dominated by imperfect people, I realize that God is the only one who offers perfect love.  He is the only one who can show her what it means to be truly loved, and that— although she has been abandoned and abused — he will never abandon or abuse her.  God's love is everlasting.  People will fail us, but God never will— his love is beautifully perfect.  I love how David describes God's love in Psalm 100:5, " For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations."     

As today comes to a close, I am remembering John 16:33, "In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world."  I find so much comfort in this verse as I meditate on the fact that God has overcome this world.  I am so thankful that God is bigger than any troubles we might face.  In the midst of the hardships I experience here in Kitale, I will continue to remind myself of this fact.  Praise God that his love prevails over all things in this world!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rainy Season

This morning I woke up and walked out to see a layer of fog covering the compound.  I was certainly surprised since I haven’t, at least until this point, seen fog in Kenya.  Perhaps this is what rainy season entails.  While typically the rains don’t come for another week or two, the heavy raining has already begun and last week appeared to be the start of rainy season in Kenya.    Nights of unending rain followed by mornings of constant sprinkling, all of which leads to afternoons of downpours.  Rainy season is something that, for many people in this agricultural-based economy, is a source of life as they begin to plant their crops.  It’s also something that, for many people who live in homes made of mud walls, tin roofs fastened with chicken wire and dirt floors, is a source of death as the rain water flows freely into their home bringing sicknesses.  I’m learning that rain is a powerful force that in the same moment can bring both the hope of life and the threat of life.  I hate to think of little Nancy, Lucy, Peter, Brenda and all the precious children we work with who live in the slums lying in their homes at night, shivering as the rain seeps in.  It’s amazing that even after a night of heavy raining these children show up to Oasis in the morning with glorious smiles and joyful laughs.  I know that God loves these children more than anything and he will continue to reveal himself to them even in the cold rain.  For He is the one who brings the rain.  He is the one who brings life.  In this He shows me how desperately dependent I am upon Him because apart from Him there is no life and without Him my life has no meaning.  As Acts 17: 25 says, "He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else."  

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Meet Charles!

I met Charles and his mother Annette just two weeks ago.  A few of the girls walked down to Shimo (the slum near our house) to visit with families.  While I was there I saw several kids with shilingi spots on their heads so I took out my latex gloves to apply antifungal cream.  As soon as I put on the gloves people swarmed me from all directions.  One child caught my eye, his name was Charles.  His mother had carried him out to where I was standing to show me his legs.  The ankle area on both feet appeared to have been severely charred, the skin shriveled in towards the bone.  

I brought Leila over to translate for me and I found out that his feet hadn’t been burnt; instead, this had all started from one small spot that had grown to consume his feet.   His sweet mother, Annette, was doing all that she could to help her son, but sadly she only had unclean water and miscellaneous herbs to doctor his festering wounds.  I knew nothing about how to treat his feet, I only knew that he needed help.  I took pictures so that I could take them with me to Sister Freda’s the following week, but that night I couldn’t stop thinking about Charles.  When I woke up in the morning I knew I needed to take him to the hospital.  Sweet Leila agreed to come with as my translator and we made our way down to Shimo to get Charles and Annette. 

Annette was grateful to have her son taken to Sister Freda’s medical center.  It turns out his wounds were definitely not the result of a burn; although even the doctors thought this at first.  It was a septic fungal infection that was eating away at his skin.  This was something that if it remained untreated would continue to take over his body and in time lead to further infection or even disease.  Charles is especially susceptible to such things because of his living conditions.  I decided to have Charles and Annette admitted so that he could have his wounds cleaned and taken care of in a clean, infection-free environment for the next few days.  

On Monday, Leila and I took piki pikis out to Sister Freda’s to visit Charles.  Because it had rained earlier that day, we had to have Elijah (our usual piki driver) drop us off were the paved road ends about a mile from the hospital.  The walk was muddy, but delightful—especially because we ran across Freda’s kids (the orphans we took swimming) on their way home from school!  I loved getting to see Charles and Annette.  It was obvious that his wounds were healing well, but in order to continue to see improvement in his condition we decided it would be best if he stayed a few more days.  

After helping out at the hospital on Thursday, we were able to take Charles and Annette home!  I can’t say whether or not Annette was actually glad to return.  At Sister Freda’s she had a bed, three meals a day and a room with concrete walls and tile floors—something far different from her dirt floor, tin roof and mud wall one-room house that she shares with her sister, two cousins and all their children.  Despite her circumstances, Annette has such a sweet spirit and at the age of 18 seems to understand what it means to be a mother to her son, which I’ve learned isn’t very common here.  I love stopping by to see Charles and Annette even though neither of us can speak the other’s language.  I’m excited to see how my relationship with this family of two develops in the coming months.     

