In a few days we will have lived in Kenya for thirteen years. We landed in Nairobi as a family on January 17, 2005, and have been living out our adventure ever since. We have undergone quite a few changes and grown tremendously since that day. I suppose the biggest change has been the additions. When we deplaned we touched Kenyan soil with three little Americans. There are now three more biological children (who are both American and Kenyan) and nine Kenyan girls that have been added to our "little" family. Three plus three and nine more equals, a whole bunch.
Kate and I have grown as individuals and as a couple. In fact, I believe that that personal growth makes the marriage possible. Stagnation in one or both parties cannot be a good thing. We will celebrate our twenty-third wedding anniversary next month, and speaking for myself I look forward to many more to come.
Over the next few days I will take us back to see where we have come from then look at where we are and finish with where we are going. In the meantime let us look at a few photos and a video or two of the first month in Kenya:
I did not find many pictures of Kate and myself but did find this cute one of Kate on the phone in the George Bush Intercontinental Airport
She was negotiating luggage prices with our travel agent and British Air. Thankfully she managed to get them to honor their original agreement and saved us several hundreds of dollars.
Here is Makena and Butterfly playing in the airport:
Butterfly was eighteen months old but pretty big. She filled out the baby cot in the airplane pretty well.
Andrew enjoyed trying out all the amenities on offer and always knew the location and condition of the toilet.
Upon arrival immediately the children found all the animals so amazing and wonderful.
Love Andrew's boots in the above picture.
There were many struggles that the children either did not know about or just were not as concerned about as much as mom and dad were. Thankfully we made it through them and these children have grown up into beautiful young people.
It has been a long time since we had an article about care packages, and it has been ages since we received one! Granted, they do charge us at the post office a percentage of the amount written on the customs form, but some things we just cannot find in Kenya, and we would love to have them. Here is our wish list! For my friends with horse connections, finding some items are quite difficult. We are extremely happy with used items as long as they are in good condition. I will post the horse items here first because they are difficult to find in Kenya, but if that is not an area of interest for you, please keep scrolling. We really miss certain things like ranch seasoning packets!
Horse stuff: (I am posting links to products so you can see what we are needing, but if you have used items in good condition, we are happy to use those!)
- lead ropes (seriously, we have broken most of ours!)
- 4 hackamores (bitless attachment so our horses can be ridden without bits) see this link or this link
- 1/4" or 6mm thick parachord 100 ft long for making our own halters preferably turquoise or black, but not really picky!
- 20 pieces if possible 1" Stainless Steel O rings to make our own bridles
- 3 crops
- 3 or so (because they break over time, but one will do!) lunge whips
- bean bags (very important for our therapy sessions!)
- plush dice
- game idea books for horsey games (just search for some on Amazon) We aren't picky, and I don't have any!
- breast plates (3 ponies, one horse)
- Stirrup leathers
- Rope halters
- saddles obviously not easy to mail so designated funds to buy them here- $400 or so? I found one I really like!
- extra money for hay (it is tripled in price at the moment, so we need about $400 for 100 bales)
- hay nets
- speakers and ipod for music for therapy. Our speakers are not loud enough.
- Children's meds ages 1 year and up
- vitamin C chewables
- sore throat meds
- allergy meds
- bug bite meds
- antibacterial cream
- Mr. Clean erasers
- hand towels
- wash cloths
- silicone Popsicle molds
- LED solar twinkle lights (all sorts, these are fun!)
- hair bows for baby Starlette
- hair brushes (remember, we live in a country where we are the minority so finding good hair brushes is difficult)
- butt rub
- seasoned sunflower seeds
- marshmallows (both large and small)
- chocolate chips
- peanut butter chips
- Reese's cups
- coloring books
- paint brushes
- watercolor paper
- Dog sweaters for up on this cold mountain Size Great Dane
- Dog leashes
- Chew toys
- Flea control
- Dog bed