Thursday, February 04, 2016

Thursday Travels

Welcome to Kenya!  Or as the Kenyan's say - Karibu!  Today will cover our first day in Kenya.  We arrived about 6am in Nairobi.  Thankfully, most of us were able to get some good rest on the flight from London.  Adrenaline kicked in as we arrived in customs, finished our forms, waited in the long line, and finally retrieved our luggage.  Several members of our Kenya church campus were waiting for us when we arrived at our was so nice to connect with people we normally only "see" on facebook!

Our first stop was the hotel, so a quick breakfast and time to freshen up...then it was off to the Ark Orphanage.
The children of the Ark sang a welcoming song for us and introduced themselves.  Many of the children were abandoned in the slums...they may have family, but their family was unable to care for them.  As you can imagine, they have various psychological and emotional scars they need to overcome. 
Judy is one of the girls I met last time, so I was happy to see her again.  Here she is in a bedroom for the girls.  She sleeps in the middle bunk. 
The Ark also has a school where they can work with the children on education but also with their other challenges.  The classes are kept small so each child can get the support they need.  As the children age, new classes are added...this will be a Class 8 when it finishes. 
Auntie with a group of older girls.  These girls have been accepted into high school, and the orphanage is trying to raise the money for them to be able to attend.  It is a study in faith as they pray and expect God to move on their behalf.  

After this, we had lunch and then went back to the church campus to help with preparations for the Sunday service, and to walk around the community and invite people to the service.
We carried supplies from the office building to the worship center.  The church is at the YMCA in Thika, so the building is used for other purposes during the week.  It is a very peaceful location.
Shaun working on sweeping the would later be mopped with rags.  It is amazing how dusty everything gets.

Next we did some outreach around Thika and invited people to church.  The sights and smells can be unfamiliar when you are in a third world country. 
People are very resourceful and use what they have to survive...

Everyone is friendly and a camera brings out the smiles.  

Somethings are different, but people are the same everywhere...they just want a friendly smile and to know someone cares for them.  We felt very welcomed by the people of Thika.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Tanner Tuesday

Tanner would like to remind everyone that he is a Super Hero...Tanner has now been in remission from Renal Lymphoblastic Lymphoma for ONE YEAR!!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thursday Travels

Hello everyone...this is the mom to Tanner and Oliver and I am hijacking the blog on Thursday for the next several weeks.  As you may know, I recently traveled to Kenya for a mission trip, and I would like to share some of the stories and photos from that trip.  Come along down memory lane with me...first stop - LONDON!

Our flight left Raleigh, North Carolina around 6pm on Thursday night and arrived in London around 6am (which was 1am for us weary travelers).  We made it through customs and claimed our luggage because we were going to be in London for 12 hours and 10 minutes and the limit on checking bags through is 12 hours!  So we claimed the bags and paid to store them for the day and finally met up with our tour guide for a fun day in the city.

Our guide was the same person from the last trip, so he tried to show us some new things in the city.  We walked around in the rain and cold through many narrow alleys and learned some history.
As we walked many in our group commented on how things looked and felt a lot like parts of Boston with some Williamsburg mixed in!
I loved all the unique taxis 
Auntie, in the blue coat trying to stay out of the rain!
Friendly goose waiting for a snack... 
The band heading to the Palace for the Changing of the Guard...

I've forgotten what the significance of this place is...

Loved all the really old stone walls! 
Classic photo of the clock tower...
Finally, it was time for tea and to get ready to head back to the airport... 
Happy group...we enjoyed our day in London and are ready for a nice nap on the 8 hour flight to Nairobi...see you next week in Kenya!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tanner Tuesday

I've been terribly slack about posting and can't believe it has been a month!  Tanner and Oliver had a wonderful Christmas.  They received many gifts and enjoyed having Auntie and me at home.  Our parents came up for a couple of days too, and Tanner enjoyed the extra attention.  Oliver spent his time under the bed!
Oliver's Christmas stash...lots of favorites here! 
Tanner's stash...I used Coccolino Creations to make them each a new bed. 
Tanner still enjoys napping on the fleece blanket from the Island Cats! 
Here's Oliver checking out Tanner in his new igloo...what's wrong with your cube Oliver? 
Close-up of Tanner in the igloo...

Tanner continues to do well and was a favorite of one of the pet sitters while we were in Kenya.  He has been getting lots of treats and snuggles.  We are monitoring him at home with no vet visits planned!

Thanks everyone for their healing purrs and words of encouragement and support!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all...we are so blessed to have friends like you in our lives.  Here's to a marvelous 2016 for us all!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Mancat Monday - The Opening of our Secret Paws Gifts

The boys wanted to open some presents and so we opened our Secret Paws packages from Cinco and Manna at the Playful Kitty.
Oliver was quite curious about the new octopus on a string.  He loves toys that fly around the air!  The new scratcher/bed was a big hit as well! 
Oliver also loved the catnip mice...the orange tailed one was his favorite. 
Here is a photo showing our gifts.  Even the mom had a chocolate cat in the box. 
In true kitty fashion though, the boys preferred to lie with the paper and packaging once everything was opened!  Oliver is hard to see on the hardwood floor, but he is there.  Auntie and I tease all the time that we should have chosen a lighter colored floor! 
I moved the gifts over to them, since they would not cooperate!   
Tanner came around later and took a nice long smell of everything. 
He finally came over and got comfy in the new scratcher/bed.

Thanks Playful Kitty for everything!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Secret Paws has Arrived!

 We had a nice surprise last night, as our Secret Paws package arrived!!  We were curious to see who it was from, so mom let us start to open it.  Thank you, Cinco, Manna and Mom Robin from  Playful Kitty for all the wonderful and fun looking goodies!
Oliver inspected the box, as it was a rather large box! 
The packages were numerous and all wrapped in such pretty paper.  Oliver immediately started trying to eat the ribbon, so mom had to take it off :)  
Oliver is wondering why Cousin Georgie is coming over...there are no presents for him!  We will share with everyone greedy kitties allowed in this house.
Tanner loved that some were marked specifically for clever! 
I caught Tanner back near the presents later in the evening...does he look "caught" to you?

We will open our gifts a few at a time to spread the joy and celebration out.