Annette (age 18) and Charles (age 1 1/2) in front of their home

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Biemecks!

I keep forgetting to introduce you guys to our newest family members—The Biemecks!  This adorable family of 6 led by Amy and Howie Biemeck will be living in Kitale as missionaries for at least the next 2 years or, in Amy’s words, until God calls them home.  The people of Kitale will be so blessed to have this family pouring God’s love on them.  If you’re interested in knowing more about their adventures or would like to help support them financially or in prayer, here’s a link to their blog:

Meet the Biemecks! {L-R: Isaiah (5), Howie, Kenya (7), Mya (3), Amy and Little Howie (11)}

Sunday, March 13, 2011

OASIS OF HOPE [ in picture form ]

Welcome to Oasis of Hope!

working to transform the lives of the poor and orphaned children of Kitale

Elizabeth and Ezechia

first grade classroom- 35 kids, 4 benches, 1 table, no school supplies

learning to add

put to the test

the kenyan version of washers!

sweet nancy (who always finds her way onto my lap)

break time in the yard!

when you don't have a soccer ball, you make one: plastic bags, rope and shoe laces

counting their precious bottle caps

Friday, March 11, 2011


I first encountered a shilingi (pronounced shee-leen-gee) at Gilgal Secondary School.  A young girl, probably around 6 years old, walked into the schoolyard just as we were preparing to leave.  I gasped as I saw her head because it was completely covered in nickel-sized scabs, with one of the scabs was protruding upwards and beginning to split down the center.  My stomach turned in knots and my heart hurt at the sight of this precious girl—I had never seen anything like this before.  I have since learned that shilingi translates into ringworm, and a typically fungal infestation for people (and especially the children) living in the slums.  I think the combination of poor hygiene and living situations that are intense breeding grounds for bacteria and fungus allows children to easily succumb to severe cases of ringworm.  Once the fungus penetrates the body (which usually occurs on the scalp) these people have no ability to treat it and therefore the infection expands and cracks, creating open sores—certainly not a good thing for someone who sleeps in the dirt and has no access to medical care or even clean water.  There is such a harsh difference between the quality of life in American and that which exists in Africa. So much pain, so much sickness and so little anyone here can do about it.  God’s teaching me what it means to minister in his name.  It’s so hard to witness something as preventable and treatable as ringworm take over large communities.  I’m learning that God isn’t calling me to do the impossible; instead, he’s calling me to do what I can, when I can.  So sometimes this just means meeting small needs whenever I see them.  In this case, it means carry around an antifungal cream and a pair of gloves so that I can apply this cream on children I meet.  Sometimes it means applying it on the heads of children I pass on the street or run across in small villages.  It takes multiple applications of this cream to fight the ringworm so we’ve found ourselves frequenting Shimo (the slum down the street) in order to mingle with families and apply the cream.  I’m praying that this small gesture might make a difference in someone’s life, showing the compassion of God’s love in that very moment.  

This is a picture from my first shilingi encounter, which is better than most other cases I've seen.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Plastic chairs...

This morning at Lighthouse, we were featured as special song guests for the school’s Wednesday morning chapel.  I couldn’t believe they let me anywhere near a microphone—those of you who’ve heard my singing voice, or that of my parents, know that is most certainly a poor decision.  Fortunately, no one seemed to mind, but probably because Jason and Jade were able to mask my attempt at singing.  Thank goodness the Lord gave me friends with beautiful voices! On the weekend, Lighthouse also operates as a church.  During chapel service and on the weekends the one room sanctuary is filled with plastic lawn chairs, which in Kenya is considered fancy.  I wonder how a Kenyan would react upon entering a typical America church.  I’m sure he’d be shocked to see that we have state of the art cushioned seats that remain unused for other purposes during the week—a completely unrealistic option for any church here.  We spend so much time and money working to make our churches comfortable so that people will come.  I wonder if Jesus would have made his church comfortable.  I’m kind of inclined to think not.  I think Jesus would want people to come, even when the chairs are uncomfortable, simply because they want to full-heartedly follow him.  Perhaps we should consider that it isn’t a comfortable church nor a church with the best music or the most resources that draws in disciples of Christ, it’s the power of the Holy Spirit.  Maybe having all of these spectacular resources actually distracts us from the power of God and makes us believe that we can move people more than the spirit can.  I don’t say any of this to discourage American churches; instead, I simply want to meditate on the fact that Christ has more power than anything we can contrive.     

