Monthly Archives: February 2013

Mango Muffins

Standard

In an effort to stay within a reasonable grocery budget, we are limiting our cereal intake to one box a week. (American brands can cost up to $10/box!) That means I need to make breakfast 5-6 times a week. Because I’m not a morning person (in other words, I don’t like to think before I have my cup of tea), I decided to put us on a little weekly breakfast schedule. Here it is:

Sunday: something baked (back-up: cereal)

Monday: bacon and eggs (no sliced bread means no toast)

Tuesday: pancakes

Wednesday: bacon and eggs (scrambled this time!)

Thursday: baked oatmeal

Friday: cereal

Saturday: breakfast casserole, omelets or something to make eggs taste a little different (back-up: yogurt)

This morning, we had Mango Muffins. They were so yummy that I had to share the recipe. Mangoes are local and super cheap, so I could make these anytime. For you all in the States, it might be a treat to have once in a while…I can’t remember what the price per pound is in PA. Enjoy!

Mango Muffins

Puree mangoes to make 2 cups (about 4 mangoes)

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Stir ingredients then add mango, 1/4 cup oil and 1/2 tsp vanilla (or lemon) extract. Bake @ 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Advertisements

Tour of the Apartment, Part 2

Standard

Here is part 2 of the tour. I think I covered all the rooms. I hope this gives you a better sense of how we’re living. Really, it isn’t bad at all. We have a washing machine, electricity almost all the time, and wifi. While we are sacrificing things like time with friends and family, the convenience of American life, and clean water, we are doing very well. Tenwek is a great place to live and raise a family. If you’re able, we’d love to have you visit!

The living room…The couches do not match each other, and they do not match the curtains. Oh, and that stencil! We tried to hang something above the plaid couch, but apparently the walls are concrete blocks…and Aaron’s power tools are still in the States. We’ll eventually find a way to decorate that wall. Until then, we enjoy the large rug to play with all our indoor toys.

The living room

Don’t worry about our safety. Our home is protected by 3 superheros!

The dining room…The table is very nice and this shelf was already there. I love the storage the cabinet gives us.

Dining Room

The kitchen…The kitchen is growing on me. I really miss my island, especially when I’m cooling bread, baking dessert and making a meal all at the same time. There’s just not enough counter space. I’m loving the gas stove, and I haven’t noticed too much of a difference with the 6500 feet elevation. The only problem with the oven is that it’s so small. Last Saturday, I tried to make homemade chicken nuggets and oven fries but there’s only one rack in the oven…I had to put half of each on a tray and eat in shifts. Not ideal, but it worked.

Kitchen

This is the view from the dining room. There is a beautiful garden in the back. I’m loving the fresh basil for pesto and the fresh lettuce for salads. I love that my househelp washes the dishes for me Monday through Friday! The white water container is our filter. We have a huge water tank out back that collects the rain water. We bring jug-fulls inside and filter it before we drink it.

Kitchen

Boys’ bedroom…We brought posters and sheets that each boy picked out. Noah’s is Star Wars, Jacob’s is Avengers, and Levi’s is Thomas. They love the bunk bed even though it sways whenever someone climbs up on it. Because of the door and placement of the light switch, we are planning to move the furniture around. We’re still trying to figure out what works best with what we’ve got. 🙂

Boys' bedroom

Master bedroom…Our bedroom is small, but we do have a queen size bed (which is an upgrade from what we had in the States)! The storage is great. We plan to have someone build a bookshelf for above the desk. We just need to track down the carpenter…

Master Bedroom

Bathroom…So here it is! Seems like everyone is curious about our bathroom situation…The shower has quite a bit of pressure, and our water is hot. The toilet is ‘modern.’ It flushes…and uses a lot of water. I’m sure it doesn’t meet any water efficiency standards. The shower curtain matches the rugs and the curtains, so I’m not complaining.

bathroom

 

