Saturday, February 1, 2014

Construction at the ABC Center

Some pictures of the ongoing construction at ABC...

View from second floor

Formwork for columns

Round Column formwork

Putting in the sewer line

Clear blue skies

ABC High School students painting their classroom

Formwork removed and surrounding buildings

Interesting ways to hold formwork in place

Everything in done by hand - digging out an electrical conduit

Friday, October 11, 2013

Home Sweet Home

It has been almost two months since we moved to Kenya. Wow, time flies! We feel so blessed to be here and God has provided the loveliest place for us to live. It really is more beautiful than we ever imagined and came furnished too. We wake up to the tea fields each morning and go to sleep to the lights of Nairobi in the distance at night. Here are the long awaited pictures... 

Tea fields outside our house

Walk down to the house. We now have a car in that carport too :)

Veranda...perfect for Kenyan tea time.

View from the living room

Our bedroom

Last, but not least...the guest bedroom. You could be sleeping here. Come visit us!!! We are very serious. There is even a warthog toilet you can use. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Many Uses of Bamboo

One of the first things that struck us about Nairobi is the huge gap between the haves and the have nots. This becomes evident as we drive through wealthy neighborhoods then slums stopping at large shopping malls that rival any western shopping mall. Kenya has some of the highest paid politicians in the world as well as embassies and UN Headquarters that pay employees "western wages" and many shops and restaurants cater to their expensive tastes. At the same time, one of the biggest slums in the world, Kibera, is located in Nairobi. It is one of several slums within the city of Nairobi. The residents of these slums are easily ignored and avoided, but if you stop and venture down the dusty paths between the rusty sheet metal houses you see families who are trying to make the most of their lives and keep from being overcome by the demanding life of the slums. 

A few years ago Lewis Taylor encouraged a resident of Kibera named Polycarp to plant some bamboo trusting that God would bring buyers for bamboo seedlings. When the seedlings were ready, God provided a buyer and eventually Polycarp was able to move his family from one of those sheet metal houses to a permanent house in Kibera. Him and his son now make beautiful bamboo furniture to sell and they are looking for new bamboo products to make and sell. 
Things we take for granted; our education, experience, and training are not available to many in the slums. It is our prayer that through various bamboo projects, we can empower others and give some of what we have been given to those who don't have (1 Timothy 6:17-19). 

Part of our time here, we hope to explore more uses of bamboo and to grow the impact these projects are having on poor communities. One of the areas being explored is bamboo charcoal. Most of the cooking in the slums is over charcoal and the use of bamboo charcoal will provide a green alternative to wood charcoal that is having a negative impact on Kenya's forests. Bamboo charcoal can also be used as a means to purify water, using its adsorptive properties to remove impurities from the water.

Bamboo Furniture
Bamboo Furniture
Bamboo Furniture
Bamboo Furniture
Planting Bamboo Seedlings

Friday, August 16, 2013

Little Rock to Limuru

We made it to Kenya! We flew into Nairobi on Wednesday to a rainy and cold winter evening. Despite the international arrivals terminal having burnt down just a few days before arriving, everything went smoothly and better than we expected. It took twice as long as normal (about 3 hours) to drive from the airport to Limuru because of the weather and Nairobi traffic.

We have been staying in a room at Brackenhurst (where Woodland Star School is located) while our cottage is being cleaned and fixed up a bit. We plan to move in over the weekend or on Monday. So far we have had some short meetings, but have mostly been recovering from jet lag. Bobby has managed to spend some time out on his mountain bike in preparation for his race to raise money for the LCC Baby Home. It is both exciting and bizarre to be in Kenya and know this is our new home for at least two years. However, we have been welcomed with open arms and everyone has been generous in helping us get settled. We are very thankful and know this is where God wants us.

Did we mention it is absolutely beautiful here in Limuru? We are approximately 70 miles from the equator and at about 7,500 feet elevation. It is currently winter in Kenya and August is supposed to be the coldest month of the year. This means cool nights, warm days, and lots of green! Pictures to come. For now here are a few pictures from time spent with our families as we made the move from Little Rock to Limuru...

Hiking in North Carolina
Hanging out with our nephew Caleb
St. Louis Cardinals game 
Rally Cap time with Grams 
Saying goodbye to Charlie
About to leave
And we're off!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pictures of Our June Trip

Unexpected detour through London and Paris

Big Ben
Westminster Abbey

Buckingham Palace
Trying to sleep at the Paris Airport
Early the next morning: Us and the Eiffel Tower

La Seine
Nutella Banana Crepes

Finally in Kenya visiting Widows Sew and Uzimatele School
Widows Sew

Widows Sew graduates

Walking into Uzimatele

Kids at Uzimatele School

Visiting schools with Chahale

Making melodies

Presenting soccer jerseys

Spending time with the kids at ABC Center

Sizing for new shoes through Samaritan's Feet

Sports day with ABC kids


Warriors vs Warriors
Group Picture