Monday, June 9, 2014

Volcanos and Visitors

I have been MIA for a few weeks, but I’m back (the guest blogger is getting too expensive).  As we approach our final two weeks, Camille, Eric and I have begun reflecting on our time in Kenya.  I think Camille and I have truly grown as people and within our jobs.  And Eric, well, he’s literally grown.  We hope to share some of these reflections in our final blog next week.  Thank you all for following the blog and for sharing in our experience.

 So what’s been going on?

We’ve had our first visitors!    

Camille’s wonderful cousins, Todd and Paul, visited us last week.  And now, two friends from Camille’s residency class, Anita and Khan, and Khan’s friend Alejandra, are visiting for our final two weeks. 

Camille commented how refreshing it is to have friends and family come, for it has brought new life to our final few weeks.  Todd and Paul, we had a great time with you, and we’re so grateful for your visit!

Paul and Eric quickly became best friends
Story time with Todd
Eric had a blast
Mt. Longonot

Last Friday, we climbed Mt. Longonot with the cousins and our current great group of residents/med students, Neeta, Kym, and Natasha.  We made Eric go to school, because it’s wrong to excuse your children from school days people!  Longonot is a dormant volcano that last erupted AAAAAHHHHH IT’S ERUPTING RIGHT NO…in 1863.   The name Longonot is derived from the Maasai word Oloonong’ot meaning mountains of many spurs or steep ridges, but an Englishman couldn’t spell it correctly, so he changed it to Longonot.  Sigh.  We climbed up to the peak and around the volcano rim.  

Giraffes cradling the crater's edge.  There were four a few seconds ago...
Camille, what do the giraffes look like?
Todd is about to teach us something rather shrewd in three, two, one...
These rather large bubbles on the acacia trees display a symbiotic relationship between the trees and ants.  The ants build these homes and live off the trees.  The trees benefit because whenever a giraffe attempts to eat its needles or leaves, the agitated ants scamper over and bite the giraffe's nose, causing it to sneeze. 
The bountiful, fertile, circular land in the center was created by lava floe
We made it!
Hmmm...I always thought lava would have fewer trees
The group!  Camille and I wore the same outfit.  But my hat is better.
Paul!  Nice picture.
Hiking the rim
Camille actually didn't want me in this picture.  I thought she was calling me to get in the picture, but she was actually calling me to get out the picture.  Either way, I'm looking pretty good.

Crater Lake

Camille, Eric and I visited Crater Lake Game Sanctuary on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. 

I just asked Camille why it is called Crater Lake.  She said, “Because it’s in a Crater.”  Thanks, Camille.

Eric loves his bottles
And his mud.  Eric, how do you think you look?
Looking good, Dad.
We forgot our camera, but I i-Phoned some flamingos down by the lake.
Shelter Visit to the Nairobi

Two Saturday’s ago, I traveled with all of the shelters boys to Nairobi to join other childrens’ shelters for a day of fun.  The boys were really excited, for many had never left Naivasha, and some rarely leave the shelter.  They had never seen street lights, tall buildings, electronic advertisements, all the cars, or the fast pace of the city.  It was eye-opening to be surrounded by 200 of these kids, playing soccer, dancing, joking around, all of whom used to live on the street.  Thank you to the donors, teachers, and volunteers who support and provide a home for these children.  

Of course, I forgot my camera.  But here are a few from my phone. 

Shelter Life

Thanks to Todd, Paul, Kym, Neeta, Natasha, and Camille for visiting the shelter!  They joined the boys for a cross country run, volleyball, watched a little of my class, bought some beaded animals, and goofed around with the boys.

I also let the boys borrow my camera again.  They wanted to take some pictures of me teaching, of me with the group, and other randomness.  Below are some samples. I'm going to miss them.  

So if you put a comma here and dot this i...
Well done.
Amazing!  Although, I don't think the computer is turned on.
My 4th grade.
Most of my 7th. 

Playing volleyball.  Todd is to the left, and Kym is to the right. 
Random Eric Pics! 

Eric's friends came over and read him a book
And then took him for a walk
Dinner of cake and ice cream with Dad!
Only one more blog to go!  Please forward all of your sorrows in the comments section.  Thank you for reading!


  1. Happy birthday, Eric! I had a great time today Skyping with you at school. We all miss you a lot and I'm really glad that we got to speak before graduation. I'll be sure to send you a looooongg video of the whole ceremony. Thank you for the Jolly Ranchers! ;) ~Rachel Lau

  2. Dan, you need to start a new blog when you come back! What are we supposed to do every Monday? And Happy Birthday, Eric! Love you pic with the muddy face! You are adorable!

  3. Awesome--Hey maybe you could do a sandwich entry or a dc entry when you come to the US. Eric looks so good. He has great parents!!!
    It is wonderful to say -- See You Soon!

  4. Dan, your students will surely miss you too - the mutual rapport and affection is so evident in these photos. Wonderful! And Eric (!) - your Dad and I loved Skyping on Eric's second birthday with all of you. Just precious seeing him eat his birthday cake, wipe his cake covered hands on your shirt and then proceed (unbeknownst to you) to eat the Snoopy candle. You and Camille have a wedding anniversary to celebrate this week - hugs from both Dad and I. We will make you a nice dinner when we are together again. Love to all of you and safe travels, MOM