Sunday, 8 January 2012

Christmas and New Year

We hope you all had a good Christmas and New year!

We were at home for Christmas Day and had Mark’s cousin Ruth (who is in Uganda for a year with International Justice Mission (IJM)) over for the day. The kids enjoyed having Aunty Ruth with us. After opening a few presents we all went to church together and then back home for a traditional Christmas, albeit with chicken and not turkey!

On Boxing Day we took Ruth home and then began our journey driving to The Brackenhurst Conference Centre, Kenya. Not having done this long a drive before with the kids we just went to Jinja (where the source of the Nile is) on the first day, 1 ½ hours, and the kids enjoyed a swim in the pool there. The next day we headed off early, destination Njoro, Kenya (about 3 hours before Nairobi) for our next night stop. This was the longer days driving and would include the border crossing into Kenya. At the border we met up with the other two MAF families, went through the normal immigration checks, got a temporary vehicle importation and finally stopped by the Police Office to ‘sign in’ to Kenya!

Once in Kenya the tarmac road got worse for a few hours, as this is the main route all the trucks and tankers take from the port of Mombasa, Kenya and going to Uganda, DRC, Rwanda and other counties. The landscape is very hilly with lots of 1000ft climbs and descents. The road forms into huge ‘waves’ of tarmac where the heavy trucks are braking going down the hills. This, combined with deep ruts from the truck wheels makes for a very strange sensation for the driver as the vehicle is always being tugged one way or another. And then there’s overtaking….

We stayed at Kembu Cottages and Campsite which has a working dairy farm as part of it and really was like a little bit of England in Kenya! It was great place and we enjoyed a walk around the farm, camped there using their tents and bedding – so no setting up and breaking camp for us!

Next day was just a short, couple of hours drive to Brackenhurst where we stayed for the next four nights and saw the New Year in.

The Brackenhurst Conference Centre is set in beautiful surrounding and the conference we attended is an annual event organised for missionaries serving in East Africa. For the next few days we enjoyed bible study sessions, a choice of activities from seminars on various subjects to craft sessions. In mornings whilst these were going on there was a children’s programme that included Sunday school type sessions and then games outside. The afternoons were free to enjoy the surroundings and facilities or drive out and visit local amenities. The food was great with all cooked meals and 3 courses for lunch and dinner…time for that diet now we think!
The children enjoyed the kids activities and mummy and daddy enjoyed not seeing them for a lot of week! If they weren’t in sessions then they were whizzing around the site on their new scooters trying to keep up with the bigger kids.

It was nice relaxing time for us and being able to enjoy the adult activities without having the worry about the kid’s safety was great. If only it was couple of days longer…

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