We also have a storage unit out back. It houses a deep freezer, our extra cleaning supplies and such. When we arrived, the key to our storage unit was missing. You have no idea how many people we asked about it, and no one had any idea where is was. Fortunately, the woman with the master key to all the storage units lives across the yard. I just walked over and borrowed it anytime I needed to get something from storage. It was decided that ‘the man with the key’ was no where to be found and we should replace the door knob. Well, Jacob decided to use a long, brittle leaf to unlock the storage unit the other day. Needless to say, it didn’t work. In fact, the stem broke off inside the doorknob and then I couldn’t get the key to unlock the door…I had been meaning to call ‘industrial’ (the maintenance department) about changing the lock to the storage room, and this little situation expedited my call. Now I have 3 keys to the same room! (That is an unheard of occurrence in Kenya!) And Jacob learned a valuable lesson.

Praises and Prayer Requests:

1.) Praise God that Hannah is acting more like herself today. She’s been battling diarrhea, vomit, and a bad diaper rash. Please pray that she continues to adjust to life in Kenya.

2.) Praise God that the boys are making good friends and enjoying life. They do miss the toy store, but they really haven’t been homesick yet.

3.) Please pray for us as we begin to make commitments to new positions. Aaron has been offered some jobs outside his main position in the ED. Pray for wisdom, direction and peace.

4.) Pray for safety during the upcoming elections. We are stocked up and ready to stay on the compound for an extended amount of time. Please pray that everything will remain peaceful and that we won’t have to evacuate.

My prayer for you:

Father God, Your Word says, “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.” (Proverbs 19:17) I pray that You will richly bless the people who are praying for us. They are a vital part of the ministry You gave us. We are dependent upon their sacrificial prayers. Please shower them with your rewards, both today and in eternity. Amen.

Tour of the Apartment, Part 1

Standard

Having house help is amazing. I must write about it soon, but I thought a little photo tour of our apartment was overdue…This shows several rooms, and I’ll post the other rooms later. (Uploading pictures is quite time consuming.) It stays surprisingly clean and tidy (thanks partly to the house help and partly to the fact that the boys spend most of the day outside), and it is quickly becoming home. Enjoy!

This is the front of our apartment. We’re on the second floor. The complex has 5 apartments. The 3 on the first floor are smaller (2 bedrooms each, I think), and the 2 on the second floor are 3 bedroom units. The balcony is nice. Our view is gorgeous! We sit there to watch the afternoon rain sometimes. Then, the kids play in the puddle that collects in the one spot near the gate. The clothesline (that I share with the other residents of the building) is to the right of the back stairs. The sidewalk goes the entire way around the complex, so the boys use it as a race track.

View of Front of Apartment

This is the schoolroom. I am so thankful for it! Noah and Jacob have enjoyed getting back into the routine of school, and it’s wonderful to have this organized space for them to focus. (We were using the dining room table back in PA. This is so much nicer!!) There is a closet with several shelves to the right of the black desk, and we’ll be hanging a bulletin board beside the door so we’ll have a place to hang their artwork and school papers. Notice the M&M dispenser. If you’re following us on facebook, that is a huge temptation for Levi! 🙂

schoolroom

Hannah’s room is one of my favorites, and it’s not quite finished yet. We were promised a real crib, but the crib mattresses are all being used by other kids. For now, the pack-n-play works. A dear friend painted the “Hannah” sign, and I found these coordinating decals on clearance at Pottery Barn. Hannah loves her mosquito net…I think she feels more like a princess when she’s sleeping under it. There was a cute kitty rug in the schoolroom when we arrived, so I moved it into her room. It almost matches. The lamp was purchased on my mega-shopping trip at the Kenyan version of Bed, Bath & Beyond. I think her room turned out really pretty. Hannah even said so!

Hannah's bedroom

The rest of the rooms are as finished as they can get too, but I couldn’t find good pictures of them. I’ll upload them soon…I hope. Besides the ugly curtains and couches, I really like how the apartment is becoming our home.

