So I'm sitting in the front room with a warm breeze coming through the window. The trees are swaying, and the birds are talking to each other. It's peaceful out here. It's 10 am and already hot (92 F in the shade), but not unbearable.
The view from our front door. We have African neighbors who live in these huts (tukals)
The back yard is fenced. Our Nairobi washing machine (which fit on the airplane in addition to the fridge and a good portion of the things we wanted to bring up) sits on the back porch and there are clothes lines on the side of the house with the most shade.
The house is about 3/4 unpacked ... we cooked dinner in our house for the first time last night. It was nice to be able to sit around the dinner table with just us :)
The house needed A LOT of cleaning when we got here. Confession time: I did it. I am a mass spider killer. I've killed many, many Daddy Long-legs, destroyed their homes, and even took out a maternity wing. I feel no remorse. Other than Daddy Long-legs, there are some big spiders which I haven't seen in the house, but are not friendly. Not deadly, but pack a bite. I think I heard the flies rejoicing that we were here. Little do they know they're next on my hit list. On the upside, Breanna (Jerry and Breanna are our AIM AIR partners in Loki; Grace, Isaiah and toddler Jack are on the property, oldest daughter Olivia is at Rift Valley Academy near Nairobi)) had gone through the house in the first cleaning and got the cockroaches and their eggs out. I haven't seen one yet. We served a nice cocktail of boric acid and sugar if any stop by. I'm afraid we're not very hospitable to the previous occupants.
Love the kitchen. Hate the bugs. We have to keep our plates, utensils, and anything edible in sealed tupperware.
So the heat. We've got fans in all the rooms, and just ordered one more from Nairobi to help us out until the A/C gets here and Joel figures out how to make it work. I think we all agree that the bugs (mostly flies right now but Breanna says it's just for a season) are the worst. The mosquito nets keep the big ones out, but little ones are getting through. The screens on the windows need replacing - should be coming up from Nairobi on Sunday. We just sleep on top of the sheets until half way through the night when you want just a sheet over you.
It's easy to make the bed in the morning!
Went downtown (ha!) with Breanna and Joel today. Breanna introduced me to the town folk and I was able to see what they have here. Gotta say, it is WAY better than I thought! I have a lot of cooking ingredients coming up from Nairobi as flights are coming this way, but I can get most of it here. I think if I ask for them to get things like tomato sauce and show them the bottle, they can probably order it for me. Some prices are crazy, but most are close to Nairobi prices (which is expensive, but oh well).
Yesterday was a warmer day. Over 100 in the shade. Our house does pretty good, but we're seeing the heat we heard about.
We were out of water (we have well water) yesterday, but the Bishop (who is in charge of the compound) came by multiple times and temporarily restored water to our house. We are currently having to fill our 500 L storage tank with a hose. The water is good, but we still pass it through our water filter (the one we had in Nairobi). It tastes good. Soft, but good with no egg smell. Lots of mineral deposits though. We've been taking a liter water bottle, filling it half full, laying it on its side in the freezer, and then having a big ice-cube in the water bottle :) Works great!!
Joel has a short flight planned for Monday. We should have the house somewhat ready by then, but a lot of projects remain. Joel was able to figure out a shower solution (trying to hang a shower curtain that would keep some of the water IN the shower) and we all took our first shower last night. No hot water yet, but it's not terrible. Even doing my hair wasn't too bad. The solar hot water system was missing some necessary components, so it'll be a while before we see warm showers. With the heat you would think that a cool shower would feel good but...not so much.
The kitchen is big. The bathroom is very, very small. I'm almost on top of the sink to get this picture ... but thankfully we HAVE an indoor bathroom/shower!
I tried to make tortillas last night. They need a lot of help. They were edible, but need help. I think I'll try another recipe. I'm back to sea-level cooking (I had just gotten used to high-altitude baking!)
The cats: Kibebe came back the first night, but we didn't see her again. There are other cats on the property, but I'm losing my optimism. Jay Jay was crying for her for the first few nights. Poor kitten. She was closest to her mama. Marcy is in heat too and wasn't here for breakfast. *sigh* Worrying about the kittens is probably MY toughest part of being here. Jay is particularly expressive and you can see the fear and worry in her eyes. She's calling for Marcy. Breaks my heart ...
Ian: Is having a blast playing with Isaiah. He loves it here. He loves being able to go out in the open space and not have to worry about locked gates and city worries. They just got rain in Loki, so everything is green and pretty. It may not stay this way, but it's a wonderful welcome :) Thank you, God! There are dirt (dust) roads throughout the compound, so the boys can get around. We will bring Ian's bike up, and I think Renee now wants one too to ride with Grace. The bugs are bugging/scaring him, but that's his only hiccup in transitioning. He has a rash that I think is a heat rash. It doesn't itch.
Having a friend ... priceless.
Renee: Loves to be settled. She set up her room as soon as absolutely possible. She has organized the next 4 weeks of school (we're starting back into it next week) and has started in. She is gets along well with Grace (the girls have a lot in common), but likes more quiet time by herself than Ian who is ready to play 5 minutes after he wakes up. The first couple of days were rough for her, but once we got a net on her bed that actually kept the gnats out, she's doing better. She's been reading "How to Make Friends and Influence People - for girls" and making notes on important points. I love that girl! She's also been sneaking peeks into the girls' Bible study I will start next week with her and Grace. Good resources for her to grab onto. She's also been playing her keyboard. She played Hush Little Baby for us this morning :) It's good to see her smiling and happy. Joel's showing her how to make mango juice smoothies with ingredients we can get here.
The princess loves her "tent"
Joel: Is the reason we're as settled as we are. He's amazing in his ability to organize, see a plan, and initiate the plan. He knows what to ask for and how to get it. Sunday will be a good day as some things that we really need from Nairobi are coming up. I think he was really worried that we wouldn't adjust to being up here, and I think he's quite relieved that we're doing so well. Even his queen and princess :) So thanks to Joel, all the beds have mosquito nets, the shower is up and running, we have internet, we have a light on our porch (it gets DARK at night!), we have TV (we watched a movie last night), and we're organized enough to function. I love this man!!!!
Fixing dresser drawers draws an audience. The excitement of power tools transcends all barriers...
LaReina: Is doing really well. It's WAY BETTER than I thought it was going to be. I love the country. I love that I can get most things I need to cook up here. Well, veggies are pretty scarce except for carrots, potatoes and cabbage, but green beans came in on Friday and there is canned corn in the local shop :) Looking out of my windows, I'm not seeing concrete. I don't have multiple locks and gates to get out of my house. I love that I have a huge support base in Nairobi that is willing to shop and send things up. Breanna has been awesome in welcoming, but not smothering. I can see how our life will look when we are settled and IT IS GOOD!!!
Thank you for your prayers and support. God knew what He was doing when He put this place on our hearts. He knew long before we did :)