Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Crater of Life

On our way home from Nairobi last week we took a day trip to visit the world famous Ngorongoro Crater. The Crater is a massive, well, crater that is constantly teeming with life. You may recognize it from the old John Wayne "Hatari" movie (filmed there) or from the beginnings of life, as some people speculate that life on this earth, maybe even in human form could have begun here. I can't say much to that theory, but I can say that it was a truly amazing and breathtaking place that was packed with wildlife. A great place to see at least once in a lifetime!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Real Estate Crisis?

Driving through towns in Tanzania, we often pass signs such as these welcoming us to the town, much like State line signs in the US. I wonder why we found in this town a less than booming real estate market?? It seems no one wants to move to "Mto wa Mbu"! There's plenty of little shops and businesses, but not a lot of houses. Gee.... could it be because the town name is "River of Mosquitoes"? It really is a shock that the people aren't flocking there!

Swahili phrase for the day:
"Karibu Mto wa Mbu" means "Welcome to the River of Mosquitoes."

This one ranks up there with great city names like Stinking Creek, KY and Hell, MI.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Oh the Goodbyes

Today we say goodbye to Kenya, as we are leaving and heading back to Tanzania, with no scheduled return trips. At the same time, we've realized that we have less than 2 months left in East Africa, before a return to the States and then a whole new chapter begins in our life. Saying goodbye to all that East Africa has to offer will be difficult, especially to things like this:

On a related note, we said goodbye to our dear friends the Phillips family yesterday, and that was hard. They have been wonderful friends, mentors, family, neighbors, and encouragers throughout our time here, and we will sorely miss them. They head back to the US next week for a few months, and we will not see them again on African soil. We love you Phillips Clan!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


"The sin of the American Church is the belief that it is able [to do anything by itself]."
-Dr. John Ewart

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Obamania and a Truck Party

One thing that I've always found curious here is the most popular mode of advertisement. A sort of African IPO party, the East African community uses moving "look at me" fests to let people know of something fresh. Say a business wants to open a new shop in our town. How will they get the word out? Naturally, rent a flatbed truck, load it down with banners, max the weight out with speakers blaring music to be heard blocks away, and then put some people on it with company t-shirts to dance and cause a big scene. Did I mention the truck then moves? They drive around the city in circles, which is especially funny considering our roads are laden with pot holes, speed bumps, curbs, and random objects. Watching people attempt to stand, much less dance in a moving flatbed truck in East Africa is always a joyful source of laughter.

Well yesterday, we arrived in Nairobi for some appointments and a meeting, and a giant party truck pulled in front of us. As it turned, I caught sight of the banner on the side and immediately recognized the large smiling face of our USA president and large block letters that spelled out OBAMA. We couldn't help but laugh, yet another Kenyan party for the American president, many months after the election and inauguration. Still, it seemed odd to have a truck party for our president... where's the advertisement??

Then the truck turned again and I got a better look at the sign: Obama Strawberry Flavored Bubble Gum. Yes. This was an ad for a new product. Let's read that again: Obama Strawberry Flavored Bubble Gum. He actually has a gum named after him folks. With his picture on the wrapper. Soon to be the most popular candy in East Africa. I wonder if he gets any royalties??