Praises and Prayer Requests:

1.) Praise God that the kids are adjusting well. Yes, that means Noah is testing every new rule and boundary, Jacob is making lots of new friends, Levi is running away to the neighbor’s house or after a dog, and Hannah is screeching no matter her mood. Please pray that they will start sleeping longer at night and/or take better naps. Most of their bad behaviors and decisions and accidents are more a result of lack of sleep than disrespectfulness. All this playing outside is exhausting!

2.) Pray for the Kenyan elections. It’s a month-long process that has the potential of causing some riots and unrest. Pray for our safety and wise precautions. March 4 is the election date, but I think it’s usually a drawn out process. I don’t fully understand it yet.

3.) Praise God! We survived our first full week of Aaron working and me homeschooling with househelp. The househelper has been chosen, so please pray for good relationships to be built with her and myself and the kids.

Thank you so much for praying steadfastly for us!! We’re praying for you too!

Shopping in Nairobi

Standard

After a much needed day of rest on Thursday, I went shopping ALL DAY with a friend and mentor on Friday. She showed me where to buy meat, produce, groceries and everything else I would need for my apartment. I so wish I had pictures of this experience!

We started immediately after breakfast and our first stop was the butcher. We ordered enough pork, beef, chicken and cheese to last us a month. I was impressed that many of the workers were cleaning the cold cases. However, I was taken back by the two suited men who seemed to lord over the shop. One stood and one sat; both looked like they were from the Mafia. Despite their appearance, they were very nice and helpful. The butcher took our order, would freeze it, and have it ready for us to pick up the next morning. I learned that streaky bacon is what we call bacon, while back bacon is Canadian bacon; which Cheddar cheeses I like and which ones to avoid; and to order everything is kilos, not pounds.

Then, it was off to the Westgate Mall where the Walmart of Nairobi, aka Nakumatt, is located. The mall was beautiful, perhaps nicer than the Lehigh Valley Mall. (If you want to check out their website, google Westgate Mall to get an idea of how nice it is.) I wish we could have walked leisurely through the mall, but we only visited the necessary stores. It was all business, for we had a 3-page list of supplies to buy. We easily filled 4 carts before the day was done. Items like Heinz ketchup (score!), deoderant (which only comes in rollers here), and mosquito nets overflowed the carts. Then it was finally time to check out. The plan was for me to call the credit card company while my friend unloaded the buggy. The person from CitiCards assured me that the transaction would not be a problem, which is what I expected since Aaron called them before we left to inform them of our move. Since we were running out of time, I was running all over trying to find a cell phone with a sim card. No luck on that front, so I helped finish up the unloading of the last cart. Somehow, in all the commotion, a half-empty cart got pushed aside. We didn’t realize this until Saturday when we were unloading everything into our apartment. Too bad Nakumatt is 3 1/2 hours away! Ugh! Anyway, once all the items were scanned (just like in the States), the cashier swiped my card, handed me a receipt and told me to go to customer service (this is the procedure for credit card transactions here). After waiting for several minutes, the card was declined. I called two more times before the person from CitiCards was helpful and the transaction was complete. Ugh!!

(On a side note, the shopping carts here are super hard to push. All four wheels swivel 360 degrees. Once they are filled to the rim, I had to use all of my weight to make turns!)

Although the Nakumatt shopping experience was a bit stressful, we did enjoy a lovely lunch at a cafe and found cute little lamps for the bedrooms at a Bed, Bath & Beyond-type place. My friend’s driver helped us load everything into her SUV and then we headed back to the Mennonite Guest House just in time for dinner. It was a long, overwhelming, exhausting day of cultural experiences. In a few weeks, I’ll have to manage it all by myself!

