Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kenya Kids Can and My Family

“Does anybody want to go along?” I usually ask my family as I get ready to head out the door to go visit some schools that Kenya Kida Can works with.  Almost always 1 or 2 of my kids will hop in the car to go with me.

In many of these schools visitors are rare.   When there are visitors, they usually come to meet with the head teacher and they do not spend time with the students.  While I do make it a point to connect with the students whenever I am in a school, there is always an extra level of excitement when I show up if my kids get out of the car.

For schools in our area, the children might not have ever interacted with American children before and it really is an exciting opportunity for a cross-cultural connection.  And these connections are a real treat for both my kids and the students.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

And Our Youngest is Ten

How clearly I remember when our oldest, Megan, was going off to kindergarten.  I could not believe that I was old enough to have a child going to school.  Now our 7th and youngest child has turned 10.  The next time I blink, Sheri and I will be empty nesters . . .

Monday, April 7, 2014

Championships and Concussions

The second term at Rift Valley Academy is a significant one for our girls since it is the women's soccer season.  Megan (Miss Bookworm) was a captain and played sweeper while Emily (Ed) played center mid.  Injuries seem common in our house, but the girls were able to stay healthy enough to play most of the time.  Emily did suffer a significant concussion during their win in the championship game, however, that knocked her out of school for the next week.  She has fully recovered now and as Pa Ingalls says, “All’s well that ends well.”

Although Grace (F.G.) is only in 8th grade, she was allowed to play up and be on the JV team, which was a great fit for her.  She played well and her team also won the championship game in their league.

For boys the team sport this last term was basketball and Nathan (Buddy) blossomed as a player.  His extra personal workouts really paid off in his development as a player.

Sports are not the main thrust at the school or in our home, but we appreciate how they add significantly to the development of our children.  That being said, we are glad that our older girls are taking the last term off from sports so there will not be as much stress on our schedules.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mosquito Wars


My light comes on at 3am in the morning.  I blink hard as my eyes adjust to the light and I reach for my glasses.  Operation Slap-n-Kill has failed and now Operation Hunt-n-Swat has begun.

Wearily I put on my glasses and pick up the fly swatter that I keep by my bed.  Staying still, I watch and listen trying to locate my enemy and find the perfect time to strike.

Operation Hunt-n-Swat is always the last resort in the war with mosquitoes.  Even when you are victorious and eliminate your enemy, you still lose because it takes a long time to fall back to sleep after standing on the bed with the lights on swatting at mosquitoes . . . and dealing with internal anger issues from the fact that Crazy Mom is fast asleep while the war is being waged.

That is why the first line of warfare is Slap-n-Kill.  The tactic here is that when you wake up with buzzing in your ears, you slowly ease both hands out from under the covers and place them a foot on either side of your face.

Then you wait.

The instant the buzzing stops you assume the mosquito has landed on your face and you simultaneously slap both sides of your face with your hands.  If the buzzing does not resume, you have won.  If it does, you lie in wait again.  The beauty here is you never have to open your eyes.

But after a few hard swats your ears start ringing and you can’t hear the buzzing anymore and that is when the lights come on and you resort to Operation Hunt-n-Swat.

But . . . every time I go to Nairobi I am on the lookout for an electric fly swatter.  The bazooka in bug wars, these puppies allow for mid-air frying of flying pests and the zap brings such a warm rush of satisfaction that sweet sleep soon follows.