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This road...

I've talked before about the unknowns that surround this stage of my life, but right now I want to mention something that God has made so obviously known in my life.  He has been teaching me that whatever this road leads to has everything to do with His glory.  That every single thing I do here, and throughout the rest of my life, is all for a holy God who is abundantly worthy of my complete adoration.  The amazing thing is, that as I journey this road, He fills my heart immense joy and incomparable love.  So tomorrow, may the road I walk be all for is glory.  

"Therefore whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."  1 Corinthians 10:31

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Movies, Moonlight and Mexican Hot Chocolate

Lately, the boys have become extremely crafty. Whether it's building a hammock, making a bench or using bamboo shoots to create pole vaulting equipment, they always have some project going on.  While I've enjoyed all of their inventions, tonight's outdoor movie theater was definitely my favorite!  Sitting under the starry sky, watching a movie, snuggling in blankets, and drinking hot chocolate--perhaps the absolute best combination possible.  What a perfect way to end a Saturday night in Kitale!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Who needs school?

Today, Michelle, Jade and I had the opportunity to help with a medical outreach clinic put on my Sister Freda and her staff.  This entire experience was amazing!  First of all, it was at the Kitale Women's Prison- a place we've started investing in and are growing to love.  Secondly, it was really neat to help meet the physical needs of these women and to do so in the name of Christ.  Even after seeing all of the inmates (and their children), each of the prison guards met with one of the doctors.  I played pharmacist and by the end of the day could decode the prescription notes as well as quickly find each medication--something people go to years of schooling for in the states! After giving several immunization shots, Jade said it best: "What we're learning here is that we don't really need to go to school for all of this."  Don't worry parents, she's just kidding! We do recognize the importance of school, but we're certainly learning that being a mzungu in Kenya usually carries as much qualification as any college diploma.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Field Trip!

During our Tuesday morning time at Purpose Driven Academy, Margaret Wanyonyi (the school’s director) invited us to accompany the secondary school students on their field trip to Lake Bogoria.  Excitedly we agreed! All of us were looking forward to bonding with these high school students.  Originally we were scheduled to be picked up at our compound at 4 a.m., but the night before Margaret stopped by our compound to let us know that the departure time had been moved to 2—yikes!

We were ready to go bright and early (actually it was really dark and reallyyy early) and of course since we’re in Africa our 2 a.m. pickup arrived just before 3.  We knew we were in for an experience when we loaded into an overcrowded van of very awake high schoolers!  I’m sure many of you have had the privilege of riding on the roads of Africa.  It’s almost like a game—a game in which you swerve constantly to avoid the gaping potholes in the road thus allowing the car to travel only over the slightly smaller (yet still very large) potholes.  If you have a tender stomach, this adventure is not for you.  (Jade suggests that this adventure is actually not for anyone) Lake Bogoria is located on the floor of the Great Rift Valley and is actually in Karo Valley—a valley inside the Great Rift Valley.  This area is beautiful! Even though it’s very dry there, the hilly, tree covered terrain was lovely. 

sunrise drive 

venturing further into the valley

After 8 hours, a bathroom break, and a stop for tea in Kabarate we arrived at Lake Bogoria. I was surprised to see flamingos everywhere—thousands upon thousands!  Some of the students had purchased eggs when we stopped for breakfast in order to boil them in the hot spring.  After boiling the eggs and a small ecology lesson (which only took about 30 minutes) we were back in the cars headed home. 

lake bogoria


the boiling process!

queenta and her eggs!

steven enjoying a late morning snack!

On the way we stopped by another lake (Lake Baringo) where the students were able to go out on oversized and motorized canoes.  This was such a special treat for all of them! It was amazing to see the joy and excitement in their faces as they piled into these boats.  The Americans were planning to wait on shore for the students to return, but at the last minute a boat driver said there was empty space on his boat, which we had already paid to use, so we hopped on board! Such a great decision—we got to see alligators and HIPPOS!

boating time!


After a long, hot and very fun day we loaded back into the vans to head home—stopping along the way at several view points to admire the Great Rift Valley and then in El Doret for dinner.  It was a great day of bonding with the high schoolers of Purpose Driven Academy! Honestly, how could you not bond with each other when you have 19 people filling a 14 seater van??  I wish I could justly describe this experience, but sometimes you just have to be there to truly understand.  Certainly an unforgettable life long memory for all of us! 

sweet brilliant :)