Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Muzuri Monday Maddness

Every Monday the local movie theaters have a special, Muzuri Monday Madness, where you can get a coke, candy bar or hotdog, popcorn, and a movie all for 400 shillings (about $5). A great deal for sure! You definitely won't find that in the States.

This past Monday, a group of us decided to take advantage of this special and went to see The International with Clive Owen. Overall, the movie had its good and bad moments. The action and plot were pretty good, however, it was confusing at times and the ending was AWFUL! 

I love going to the movies here because it is the one place that reminds me of the States. For a few hours I get to forget that I live in Kenya! However, one big difference is that before the movie starts, they play the Kenyan national anthem. It caught us off guard the first few times, and we still find this rather comical. Reality also hits when the movie is over, the lights turn on, and we are the only white people in the theater! Ha!

On a fun note, before the movie started, I ran into a few of Laura Cherry's (one of my best friends from high school) friends from college-Karis, Abby, and ???.  They have lived here for awhile, and we have been trying to meet, but had not yet. So of all places, we see them at the movies! They came over to talk to one of the girls we were with and then we immediately recognized each other from facebook :) It was fun to finally meet one another and to have such a special friend as a common ground.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Who Wants to be a...

There are several movies out in the theaters here that we have been waiting to see. All week Paul has been talking about going to see a movie, so last night we finally did. It was sort of a last minute thing, but thankfully we managed to get a sitter for our little one. I put him to bed and off we went. First we ate at a nice Italian restaurant, Mediterraneo, that we have been wanting to go to for sometime. And then on to our movie of choice for the evening...Slumdog Millionaire.

We had heard good things about it from several others, and it didn't let us down. We both loved the movie and highly recommend seeing it! It was very creative, touching, and intense. Throughout a few scenes I even noticed my body tensing up and my heart racing. I can't believe they almost didn't put this in the theaters-what were they thinking!?! 

Even though we don't live in India, it definitely hit a little closer to home now that we are living in a third world country. Seeing all the poverty, begging, fighting, dirty children, orphans, abuse, prostitutes, etc. had a much bigger impact on me than it probably would have in the States. Not to say it wouldn't have bothered me, but I just know it is much easier for me personally to "forget" that these things happen when I'm in America. All in all, we had a great night together and were thankful that Micah did this while we were away...

Friday, March 20, 2009

What's This?

A stick, duh! Well, yes, but it is so much more than just a "stick"! This stick, also called Miswak, is what our people use as their "toothbrush". It has been used for years and years among the Muslim community. Apparently it is a religious thing as the Koran tells them to use it 5x a day before praying.  When I first saw that they used this, I was shocked and anxious to educate them on better ways to clean their teeth. In the end, I think it was me who got the education! 

As most of you know, I have been teaching a health class here in Africa along with a friend. Recently we taught on oral hygiene and proper dental care. As I prepared for our lesson, I did a lot of research on the Miswak. And to my surprise...it actually cleans your teeth pretty well. The stick contains a natural amount of fluoride and cleans between your teeth better than a toothbrush. The other benefits are that you don't need water and it is easy to carry around. I did read that if used for too many years it could stain your teeth. I also read that it works best when paired with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Anyway, I found this very fascinating and just thought I would share! Hope I educated you a little too :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sweet Little Laughter

This picture just says it all...and I love everything about it! Isn't it just precious? Just thought I'd share it with you!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

An Early Celebration

Happy Early Birthday Micah-man! His 1st birthday is not until April, but since the Grandparents were in town, we decided to celebrate a little early. Watching Micah eat his cake was definitely entertaining to us all. Here are a few of my favorite pics of the "party"...

What a face :)

He has a strange obsession with his feet, especially when he eats, so it was no surprise that the cake ended up on them too!

Baby Bible Class

When moving to Africa, we knew that church would be quite different from the States. We also knew we wanted to attend an African led church in order to get the whole "cultural" experience. It did not take long to find our church, Mamlaka Hill Chapel, and we have been blessed. The worship is great as it is a mix of English and Swahili songs, and the preaching is pretty good too (most days at least!). 

When we were visiting churches, it was hard for me to know what to do with Micah. Most of the church services lasted around two hours, and they did not have childcare-which made it a challenge with a squirmy little one in the service. Before moving here we were told over and over not to worry about having Micah in the service because the African babies will be there too and they are loud and just run loose. Well, that was completely wrong-at least for the churches we have visited. Some African children are in the service, but they are sooo well behaved-it amazes me!