Saturday morning included picking up our ordered meat, purchasing produce from Zucchini’s and getting some last minute groceries at a little grocery store. Because of the forgotten items at Nakamutt, we had to live without some things for the weekend. My friend took me into Bomet, the little town closest to the hospital, to get as many of the items that are available locally.  But that’s a whole other story…

Please continue to pray for us:

1.) Pray that we all fall into a routine that works for accomplishing homeschooling, cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc.

2.) Pray that we hire the ‘right’ person to be our house help. This whole process is quite uncomfortable, so please pray that I am gracious but not weak.

3.) Pray for Aaron as he starts working on Monday…and for us as we try to manage without him.

4.) Pray for safety when the boys are outside and from bug bites. Hannah and I are covered with bites!

5.) Pray for wisdom as we try to fit into this community and to know God’s place for us within and outside of the compound. (Compound living is different. Many advantages, but several things we’ll need to get used to…Like less privacy!)

6.) Praise God for His generous hand, His perfect timing and His daily provision. We are adjusting so well, and our apartment is becoming our home so quickly. Everyone is more than happy to help and very welcoming. For each thing that is a challenge, there is at least one thing that is a bigger blessing. Praise God!

 

The Kelleys Crash Kenya!

Standard

We are here. After only 2 full days in Kenya, I’m not sure what to write. So much has happened. God is so faithful. And you, prayer warriors, are doing an amazing job at uplifting us in prayer. Despite the exhaustion, we are doing well and feel covered (maybe even drenched) in prayer. Thank you!!

Instead of recording a bunch of stories, I’ll list some highlights of our week and then end with a little story.

Proof of God’s faithfulness and attention to detail:

1.) The baggage man at Lehigh Valley International Airport gave us 3 of our 18 bags free. One of them weighed almost 100lbs! And we got to check it FOR FREE!!!

2.) They also allowed my mom, dad and mother-in-law to accompany us to the gate. It was nice to have that extra time with them…and the extra hands were helpful too!

3.) Our kids did great on the planes. Thanks to lots of napping and in-flight movies, everyone did great. No puking. Some diarrhea…but I’ll get to that in the story.

4.) We were given an extra seat in the third flight which was so nice. Hannah was able to sleep in her carseat which gave me some better rest time and more ability to help with the boys.

5.) God placed missionaries, Kenyans, flight attendants and other people in our paths at just the right times to bless us, help us and give us good advice.

6.) Shopping for a month in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language is quite a feat…especially when I’ve never been to my house. Thank you to my mentor for all the help!!

7.) Jetlag is horrible but we are doing well. The boys love it here. They are outside and dirty from head to toe, and they are meeting new friends every day. Noah said he loves it here. (And he was the one that was so nervous!)

Ok, now for my story…So, as many of you know, our house was slammed by the stomach bug right before our departure. Hannah and Levi had it first and I thought they were over it by Tuesday morning. I packed all of the kids’ clothes in one carry-on. Then, in Atlanta they offered to check bags for free. I thought it sounded like a good deal, so I checked 3 of our bags. Carrying 10 bags and keeping track of 4 kids while walking from one gate to another is hard work. Having 3 fewer bags was going to make life easier, right?

Wrong. On that flight, Levi had the biggest, messiest poop in his life. Diarrhea everywhere. Down his legs. Up his back. All over his pants, shirt, sweatshirt and seat. AND his extra clothes weren’t with us…What to do??

I undressed him and cleaned him up while Aaron held Hannah and cleaned up the seat. I had one extra shirt for myself in my carry-on, so I put that on him and he fell asleep the remainder of the flight. The funniest part was he said, “That’s so oo! That’s so oo!” when he’d see the toilet on the plane. Apparently, he wasn’t bothered by the poop all over his body or the fact that he was buck naked in the aisle of the plane…

He spent the rest of the day in a t-shirt and diaper. It’s a good thing Nairobi is warm!

P.S.

Sorry that there are no pictures. I tried, but it wasn’t working.