Monday, February 25, 2013

A wonderful trip to Kenya

A two and a half week trip to Kenya is about to come to an end.  Aside from some wonderful fellowship and feeding from the Word at a week long conference, we were able to tack on an extra week for some fun and relaxing as a family.  We leave early tomorrow morning and once we get back to Chad we'll have a little more than two weeks before the team arrives!
For almost a week we had the blessing on using this cottage located not far from Lake Naivasha.  It was everything Chad isn't: green, cool, running water and electricity, lots of fruits and veggies, and ice cream! 

Babu (Krista's dad) and the grandkids just hanging out

Enjoying a fire and roasting marshmallows!

A snack on the grass

We went on a boat ride of Lake Naivasha and saw hippos, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, and lots of birds. 

We found a great pool where we were able to swim as a whole family for what it would cost one of us back in Chad!

At one camp, the kids got to go on a free donkey ride.

Near the pool water buck were grazing unbothered by the presence of all the people

We had the chance to go to an elephant orphanage and see the baby elephants.

Krista and I were blessed to have Mom and Dad Propst watch the kids for a night and we were able to spend a night at a tented camp.  It was wonderful.

Early February 2013

These past couple of months have seen us making many journeys between D-Town and the capital city - though they are working hard to pave the 100km stretch out to D-Town, they're not there yet.  It's always fun and amazing to pass the huge lorries piled down with wood and other items.  This time of year it is very, very dusty and it makes wearing a turban almost necessary unless you want to arrive at your destination all brown.
Back in November I started teaching a basic English course and I was able to finish it up in early February - the majority of students actually passed the test!
Wood truck stuck to its axels in the soft sand and dirt

A common sight on the D-Town road - you always make sure to pass quickly when it's swaying the opposite direction!

Best seat in the house, lots of fresh air

Ready for a road trip in Chad!
The pastor of our local church was riding in with us to the capital when a large lizard ran across the road in front of us.  One look at him and I knew he wanted to catch it so we stopped, backed up and thanks to Krista's sharp eye, we were able to locate it hiding in a bush.  The pastor went and stepped on it's head, grabbed it, tied it up, and much to Levi's disapproval, put it at his feet in the car (Levi was sitting next to him).  The pastor was thrilled to be bringing his "sauce" with him as it would be a wonderful treat for his hosts in the city.

My English students taking their final exam

Above and below are typical classrooms here in D-Town




January 2013

The new year!  Construction continued to pick up and it wasn't abnormal to have guys at our gate at 6:30am asking for labor money, money for supplies, etc.  I will definitely be glad when the whole set-up side of this process is done.  We were blessed to welcome Paul and Virginia T. from Tanzania for two weeks to help us   
Paul T. in all his glory after taking out a wall with his bare hands (and hammer and  wrecker bar)!

Trying to figure out the next step on one of our houses.

Almost done!

Adam, one of the few reliable and trustworthy masons we have found - plus he has a great sense of humor.

Preparing to pour the slab for one of the bathrooms.

"The Chadillac" as one of our team members has already named the team vehicle.  We're hoping it will make it through the mud of the first rainy season before the road is paved out to D-Town.  Otherwise, it's in great shape, has a great roof rack, and we even found seats for it (all the seats had been taken out).

Not really sure what to say about this one - just boys being boys.

Paul T. taught our kids how to play the game, "Horizontal" - great game! (especially if you want some peace and quiet)

Keilah having tea with one of her friends

Enjoying a family picnic on the edge of D-Town

Levi headed out into the wild brown yonder

Beautiful sunset

December 2012

December saw things picking up as we were full swing into preparing hour different houses for the arrival of our teammates in March.  Aside from the normal business of the holiday season (though it's definitely a bit different out here than in the States), we made a trip down to Ba-Illi where we served last term.  I (Justin) had the chance to teach a one week course at the school down there.  It was great to see friends from before.  Christmas was a busy time with us arriving back in D-town on Christmas Eve.  We were able to enjoy four days with Krista's parents before it was back to work.
Levi, Josiah, and I went to the Independence Day celebrations in D-Town.

Students from local schools marched and sang songs.

Levi taking it all in.  Not sure if more people were watching the ceremony or us...

VIPs  at the ceremony

A walk down the ol' airstrip at Ba-Illi.  This was a favorite place of our family  - the place where Krista could go walking,  and where the boys could ride bikes and play soccer.

Flying kites on the airstrip.

Christmas morning at the Clermont house in D-town.  Was fun to have Dad and Mom Propst to celebrate with us.
Christmas morning breakfast

Celebrating Christmas at church - starting first with the kids and them reciting different verses they had memorized.  Don't you love the decorations?

The Christmas feast being prepared - a bull was slaughtered for the occasion as the whole church came together to sing, dance, and eat together .

November 2012

Krista and the boys in the new school room / guest room.  It's made a big difference getting school out of the living room and into a "classroom".
Construction of our one room school house / guest house.
Kids hanging out  and  being creative in their playtime.

Saturday morning project: build a wall around our precious growing flame tree to protect it from  the goats and stray soccer balls!

Our kids along with the kids of some of our best friends.  We invited them over to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with us (see below).

Krista whipped up an impressive Thanksgiving meal served Chadian style as we ate it off of large platters with our hands.



October 2012

As usual, it's been a looong time since we've been on our blog and had a chance to post some pics.  We're currently in Kenya and so while we've got a great internet connection, we'll make the most of it.  The past fourth months have seen us finishing up our own house out in D-Town as well as starting up and finishing construction on the houses of our soon-to-arrive teammates. So here we go, four months worth of pictures to upload - I'll try and do it by months (approximately...).
Keilah's 2nd Birthday!

Growing up too fast...

Josiah had the chance to go to "Home School Week" in the capital city.  For one week he, along with other home schooled kids who live in the bush, had the chance to come in and go to school at Wellspring Academy.  Wellspring is a school that serves workers like us who live in the capital city.  Josiah loved the chance to be in class with other kids and particularly enjoyed the recreation time.

Josiah and some of his classmates as they presented at the end of Home School Week.