• Posted by Ben on 12 Apr 2011

I went up and confirmed the completion date with the head contractor today. He also claims a May 1st timeline like the second-in-charge had done a few days ago.

I snapped some pictures so that you all can be as excited as we are about it! We really can’t wait until we have the kids in their own rooms. Here at Joe’s we put Eden in her own room and she slept through the night. But Andy woke up at 1am and wanted to play/flop/giggle in bed with us for too long! Lets hope that was just temporary and he actually does fine tonight.

Our house will be the one on the right:

The front porch:
Front Porch

From the family room into the dining room towards the front porch:

Into the kitchen from the dining room through the waiter window:

One of the kids’ rooms (the other looks just like it):

Main shower or bathroom (another room just like it will have whichever one this isn’t):

Into the master bedroom:

And finally the master bath:

  • Posted by Ben on 11 Apr 2011

We have already resettled in Eldoret. The house that was supposed to be done for us is now not scheduled to be done until May 1st. 🙁 Luckily the IU compound people were looking out us and had a few rooms reserved in case. Unfortunately the rooms were in a house that is not meant for long term guests: no table/chairs, not much furniture, and no fridge! Between those and the unblocked stairs we almost went batty staying there.

But God was looking out for our sanity, and several rooms opened up in Joe Mamlin’s house (Director of AMPATH). Joe and Sarah Ellen have 3 extra rooms in their house that are usually reserved for the VIP guests. Apparently we’re the most important people that are going to be around AMPATH until mid May, so as of this afternoon, we are now living with them. Yay! A table! Refrigerator! Rugs! No stairs!

This is my office at Joe’s seldom used dining room table until we get our own house (with our own dining table):
Joe's Dining Room

For those of you that are curious, that was not OUR van in the picture in the last post, that was a hired taxi/van that brought us from NBO to ELD. Our minivan is scheduled to be shipped from Japan tomorrow and arrive in Mombasa May 2nd or so.

  • Posted by Ben on 02 Sep 2010

How is it possible to both hate and love the Kenyan court system at the same time?!!

I met our lawyer (Daniel Were — pronounced “Wear-ay”) at the lower courts at 9am this morning. We were seeing a new magistrate because our previous one was transferred to Nakuru back in the spring. The new magistrate’s office was all business and very quiet. There were 3 other lawyers in the room and about 12 clients like myself. There was a very small amount of Swahili spoken back and forth before Were started things off by announcing our case, etc. After some shuffling of papers Were stepped out and beckoned me to follow. (Uh oh, not good!) He tells me we somehow fell off the docket! The problem with that is our official file is off in another building and not in the magistrate’s chambers! 🙁 Some disorganization with the changeover of magistrates must have caused it…so frustrating! Argh!!! Kenyan courts drive me crazy!!

Because I leave on Monday and because I was not able to stay in the courts all day we had to be seen this morning if I was to attend. …and now Were thinks its very important that I be there because “Baby Eden” is not. So Were started to work his magic: He called an assistant to go and fetch the papers and bring them to us at the building ASAP. Only 15 minutes later we go back to the chambers and see everyone waiting outside because the magistrate received an important (and private) phone call. Were chatted with some of the other lawyers there in Swahili but otherwise everyone is perfectly quiet while we wait in the tiny crowded hallway. We’re let back in a few minutes later and I found out that Were was getting himself pushed back to the front of the queue! So he just reads off what the magistrate should say while she hand writes it out for our file. She doesn’t even bat an eye at any of it! Were suggested April, she said mid-April was fine, and we’re done! I love the Kenyan courts!

We slip out and now I’m back at the training I’m giving this week with an hour to spare! I had arranged for several other guys to give all the talks this morning so I had plenty of time to type up this prompt update for you all!

Our unofficial “backup lawyer”, Milkah, was one of the other lawyers in the room because she had other business with the same magistrate this morning. So if Were had not been able to convince the magistrate I am sure Milkah could have! 🙂

  • Posted by Ben on 27 Sep 2009

Meghan and I decided to try out a local church here on Sunday. We forgot to arrange going with anyone, so we went to the big church near the hospital that had posted their times out front. They had three services: 8am English, ?? English (Main), and 11:00 Swahili. Since we couldn’t remember the main english service time, we were forced to go to the early service (early service!?! :-(). I can’t remember the last time I went to an early service in the States, but its probably a lot like this was! This was a big pretty big church (see picture of it on our photos page), but there were maybe only 10 people in there when we sat down!

We had been hoping that the English service would have at least a few white folks: we were right, Meghan and me! So that was a little odd, but we got a program, sat down and waited. The service started on time (not on Kenyan time, ON time!) with about 20 people.

After a few hymns there were about 30 people and it happened. Its what every new church goer dreads: we were called out. The pastor said, “We would like to welcome all of our visitors (bam! 60 eyes on us) to Assembly and we invite them all to stand up (bam! 62 eyes on us as the pastor looks at us). Meghan and I debated for about 2 seconds faking like we were regular attendees, but for some reason I don’t think that would have fooled anyone. So we had to stand, people clapped, the assistant pastor shook our hands, blah blah blah, we’re going to the 9:00 AM service next week!

After church we walked back by the Sally Test center and spent some time with Eden and the other equally cute babies (you wouldn’t know it from how Meghan talks about the STC though!). Meghan had packed a sandwich for herself, but I just bought some corn on the side of the road for 14 cents (picture on photos page). It tasted like a 14 cent piece of corn too! The corn here is more like field corn, not as tender as in the US…and just grilling the corn doesn’t help it any!

That afternoon I went with some of the AMPATH guys to play soccer. Its the first time I can remember playing an outdoor pickup game, on a mostly uncut field, with a bunch of Kenyans, and just some posts for goals! It was quite fun. The altitude (7000 feet) was killing me, but I managed to score. Even though we ended up losing 5-3, I went home satisfied!

For dinner we finally cooked the frozen whole chicken we bought last week. Our Kenyan roommate (Pamela) helped us cut it and then saute/boil it. It turned out to be pretty good, but Meghan was thoroughly grossed out by the whole cleaning, gutting, carving procedure. I’m pretty sure we’ll just be buying the chicken breasts from now on!

I’m up and watching the Colts beat up on the Cardinals at 3:30 AM. Our neighbor has a 42 inch TV and a satellite: this is a very nice taste of home!

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