For many years now, we have packed boxes at Christmas to be delivered around the world to children in need. This year WE GOT TO DELIVER SOME!!!!!! It was so awesome to be on this end of it. When we would get our boxes together to pack with Eden back in the US, we would talk about how fun it would be to be able to deliver them too. The boxes that came to Tenwek were for the patients in the pediatric wards. We had always pictured kids jumping and yelling, excited to open the gifts and see what were inside. Needless to say, that did not happen on the peds ward where many of the kids are really sick. But we did see shy smiles, with some kids calling out and waving to us. Each bed on the ward had a Operation Christmas Child box by it. I didn't take many pictures. Only two in fact. It didn't seem appropriate to take too many. But we wanted to say to those at home who worked so hard this year to purchase and pack boxes for children overseas...Great work! Keep it up! And THANK YOU!
Photo taken with parental permission.
As you may have guessed, cultural traditions are different here than they are back home. We are just trying to smile and greet everyone with some love... sometimes things get a little out of hand. We heard kissing giraffes was a rite of passage. But maybe it was more like initiation. Just kidding.
Merry Christmas to you all! We want to say thank you for helping us to get here and supporting us to stay here, especially this time of year. We are grateful for the privilege to be here. I know it sounds cliche, but really, its true.
Speaking of traditions, each Christmas the missionaries go caroling around the different wards of the hospital. It was so fun to be able to do that again and this time with our children.
Today we went to celebrate Christmas with a nearby orphanage. We brought a craft to color as we told the Christmas story. Each child also received a new outfit. It was a great way to celebrate the season.
* Photos taken and used with permission (with the exception of the giraffe)
So many people have asked how our kids are doing and how they like it here, so we figured we would let Eden answer those questions herself. (Keep in mind, she is six.)
Me: How would you describe it here?
Eden: It’s almost always sunny and too hot. You’d want to be in a pool that’s cold all day. Sometimes on bumpy roads that aren’t paved, you’ll be driving really fast and then BUMP! You might get hurt. Then there’s those speed bumps too.
M: What things do you like the most here?
E: Chameleons, my friend, Shayla, well, all my friends, the gift shop, and birdwatching.
M: What do you miss the most?
E: My cousins and winter.
M: Anything else?
E: not really
M: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen so far?
E: A grown up almost falling off of a motorcycle laughing. And my dad singing Jingle Bells like a ventriloquist.
M: Are there any new foods here that you like?
E: Sukuma Wiki (kind of like collard greens), digestive biscuits
M: Any foods from back home that you miss?
E: The milk from home.
M: What would you like people back home to know about Kenya?
E: Kenya isn’t a kind of place that’s too hot. If you’re a kid, you can have a pet chameleon. If you’re a grown up, its really sunny and its healthy for your skin. There’s lot of cool birds. Its not a normal place at all.
M: Would you give it a thumbs up, or thumbs down overall?
E: Thumbs sideways
M: What do you think about what your dad is going to do at the hospital once we’re done with language school?
E: It’s pretty cool. He’s a ‘pediaction’ surgeon, so he’s a doctor for kids.
M: How do you like being homeschooled?
E: It’s pretty fun. In class, Grandma make me do games. And I really like doing ‘J’s.
M: How do you think Caleb likes it here?
E: As long as he’s not getting changed or feeling like he’s in a crisis, then he’s doing good.
M: What is his favorite thing here do you think?
E: At the grocery store there’s a big elephant statue he loves.
M: Does anything here make you nervous?
E: Safari ants
M: Does anything make you sad?
E: When friends move away (traveling back to the US, or changing stations)
(This is what happens once we realizes I've got the camera out.)
Mike (pediatric surgeon) and Julie (nurse/mother to two) living in Kenya, East Africa