Discombobulated
Saving Starfish

Long, Long Ago in a Land Far Away...

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Has it really been less than a month since we arrived back home from our trip to Kenya?

If you're anything like me, these past 10 days have felt more like months or even years....

Anyway, to help me keep my sanity and escape back to freer, happier times, via this week's posts I'll take you with me to a land far away......

 

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On Wednesday, February 12, Kim and I flew out of Indianapolis to Chicago...

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...where we met up at the Chicago O'Hare airport (may I just go on record here saying O'Hare ranks near the top as one of my least favorite airports in the world...) with our co-travelers Bill & Shirley and Cathy & Jon.  We all serve together on the Board of Directors for Mahali pa Maisha, an infant rescue ministry in Kenya.  This trip was a board meeting, of sorts (not all board members could attend), for a hands-on experience of the ministry in action.

(This photo was actually taken on our way home...after 2 weeks and some very LONG flights together, we were all still smiling.)  Travelling and living together in close quarters for 2 weeks is a true test of love and friendship, and I think I can speak for all of us (hope so, anyway....) that this trip brought us closer and solidified our friendships and love for each other.

After 30 hours of traveling (car->bus->plane from Indy to Chicago->LONG walk in the snowy cold schlepping 2 huge heavy suitcases, 2 stuffed-to-the-gills backpacks, and my purse to the international terminal at O'Hare->plane to Frankfurt, Germany->shuttle bus->plane to Nairobi, Kenya), we were temperature-screened by 6 hazmat-dressed security people before entering the Nairobi terminal.  Exhausted but oh-so-glad to have arrived, we breezed through Customs (as much as one can EVER "breeze" through Customs, especially in Kenya...) and Dave was awaiting us just outside and we loaded into a couple of vans for the 40-minute drive to the MpM property, arriving there just before midnight.

 

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Without much ado, we fell into bed and all felt much better the next morning.  After breakfast we did the grand tour of the MpM property.  Kim and I hadn't been here in two years and couldn't believe how much had changed!

A few glimpses inside the gated property of Mahali pa Maisha...a gorgeous oasis seemingly out in the middle of nowhere.

 

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To the right is the Team Building where our team lived.  Dave and Jen have their own private home on the property.

 

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There are 7 bedrooms in the Team Building...this was our room for the week.  No, we did not attempt the bunk beds...they became our clothes closet!

 

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The building has 4 small but all-you-need bathrooms, so we had our own bathroom...


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...and right outside our room was another common sink, which was very useful when we needed a little counter space.



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A large common room area...that is Brea, who is living in the Team Building and helping the Bells for what was supposed to be 3 months.  With the travel ban now on, she's staying indefinitely.  The tentative plan is for her to come on as staff this fall...we'll see how this whole virus scenario plays out.  


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We fixed our meals in this well-stocked kitchen.  Yes, we ate very well!

 


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And during our limited down time, we did have wifi to keep in contact with the world outside MpM.

 


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This lovely porch was a wonderful place to enjoy the birds, solitude, and beauty of the property.  And the perfect spot for some heartfelt conversations about life and family and faith...

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View from the porch...now imagine oodles of birds' songs filling the air...


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We did our own laundry and rediscovered the wonderful smell of fresh line-dried clothing.  Who needs a dryer when you've got perfect weather nearly every day that is much more reliable (and cheaper!) than the electrical supply?

As you can see, we were certainly not "roughing it."


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Dave has a couple of men who help him with the property upkeep.  It's a HUGE job!

 


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Bear, one of the 3 black watch dogs...

 


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This group of toddlers is often out and about, taking adventure walks around the property.  They are all awaiting adoptions to open up so they can be placed with their Forever Families.

 

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Chickens for eggs (yes, I know that big black bird is NOT a chicken)...

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...and raising turkeys...


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...and rabbits for meat.

 

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As well as a large tilapia pond (this is only half of it) loaded with fish for the freezer.  (More on the tilapia harvest later this week....)



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Big Duke is getting arthritic, poor fella....

 


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To the right is the water tower, with Dave's workshop below.  And the parking shed...

 

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In the past year they've added a covered therapy pool...

 

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...which is enjoyed by the older children...including Dave!

 

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We surely did miss our own home and family back in America, but what a lovely place to spend a couple of weeks...

...long, long ago in a land far away.

 

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