Monday, August 31, 2009

Faces We Miss

About a month ago we packed up and said goodbye to Kenya and moved to the Middle East. It was harder to leave than I expected. I didn't realize how quickly Africa had become home and how much I would miss life there. Moving there had been a much easier adjustment than I had expected, and starting all over again is never easy. 

We especially miss these sweet faces: 

Josephine, our house helper.

Our sweet neighbors.

Our students. coach at the Center.

Patrick...our wonderful taxi driver. 

Some of our other students and friends.

Asman and "Chris Brown"...Paul's workout buddies.

Our Kenyan friends.

Joe...our British friend.

Hannah, Jeff, and the entire Tidenberg Family (didn't have a pic of them).

Our team (unfortunately this isn't everyone, but everyone is definitely missed!)

Rebecca and Danielle...our daily work partners and good friends. What would we have done without you?


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bye Bye Bye

Sadly, our time with family had to come to an end at some point...we just weren't quite ready for it. But we never really are as we love being with them and miss them more than words can express. We are so grateful that they are able to come visit us and have lifetime memories from such a wonderful trip. Thanks Akin's for everything :) We miss you!

One last family pic before heading to the airport 


We have already determined that Micah and Levi are bff...they just don't know it yet. :) They are only 6 months apart and are fun to watch together. We look forward to many more pictures and memories together as they grow up-which I'm sure will involve a LOT of sports. I'm already telling them to stop growing so fast! Here are a couple pictures of the cousins. 

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kazuri Beads

The Akin girls shopped till the BOYS dropped. They really were such troopers as we dragged them from store to store for several days. One morning the girls decided to go without the boys to the Kazuri Bead factory-and it was a good thing they weren't with us because we took forever choosing what we wanted. I am obsessed with the Kazuri stores, but had never gone to the factory before. There was so much more jewelry to choose from-it was almost a little overwhelming and we just wanted it all. I think we had an addiction :) 

We also enjoyed getting to tour the Factory where all the beads are made and painted. Seeing the workers made me appreciate my jewelry in a whole new way. These women amaze me and are such hard workers.

This is about 1/5 of the jewerly selection! They also have some beautiful pottery.

Some pictures from our tour.

Last but not least, the real reason we went to the Kazuri Factory, was so that I could pick out beads for my tree. I know that sounds strange, but this was my inspiration:
I first spotted this tree in a store back in November of last year.  I told Paul I wanted one really bad, but I totally didn't think they were for sale. I jokingly asked the saleslady if it was for sale, and she told me "Yes, for 30,000 shillings"-which is almost $400. Ha, yeah, right! 

However, a few months later I walked past one of their stores and got so excited when I spotted smaller trees. These were much more reasonable and affordable for sure. And I just love acacia trees! Paul had promised to buy one for me as a souvenir before we left Kenya, and since we were leaving Kenya way earlier than expected, it was time to buy one. At the stores, I never could seem to pick which tree I liked best. One of the workers suggested that I go to the stores factory and pick out my own beads for my tree. So that's what we did...and it was a perfect idea.

The Factory only had one tree in stock that day, so since Anna was leaving the next day, I let her take that one. We had so much fun picking out the beads!  We felt like little kids at a candy store :) 

Look at that cute tree!

So, I went back the next week to pick mine up and was sooo happy to finally get it. Here it is:

Yay! I LOVE it! It will forever remind me of my love for acacia trees, for my obsession with the Kazuri shop, and my time in Kenya :) 

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tea Please

Once again we had to take our family to one of my favorite places, the Tea Farm. We had a great time being outside the busy city and enjoying the beautiful day in the countryside. ALL five boys had a lot of fun playing in the sun...just see for yourselves. 

Hi cousin!

Micah attempting to kiss Levi.

Granddaddy and Lottie with their boys.

The family plus Josephine, our househelper-we took her out for the day and she loved it.

Listening to how tea is made. Levi is such a cutie in this pic!

the best househelper EVER!!

and the BIG boy fun begins...

...I guess, boys will be boys :)


After our safari, the Akin family stayed about a week longer in Kenya for a wonderful extra visit. One day we took them down to our area of work, Eastleigh, to meet some of our students and to get a little glimpse of our life in Kenya. It was our last time to visit the Community Center before we moved, so it was definitely bittersweet saying our goodbyes. We really enjoyed our time working there and it was difficult to leave-especially so unexpectedly. It was such an easy place to serve on a daily basis and we are forever grateful for this opportunity and our time in Kenya in general-we wouldn't trade it for anything. We made some great relationships and will miss them dearly.

Playing outside with the precious little kids, who ALWAYS had to touch my hair because it was so different from theirs. And who also gave me ringworm-fun, fun. But I do miss them...especially them saying, "How are you?" over and over everyday-it was too cute.

Diyaa and Asha-two of my closest friends. 

The girls :)