The Road Home

Many of our friends wanted to know what it’s like where we live. When we say we live on an island overlooking the Indian Ocean with palm trees in our backyard, I suspect they get the wrong idea. I am GRATEFUL for the ocean and the palm trees are pretty. The ocean breeze is a lifesaver. However, I wanted to give a little “picture tour” of the roads up to our compound just to make it clear that we aren’t really just on vacation. There are people who are so lost, and living in such poverty right outside our compound walls. I will write more about that later.

Pic 1-This is the road that runs alongside the government hospital. The hospital and mortuary are to the left. The little stores along the right sell caskets, all sizes. The wooden pushcart in front is a guy selling mangos. We call this Mombasa fast food.

Pic 2-You turn towards (what used to be the main highway to the bridge) the road that goes in front of Lighthouse. It is usually congested with buses and trucks.

Pic 3-The new mosque is right behind the bus. It plays the prayers and “sermons” over loudspeaker beginning at 4 in the morning and ending at 8 at night. 5 times a day.

Pic 4-The Lighthouse Eye Hospital compound is to the left, with the white and red wall. Many Somali refugees live in our neighborhood.

Pic 5- This is the nice road that runs alongside Lighthouse (on the left). We have Arab Muslim neighbors in the houses on the right. Our house is at the very end of the road, on the compound.

Pic 6- This is our house, close up, behind the wall. Living on a compound provides us with an incredible amount of security for which we are very grateful. The ocean is behind our house.

Pic 7- Our house. It is made of coral block, concrete, with a red tile roof.

Stay tuned for pics of the inside of the house and our backyard view!

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Our first week back in Mombasa

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They say it takes as many days to recover from jet lag as it does hours changed. Since we moved ahead 8 hours, and been here 8 days, we should be feeling human again. And we mostly do! Except for occasionally passing out in the car from the heat (the A/C is broken), we feel great and are glad to be back.

Speaking of driving, I am back in the driver’s seat! I get my game face on, hand on the horn, mutter “stay left” under my breath and pray hard! So far, so good.

The bags are unpacked, and the “room of disaster” is about halfway conquered. We had to store our personal/valuable items in a locked bedroom since our house was used for visitors to Lighthouse while we were gone. What a blessing to get notes from visitors saying how comfortable they were here. I do not have the gift of hospitality, but God has equipped me with what I need to provide a nice place for people here.

I took the kids to meet their teachers on Monday at their new school and they could not wait to get started, so we bought their uniforms, paid their school fees, and sent them on Wednesday. They LOVE it! That makes a parent’s heart rest easy. On Thursdays, they stay after lunch for Tae Kwon Do and swimming.

Jordan thinks he has gone to heaven. In the last two weeks before we left the US, he learned to do stairs and started sleeping in his brother’s room. That has made our transition back here so smooth! He can outside and play with the dog whenever he wants, or go up to his room and play with his toys. Other moms of toddlers will understand what a big milestone that is to have your kid roam freely and safely.

Josh has been working hard since we got back getting things set up. He spent an incredible amount of time while we were in the US researching things that would make Lighthouse operate smoother and faster and more efficiently. He has been implementing those things and is pleased with the progress. If you want more details, you will have to ask him about it, because my non-techy mind can’t keep up with his passion for things with wires.

We are so glad to be home. Our first day back, Caleb was in his room, bouncing on his trampoline, saying “it’s good to be back, huh?” He speaks for us all.

A long journey home

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Since teleportation wasn’t invented, we just travelled to the other side of the world by plane, car, bus, and land cruiser. My comforting thought on this journey with 3 small kids was, “at least we are not on a crowded ship for several weeks.” comforting.

Christmas with family, followed by New Years with friends coming to visit for several days did not leave us much time to pack. I’m pretty sure that was the most insane packing we have ever done, complete with NO sleep for Josh the night before our flight. In case you have never flown with kids, you don’t sleep on the plane. I’m very thankful to my friends who offered to help clean the house, and they earned jewels in heaven!!

We had the smoothest flights we have ever had, P.C. (post children). The biggest challenge was between flights. About half an hour before landing, Josh and I would plan our game play- who would block the aisle, who would carry which bags and which children, whether to ditch the stroller in favor of getting to our gate faster and thus catching our flight. Teamwork. There were a few times I wasn’t sure my muscles were going to make it- I get muscle fatigue pretty easily. Josh says it’s not muscle fatigue- I’m just tired- I suppose there is a difference to athletes. Sure felt like fatigue to me. 🙂

We made all our flights, got all our bags, sailed through customs (there is something about traveling with lots of children that justifies lots of bags), and got home at 3:30 a.m. We had a very welcoming welcome party with Josh’s parents and Doris, our housekeeper- how awesome that they got up so early to welcome us home! We finally crashed around 5:30, all in our bedroom, with the A/C on full blast. We slept until 11 when I thought the dog might like to be let out. Our dog is glad we are home. 🙂