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Mombasa sounds like Moufasa

June 22, 2009

Greetings! I hope all is well in whichever country/state you’re reading this! As mentioned in the previous post, we traveled to the coast this past week to visit Mombasa. Whenever Mombasa is said, I always think of they hyenas saying “Moufasa” from the Lion King. The Kenyans loved the Lion King, and they really do use “hakuna” in sentences! Anyways, the stereotype of Mombasa is a super laid back, touristy sort of town. It was definitely touristy- everywhere we went, people immediately associated white skin with lots of money. Our LIA volunteer and friend, Beth, had to do an awful lot of negotiating as we tried to get a reasonable price for a Matatu (14-passenger vans that drive INSANELY). And the laid back/nice attitude that is supposed to permeate the culture of Mombasa? I felt that everyone moved at a quicker pace than what we’ve been exposed to thus far. They walked faster, the matatu drivers seemed more rushed, and people even RAN on and off of the ferry that takes you from Mombasa inland to Mombasa island. I actually got to experience my first agitated Kenyans- we hopped in a Matatu to take us somewhere, and we had asked them to stop and wait while we re-loaded a cell phone, but the people on the van started to get pretty irritated. We ended up getting off of the bus to wait for Beth (who was the one who needed a re-charge), but man, they were getting irritated!

We stayed at a little a guest house run by Africa Inland Mission, and we were RIGHT on the Indian Ocean. Our guest house was in a gated area, so we had to remember to take the keys out every time we went to the beach. Our first night there, I think we were all a little thrown off at first when the owner of the compound, Martha, was warning us of all the dangers that surround Mombasa. For example, there are these beautiful blue jellyfish that you have to watch out for on the beach, you shouldn’t be out after dark, there are dogs in the compound that are out from 10-pm-5am (y don’t sound like friendly dogs), etc. And, the water was collected rainwater, so we had to be conscious of how much water we used. It was a nice guest house, three bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, spacious sitting room, and doorstep that basically backed up to this view:

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This is a view of the Indian Ocean at about 7:30am! The waters are extremely clear, and there is an expanse of coral reef about a quarter mile from the shoreline. We spent two of our three days on the beach- we picked up some beautiful seashells, we saw some spiny sea urchins (I tried to give everyone a little lesson on my knowledge of sea urchin anatomy and their developmental processes, but alas, no one was interested except for me). We all went a little sunscreen crazy, so no one got too much sun. We spent one day visiting Fort Jesus- an old Portuguese fort that had been captured by the Arabs, (You can read more on our team blog, http://www.mi2kenya09.blogspot.com for more details!) After visiting Fort Jesus (which, by the way, was constructed so that it looks like a man from a birds-eye view), we went with a friend and LIA staff member relative, Frida, to her church (on a Thursday afternoon!) The church was called “The Maximum Miracle Center”, Mombsa is HOT, and I think the enclosed space of the church plus the heat kind of zapped all of our energy once we sat down. It was kind of neat attending a lunchtime service, and we got up and introduced ourselves when the service was over (to a “crowd” of about a dozen people).

Besides getting sun ansd seeing some sights, we also learned how to make an authentic Kenyan stew from Beth! The boys took some time to make shell-necklaces, Ben even brought along some dental floss for that purpose alone- necklace making. While the trip was fun, and we saw some great sights and got to experience some of our missed KY humidity, it was a challenging week for myself. My spirits weren’t as high as usual, I think if I had just one day to myself to rest and spend some time with the Lord- I would’ve been more pleasnt on the trip. I’m trying to learn how to take a little bit of alone time each day so that I don’t end up having one “Bad day” every few weeks, but it’s a learning process. It’s so awesome to be working alongside Lauren, Courtney, Ben and Daniel- but we don’t ever really get a break from each other. I guess that’s a part about communal living that I’m going to have to work on.

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But I’m going to go get packed up for our trip to Makueni! We’ll be having the medical camp at the end of our 3 months with the SECC Medical team in Makueni, and we’re getting the place prepared for the team to come on in. Apparently Makeuni is VERY very dry, and we’ve had a little bit of trouble getting rid of colds and such with all of the drastic climate changes. So pray that everyone’s lungs clear up so that we can fully enjoy our experiences! And I haven’t gotten to run in over a week (obviously with all of the safety issues of Mombasa). I miss my running time! I hope that we’ll have some safe expanses of Kenya to romp around on this coming week! Also, we’re staying in tents again, so pray that everyone gets restful sleep as we’ll be clearing out rooms/cleaning/hauling stuff this week.

And I’m so excited because I get to have a Skype date tonight with Daniel (www.godismyjudge.wordpress.com)! I’m so excited! Thanks so much for reading, all of the blog readers- whether I know you are not, are in my prayers! I Hope you are all being extravagantly blessed by our Lord!

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