Mamlaka Hill has been the perfect fit for our family. Micah and I attend the main service until the worship is over, and then head out together and go to "Baby Bible Class".  

I hate that I miss the preaching, but there is a TV with a video of the preaching in the baby room-it at least allows me to catch bits and pieces! This has been a great way for us to feel more connected to the church family as it has allowed both of us to make some new friends.

The class usually consists of moms and about 7 children (although this week we had 12) under the age of two. First the kids play for awhile, and then we start the class. The class is made up of a variety of songs that teach the babies all about the Bible, Jesus, and God's creation. It is the same lesson over and over each week-with a little alteration here and there. I have found this repetition to be perfect for this age and have loved watching Micah catch on.
The babies worship the Lord by singing praise songs and playing instruments. 
It was so fun to have Lottie come to class!
Each baby takes an animal and then we sing a song about a trait of that particular animal.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Giraffe Center

I am pretty much obsessed with giraffes! One of the best parts of living in Africa is that they are everywhere! The first thing I bought when I moved here was a small wooden giraffe and I had to stop myself from buying a huge, life size one...maybe one day :) We also have a giraffe picture above our couch to match our giraffe printed cushions. Needless to say, I love them! So, when I found out that there is a place here to feed them, the Giraffe Center, I wanted to go right away. We ended up holding off and waiting until the Grandparents came to visit. I was so excited to see them and it was well worth the wait. It definitely met my expectations for sure! 
This is a hotel called Giraffe Manor where you can feed the giraffes from the breakfast table in the morning. 
Micah seeing his first giraffe!

Hello baby giraffe!
I decided to be brave and to try the "Giraffe Kiss"-it was an experience for sure!
The sweet giraffe with our family...
Bye for now. We'll definitely be visiting this place again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Elephant Orphanage

This past weekend we took the Akin's to do some local "touristy" things that we had not done yet ourselves. We had a great day together and got some fun pictures. Here are a few pictures of our first stop at the Elephant Orphanage. 

This baby elephant was 2 months old. Isn't it adorable?
Me attempting to make Micah pet the baby elephant...I don't think Micah really knew what to think about this thing!

This is a baby rhino that is 6 weeks old. It is so ugly that I actually find it quite cute! Ha!

Tea Farm

During the week away at Paul's classes, the wives also had a chance to met every morning for a few hours. This ended up being a very precious time as we had the opportunity to encourage one another, pray together, and just share our joys and struggles. It definitely served as a time of refreshing to me and I learned so much from the women. Another blessing was that a church from Raleigh, NC sent several ladies to do childcare during these sessions. Not only did they spoil our kids, but it also allowed each mom so much needed "personal" time. 

Although the men had classes all day long, our afternoons were usually free. We went shopping, got manicures and pedicures, rested, went on walks, and just hung out. One day we had the opportunity to go to a local tea farm. We were served tea while we learned the whole tea process, went on a tour of the property, and ended with lunch which was all home grown. Not only was the property gorgeous, but the food was absolutely delicious too! Overall, we had a great time and I want to go back!

When we arrived, we were greeted with this little monkey. Since we live in the city, this was actually the first one I've really seen since arriving in Africa...sad, I know!

The peaceful area where we were served lunch.
Micah admiring the ducks. Too bad he cannot say "quack" just yet! 
The bright green is the tea fields...they are such a pretty color!
Enjoying time with my little one.
My amazing mother-in-law who completely spoiled all of us :)
Our wonderful group of ladies for the week.

Lottie and Granddaddy Visit Africa

We had so much fun having the Grandparents here for the past two weeks. What a blessing for them to be able to come and see us! Part of their visit was spent with the fellow SEBTS students (Paul included) who are in Africa and are working on finishing up their Master's degree. It was a great week of worship, relaxation, shopping, and to visit with family and friends-childcare was thankfully provided :) 

It was a busy, but wonderful visit with the Akin's and was hard to see them go. I think we all got spoiled by each other's company. We enjoyed letting them see our daily lives, as well as doing some local tourist things that we had not done yet. Micah loved the extra love and attention and was a little lonely today with just me at home! To be honest, I was too-back to reality, I guess :) Here are a few pictures with Lottie and Granddaddy. More to come from their visit later!!