Friday, August 19, 2011

Learning a New Language

In Kenya, there are two national languages (English and Swahili) as well as more than 50 tribal languages.  Erik and I are trying to learn Swahili, but we are finding that even the English here is a little different and sometimes we need help translating.  Since Kenya was once a British colony, they use many British terms and some terms are just uniquely Kenyan.  Here are some examples of English words that are different in Kenya than in America.

1.  Kenyans call cookies biscuits.
2.  They call diapers napkins and napkins are called serviettes.
3.  When you want air in your tires, you ask for "pressure."
4.  When you want lumber, you ask for timber.
5.  What we would call a faucet, they call a tap.
6.  A kid refers to a goat - not a child.
7.  A truck is called a lorry.
8.  If someone says they are going to flash you, you should not panic.  They are just going to call you and hang up before you answer so you will have their number in your cell phone without having to pay for the call.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's the Little Things

I usually make a trip to Nairobi every week or two to pick up groceries and run errands.  Nairobi is quite modern and pretty westernized.  The kids don't usually make the trip with me, because the older two are usually in school and the younger two would rather be playing in the dirt.  But during this school break, we've had a few occasions to take all four kids to the "Big City" and these trips remind me of how different their lives are since we moved to Kijabe because they get excited about the simplest things.  Here are some examples from our recent Nairobi excursions.

1. On our way into town our daughter said, "Oh, Mom.  Look at those nice lane lines!"

2. While parking at a large shopping mall our kids were shouting and enjoying the echo.  Our 8 year old said, "I remember these from America.  What do we call these?"  I reply, "A parking garage."

3. While washing my hands in a public restroom, I see our daughter clutching a paper towel against her cheek and she says, "Oh, I've really missed these."  This was after she'd commented about how nice this bathroom was because it had toilet paper in it!

4. While riding down in a glass elevator our 6 year old exclaims, "It's just like the Tower of Terror!"  We only went down one floor.

I'm so glad that it only takes things like lane lines, parking garages, paper towels and elevators to get my kids excited!  That is easy entertainment!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hope and Healing in the Midst of Famine

You have probably heard about the drought in Northern Kenya and in the Horn of Africa, particularly in Somalia.  Thousands of Somali people are leaving Somalia and coming to Dadaab refugee camps for aid.  BethanyKids has been working in Dadaab for many years and is established in the area.  The pediatric surgeons make several trips a year to the refugee camps and children are brought to Kijabe weekly for operations.  Because of the food crisis and the large influx of people, the demands for medical aid have increased dramatically and BethanyKids is trying to address these needs.  Please pray for Erik and the rest of the BethanyKids administration as they are prayerfully making decisions and plans to help bring healing and real hope to the refugees in Dadaab.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Things I Shouldn't Have to Say

There are some times when something comes out of my mouth and I think, "I can't believe I just had to say that!"  I know you parents can relate (at least I hope you can).  Several years ago I decided that I was going to write a book of these things and I would call it, "We Don't Put Pliers on Our Penis."  Yes, I really did say that once (luckily I only had to say it once).  Since I don't think I'm ever going to have time to write that book, I figured a blog post would suffice.  Here are a few things I've found myself saying just this week that I really shouldn't have to say.

1.  Don't ride the dog.
2.  Stop chasing the monkeys.
3.  Only one kid should be peeing at a time. (I have to say this way too often.  Do all boys find excitement in peeing in tandem?)
4.  I can't blame the dog for scratching you.  You shouldn't be rubbing her nipples.
5.  Yes, I know there is a hole in your underwear, but it is supposed to be there. 

If you've said anything that you shouldn't have to say to someone lately, please leave a comment so I can get a laugh out of it as well!