Cold and Wet

Greetings from cool and wet Kijabe!

Depending on the state of your local weather, “cool and wet ” either sounds inviting or not so much.  We have been told that this is an unusually long rainy season and that the weather has surpassed and set new records for rain accumulated.  The last couple of months have brought rain almost every day, bringing more than 25 inches.

We have found it interesting that staff and students struggle with the same feelings of weariness and depression that many Northern dwellers encounter during the long and dark winter months.

To help boost morale on campus, our Principal approved an idea brought forth by one of our Committees and declared a “Warm Winter Wednesday” this past week.  Dress code became: Winter attire.  Needless to say, these Canadians had no trouble acquiring items to celebrate this impromptu day of “celebration” (Alexa was all too happy to haul out her mittens and bulky sweater).

Though the rain does keep us house-locked at times, we’ve been trying to make the most of it.  We have been having some fun with the local fruit and have made strawberry, mango and fig jam (if you raised your eyebrows at “fig jam”, imagine something like the consistency of apple butter.  Tastes similar because we add cinnamon and nutmeg.  Quite yummy.).

The cool days also give us all the excuse we need to build a fire in the evenings.  This is a highlight for the dorm boys too.  The indoor temperature is between 10-15 degrees celsius, it is most acceptable to bring a blanket along with a stack of textbooks and park next to the fireplace!

Rugby season is upon us and we are trying to decide if more injuries are incurred from ice hockey or rugby… hmmm… the jury is still out on that one.  We must say though – ice hockey is to Canadians what rugby is to Africans, so we appreciate being part of this cultural experience.

(More photos at the end of the blog)

We’ve been a bit watchful of the monkeys again.  Since the loquat trees around Bongo dorm are blossoming and showing fruit, the little mischief makers have been running across the roof,  jumping from tree to tree, perching on branches to nibble, and even scampering across the front porch.  Never thought I’d hear myself say these words, “Yes, you may go out and chase the monkeys.”  Who knew?!  When in Africa…

Thanks for thinking of us, be blessed!

Enjoy more photos of our everyday life. 🙂

Sometimes S’mores over a candle can make homework go quicker.

A taste of home with Poutine for supper.  The Fanta Black Currant makes this meal Kenyan.

Birthday supper with a couple of guys.  Traditional pizza for birthdays.

The weekly run into Nairobi for the school brought a lot of things back on this trip.



Toilet Plungers, Bananas…

We’ve been busy here at RVA, and probably your life is no exception.  We always try to keep in perspective this thought: If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.  We have found that to be true!  If we fill up the calendar to the point of bulging, we succumb to our bad habits without our even knowing it.  Neglecting to spend time with God is like withholding food from a starving body.  A body cannot be sustained without nourishment.  A soul cannot thrive without living water.  It’s time to rest.

As of last Friday, students at RVA completed term 2 and have returned to their families to enjoy a few well deserved weeks of restoration.  We are also taking this time to rest and fill our cups with quality time.  Here is a bit of what we have been up to this past month:

Replacing fluorescent lightbulbs:  Because tossing the toilet plunger over the bathroom stall may or may not result in a broken lightbulb.

Refilling our medicine cabinet:  Because the flu season passed through RVA  (the record number of students that passed through the Infirm in one day was 43).

Sweeping up termite wings:  Because they creep out of their homes for breeding season and then literally drop their wings!  Sometimes enough wings will gather to make a pile which you can scoop up and toss… like confetti, just less pleasant.

Drying out wet shoes:  Because it seems that the rainy season is upon us.  It’s actually kind of fun. Though it does make one reconsider travel plans as roads may be washed out.

Buying bleach for the dorm boys:  Because their white shoes and white denim do not hold up to red Kenyan mud.

Eating Mangos:  Because they’re in season and super yummy.

Attending concerts: Because Alexa is in choir and we love watching her sing.

Enjoying bananas:  Because there is a banana tree on Bongo Dorm property and it is fun to pick and eat what God grows.

Playing Hide and Seek:  Because… well, this one needs a detailed explanation.  “Hide and Seek” is not a cool term when you’re a teen, BUT our African boys take advantage of their natural skin camouflage when it’s dark in the dorm 🙂

Enjoying the beauty of nature:  Because we can’t help but praise the Lord for the beauty around us.

That’s all for now.  Life keeps moving along and our call to “do family” with 22 teenage boys and our own children give us a joy that is unspeakable as God keeps enriching our lives with these young people.  He is good!

We are so excited to celebrate Easter and worship our risen Saviour.  A most blessed Easter to you!

He is not here, He has Risen!

Cultural Breakthrough

At times, it has been hilarious to try and figure out the minds of growing teenage boys.  Rest assured that the culture of teenagers is in and of itself a wonder.

Make no mistake, Bongo dorm is no exception.  It may be difficult to fully appreciate the pure genius birthed from the mind of a teen, but we thought it would better our (and your) world to share and enlighten you with the words of insight, wisdom and random thoughts of teenage boys.  We will do our best to provide context.  Also, enjoy the photos of dorm life with teenagers.

Teenager comment #1:
“With me in the room, you don’t need to stoke the fire.  It’s hot enough.”
Derek was about to stoke the fire.  Comment provided by one of the Bongo dorm boys.

(Roasting hot dogs)

Teenager comment #2:
“Stick me in front of a fan and call me an air freshener.”
I (Cheryl) had just commented how pleasant it was to smell shampoo rather than gym socks.  Comment provided by one of the Bongo dorm boys.

Teenager comment #3:
“I hope there is a lock down drill when I’m close to Kedong.”
A lock down drill requires all members on campus to head for cover.  Kedong is the girls’ dorm.  This is context enough.  Comment provided by one of the Bongo dorm boys.

(The boys wanted to bake biscuits)

Teenager comment #4:
“You’re like an artichoke.  Hard on the outside, but once you’re past the peel, you’re soft and tender.”
A small group of boys gathered on the couch attempting to poetically affirm all things manly while acknowledging the inner sensitive nature.  Comment provided by one of the Bongo dorm boys.

(In house security)

Teenager comment #5:
“Can I still do streaks?”
Ok, in our home culture “streak” is not something we aspire to.  When Derek stopped laughing, he found out that “streaks” was, in fact, a point/scoring system for posting on a Social Media app.   Comment provided by one of the Bongo dorm boys.

Adult comment #1:
“There are so many random socks lying around, we could make a quilt.”
Derek owns this comment.  He had just completed room inspection.  Keepin’ it real.

(Checking out monkeys and birds)

Teenager comment #6:
“I’d rather make a shirt with my bare hands than pay for a new one.”
All students purchase gym clothes from the campus store.  Gym shirts were going missing like car keys and we mentioned what it cost to buy a new one.  Comment provided by one of the Bongo dorm boys.

(Showers are required before playing this game)

Teenager comment #7:
“If someone keeps poking me, and I punch him, is that considered bullying?”
We were outlining RVA’s bullying policy during a dorm meeting.  Boy ‘A’ was poking Boy ‘B’.  Boy ‘B’ became annoyed.  Comment provided by Boy ‘B’ of Bongo dorm.

There… now didn’t all of that just make your day???

Praise God for teenagers!!!!  Love ‘em!

Yes we do love them 🙂