"The Granny Awards"
All About the Babies

Mahali pa Maisha


After stewing around about the possibility of snow delaying our flight to Kenya the last week of March, it turned out to be a lovely day for flying the friendly skies on British Airways.

We flew to Philadelphia then boarded this monster of a plane (a double-decker) for the 8+ hour flight to London Heathrow, where we changed planes and boarded another huge plane for the 8+ hour flight to Nairobi.

Yes, it's a LONG way to Kenya...like 8000 miles!  But I happen to love to travel and don't mind the long flights at all...



...especially when they serve snacks like this one!  British Airways stole my heart with their ice cream bars!



There were 5 of us from Sulphur Springs Christian Church.  The men Kim, Chuck Bell (Missionary Dave's brother), and Favorite Son-in-Law Zach along with myself and Angie (Chuck's daughter/Missionary Dave's niece).

This was Angie's first trip...the rest of us had been before.

Africa has a way of getting under one's skin, so I'm guessing Angie will definitely go back....



After great and uneventful (Praise God!) flights, it was dark and rainy when we landed at the Nairobi airport.  We claimed all 10 of our huge suitcases (over half of what we brought were ministry supplies which stayed in Kenya) and breezed through Customs.  Well, all of us breezed through except Chuck.  Apparently the security agents didn't like the 50 bottles of Flintstone vitamins he had in his suitcase...

It's about a half-hour drive from the airport to Mahali pa Maisha, the name of the property where Dave and Jen Bell's ministry is located.  The road there, while it's always been a bumpy one, was extra challenging after the severe flooding they'd experienced a couple of weeks before we arrived.



Makes me appreciate our Henry County, Indiana roads...they seem like super-highways compared to this...



But inside the gate (I took this photo the next morning) is the beautiful oasis that is known as Mahali pa Maisha.

Which means, in Swahili, "A Place of Life."



The first building inside the property is the home of Dave and Jen...



...and their two children Selah and Ethan.



Dave (in the middle with one of his dogs Kengele) gave everyone the grand property tour.

The Team Building is just around the corner from the Bells' home and looks much like it on the outside. (I can't believe I neglected to take a photo of it!)



Inside the Team Building, where the 5 of us lived together those 10 days...

A living area with kitchen....



...where we worked together with the Bells to prepare the evening meals...



The dining area...



And this was our bedroom.

No, I didn't make Kim sleep on top....

There are, I believe, 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms in the Team Building.



Very minimalistic...simple, yet functional.





Through the windows, we were constantly entertained by the gorgeous birds in their yard!



This yellow weaver was meticulously building its nest...



...as was this swallow...



...who had her nest on the porch.



A water tower...which Angie climbed one afternoon...



A shamba (garden)...



...and greenhouses.



Chickens (fresh eggs for breakfast!)



And a tilapia pond, with which the menfolk became very well-acquainted.  (More on those adventures in a later post....)



Sounds of children's laughter fill the air (that's David playing tetherball with Ethan and Selah...David's dad John is the property manager and also lives on the property)...



...and sweet baby sounds from the nearby Infant Rescue Center building.

Which deserves and will get a whole post on its own tomorrow....





So blessed to spend a few days in this little piece of paradise on the other side of the globe.

A Place of Life.

Mahali pa Maisha.




Teresa Hornaday

Beautiful pictures...it's in my blood to go one day. What a blessing Dave and Jen are to the precious infants!

Emily Whaley

Every time I see the pictures it makes me want to go! Glad the mission team had a great trip. Can't wait to read your other posts. Love you!


Thank you Thank you for sharing. I loved this!!

Terri Chapman


Dave Bell

Awesome photos! And we are ready for you to come back, anytime!!

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