Last week was Thanksgiving week as you all know and we had the great joy of experiencing it a bit early with our kenyan staff in the Masai Mara!! For those of you who don’t know, the Mara is one of the greatest vacation spots in the world. It is the open Savannah where the wild and exotic african animals roam. It is the place where the disney drawers came to draw the Lion King, and it is home to one of Kenya’s biggest incomes….Safari’s!
The crazy thing about this is because it’s so expensive to go on safari, a lot of Kenyan’s have never been! It blows my mind because this is what everyone thinks of when they picture this country. You think of Lions and Cheetah’s running through the wilderness inhibited. It was such a joy to me to be able to go on Safari with our staff as it was all of their first times to be in the Masai Mara and to see animals like Lion, Cheetah, Buffalo, Elephant, Zebras and Giraffes. Watching their faces light up at every animal brought such joy to my heart. They were like a little kid at Christmas…being overjoyed at everything! We saw secretary birds, hired them and sent them back to the office to do work for us while we were away, and we got such a kick out of Warthogs running and Hippos swimming all around!
We stayed in a tented camp where you had to be careful or else the zebras and hyenas might come up at night and disturb you! ha We had great food and so many laughs that it was a trip I will never forget!
We even had an early christmas party and had a great white elephant gift exchange. The way they do snatching of gifts is serious business! You have to fight for it…you don’t just get to steal the gift in an organized fashion like I’m used to. You have to seriously fight for it and make it happen. I tried to steal cool sandals from Susan for about 5 minutes and she would NOT let go! I ended up getting a flamingo puppet, that was stolen…believe it or not, and a thing of roach poisoning. It was funny because the staff have seen me flip out at roaches, and mice and they just don’t get it! I wouldn’t even touch the roach poison box because of the roach on the picture! haha Luckily, someone else grabbed it to meet a genuine need in their home haha and I ended up with a scarf from Allison, which is perfect for me as I am a little obsessed with Scarfs!
At night, we sat around the fire at the camp and talked about all things from Jesus to Luo cultural traditions, to Would You Rather questions! All in all, I would say it was a beautiful surprise to the staff to take them to the Mara, and it brought Team Ndoto to a greater closeness and unity than we had before! They took loads of pictures, as did I. However, my silly camera broke on the way. The lens won’t close and it’s at a shop in Nairobi where I am hopeful they will fix it and mail it to me before the week is up. I will be so sad if I can’t take pictures of my last weeks here.
One more quick thing…Allison and I had the privilege to go to Nairobi for actual thanksgiving and spend a few nights at a super nice hotel that someone paid for! It was incredible to sleep with AC…and a fluffy pillow and a down comforter. I mean, the things I’ve taken for granted in life. Wow. I was so blown away that I used to expect those things and now they are just such a sweet blessing. I hope I don’t ever get sucked into that again, but who knows! For thanksgiving, I had a delicious pumpkin muffin, chicken fajitas that tasted like home and warm apple pie! I’d say almost all the necessities! ha I’m thankful for those few days of rest where I slept like a rock, worked out in the gym, and laughed seriously with my dear friend Allison. I’m thankful for this life that God has called me to live regardless of the unexpected twists and turns it takes…and I am so thankful for Team Ndoto and the blessing that each one of them are in my life. They have impacted me and changed me for my good and God’s glory and I’m grateful.
I’m also thankful for the way He provides for my friends here. Our very own staff member, David Omondi got married today to sweet Sheila Ouma! We are so happy for them and cannot wait to see what God will do in their future together! Praise Him, for He is faithful!
Lastly, I heard a rumor that Baylor beat K State, and RGIII beat the cowboys…. Happy Thanksgiving and SIC ‘EM! 🙂