Tag Archives: Adventure

Just a Page

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I was still a bit jet lagged, sitting at my sister’s bridal shower party focused on rediscovering the sensation of flavorful food, when a friend of mine turned to me and said, “so what did you bring back from Kenya?”

“Ringworm,” my jet lagged brain replied. We both laughed and then went on to talk about her daughter’s current trip to Honduras and the joys and pains of living outside your home country. What did I bring back from Kenya?—memories of emotional highs and lows, stories that probably wouldn’t make much sense to someone who wasn’t there at the time. I brought back the burden of the hurt that I saw but couldn’t fix. But, I also brought back feelings of unexplainable joy from being a part of a community that loved God and sought Him constantly.

I think the question is more how have I changed as opposed to what did I bring back. Because I have changed—so much sometimes that I don’t know how to explain it. Travel does that to you mostly because of the incredible people that you meet along the way. There is some sort of desperate connection that can take place where two people who have never met suddenly find themselves thrown into circumstances so overwhelming and unfamiliar that fast, almost unexplainable friendships happen.

Maybe it’s the type of people that travel attracts, but I think it has more to do with the layers that are torn off when you leave everything that’s comfortable and enter somewhere where you can barely communicate, break cultural norms on a daily bases, and become completely dependant on people who yesterday were total strangers. It’s completely petrifying at times, and once you live through it you leave changed.

I think that’s why travel is so addicting. Once you find that yes you can survive outside the “safe” the “comfortable” of what you know, so many incredible doors are open to you, so many adventures, so many amazing new people that you never would have met if you’d stayed safely in your own home. Yes, sometimes you come back with ringworm, or other unwelcome side affects, but it’s worth it for the way that you are molded into someone new—someone who sees more then just the familiar.

I’m getting ready to get on a plane again. I’m trying not think too much as it’s a bit scary standing, once again, on the edge of the unknown. What’s it going to be like this time? Is it safe? Will I have enough resources to make it? What will the day to day look like? I have no idea. All I know is that this is where God wants me. He has given me that peace. He has given me this opportunity to travel, and it’s all in His capable hands. So here we go. One more page, one more chapter to a story that I never could have written for myself.

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Filed under Kenya, Photography, Travel

Make Me Believe in Make Believe

We forwent the dreaded naptime and decided to go for a walk instead. It’s my favorite walk up and down the hidden paths of Maraigushu overlooking both Lake Naivasha and Mount Longonot. It’s hard not to fall in love with Kenya on those walks.

We had the seven youngest kids plus the neighbor girl who practically lives here at the children’s home. The kids skipped ahead racing each other and making toys from sticks and dirt clods. I took in the scenery and thanked God that warmer weather was finally starting to show up.

Then we reached the spot. The magical spot. Bushes surround a small fence post opening and through that little opening is an almost surreal scene—a field of golden wheat grass shining in the sun. Trees gracefully sway throughout the enchanted land, and there are no houses or roads for as far as you can see.

“Are you ready to enter Narnia?” I yelled out to the kids as we reached the opening to the field. The kids recently watched the first two Narnia movies and have talked about nothing else for weeks.

“Yes,” they yelled back excitedly. I thought, “I hope this doesn’t disappoint” knowing that the last time I had gone on this walk a tractor was in the process of mowing down some of my precious wheat.

Fortunately, the experience didn’t disappoint. My little munchkins were happy to play along. They ran through the wheat pretending to be centaurs and fauns. It makes my heart happy to see them thinking outside of the confines of this physical world. I want them to dream. I want them to imagine. I want them to believe in the impossible because we serve a creative God who delights in the imagination. Maybe something is not real in this world but what about in the next one? I’m sure heaven is going to simply blow our earthly minds.

I suppose that’s one reason I enjoy working with children so much. The faith and imagination of a child is a beautiful thing. I never want to loose that. I never want to forget what it feels like to dream. I never want to loose my ability to imagine. I always want to be able to bask in the beauty of the King of Kings

Let me see new places

Let me see new places

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Filed under Contemplations, Kenya

An Overdose of Adventure

I was going to title this post “Let the Adventures Begin,” but since this journey began on May 23rd my friend Treena and I have had a little more adventure then even I like. Delayed flights (which resulted in missed flights) hours of  standing in line with very heavy bags, lost luggage, and so many carefully made travel plans ending up in the air.

But, as I’m typing this we are less than an hour from landing in London and since boarding our British Airways flight things have been lovely. We did make some new friends while standing in line for several hours: an au pair from Switzerland, a student from Arkansas, a lady from Spain, and a student who ironically is a freshman at the college where I graduated from. Such a small, small world. Around 10 pm, we all finally got our flights rearranged and then headed to another part of the airport to make sure that our bags would met us at the proper destination. Once that was out of the way we figured we should all grab something to eat together since most of us hadn’t eaten anything since 10 am. Our little band of travelers made our way through the JFK airport in search of the food court which we reached right as many of the venders were closing up for the night or running low on options. But after such a long day anything sounded good.

We thought about just spending the night in the airport since our flight was scheduled to leave early the next morning, but Treena’s husband called around and found us a hotel. By the time we reached the airport it was after midnight, and we needed to head back to the airport around 4 am. Needless to say it was a very short night.

So what started this mess? Things went fairly smoothly in St Louis apart from American Airlines charging me for a second bag after saying on the phone that it would be free. Our flight leaving St Louis was delayed, but not by much, and we had a long enough layover in Chicago to make up for it. Problems started popping up after we reached our gate for our flight to New York. The flight ahead of us was significantly delayed due to the plane’s PA system malfunctioning. Eventually they cancelled the flight in front of us but in the meantime our plane was left sitting at a different gate. When we did finally board, we spent a half hour on the runway before receiving news that the weather in New York city was too bad for us to receive permission to land. When our plane did finally hit the skies we had spent as much time on the runway as we did in the air. Our two hour layover was completely eaten up and our plane for London left before we were able to land.

Missing our flight to London produced a domino effect. We were bumped to a morning flight that arrived well after our flight for Munich was scheduled to leave. From Munich we had planned to travel back to London by train with a stop off in Paris. Sadly, that entire portion of the trip was now impossible. Our relatives at home spent hours looking into options to still make at least some of the Munich/Paris trip work but at such a late date flights and trains were either sold out or ridiculously expensive.

Treena and I have since learned that being “stuck” in London is not such a bad thing. Since starting to write this blog we have spent the last three days in London taking the Tube and seeing some of the city’s most beautiful sights. I must admit I did have a bit of a melt down on Saturday morning after realizing that so many of our plans had fallen through, learning that ticket refunds were out of the question for the majority of our tickets and only partial refunds for the rest, and just feeling plain tired, hungry, and exhausted due to jetlag.

Going outside made all of the difference. That and getting something to eat. People often talk about London being cold and rainy, but we were fortunate to have nice sunny days (a bit cool at times) but overall beautiful. Some of the highlights have been riding the Tube (mind the gap) Big Ben, the London Eye, Westminster Abby, Buckingham Palace, The Tower Bridge (formerly London Bridge) and the general friendliness of everyone that we have met along the way. We’ve also enjoyed our tea and a lovely English breakfast.IMG_6924 IMG_7209 IMG_7203 IMG_7177 IMG_7166 IMG_7161 IMG_7156 IMG_7145 IMG_7134 IMG_7122 IMG_7114 IMG_7113 IMG_7078 IMG_7074 IMG_7035 IMG_7022 IMG_7002 IMG_6999 IMG_6949

Right now my friend and I are leaving London behind as we are on a train heading to Edinburgh. People say it’s magical and from just the few pictures I’ve seen I believe it. So more to come (hopefully) unless we have more unplanned adventures.

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Filed under Contemplations, Humor, Photography, Travel