Monday, 12 December 2011

The one where we decided where in the world we're going to live...!

Nearest and dearest,

Here we are - back where we started - Mayfield Guesthouse, Nairobi, killing time before our flight home on Thursday 15th December.

If I'm honest, I could write a blog that rabbits on about all the amazing experiences we've had and the subsequent revelations, the awesome people that we've met, both Africans and foreigners abroad...but frankly I'd love to chat about it over coffee or dinner (hopefully you're buying as we're unemployed and the savings run out at the end of December!).  So this final blog is again a sprinkling of photos and text and if you look very carefully you'll be able to find out where we're going to live as of 2012...!

After Rwanda we travelled towards Mbale (East Uganda) to visit a project called Jenga, we made a few stops...

First, Tim found a lake (Lake Buyoni) with an ecolodge on an island in the middle of the lake.  So off we went to Tim's idea of heaven - a sustainable place to stay in the middle of nowhere...

Dug out canoe - we have to paddle ourselves for an hour to our accommodation!
Ah, so this is how everyone travels...good to know...
Our 'geodome' - with spiders and all...
Geodome + view = beauty (with long drop loos...)
View from our room
Our shower
Golden Crested Cranes posing for us

Bird chilling on our balcony
Children that followed us around the island
Local chess!
After staying in some very questionable accommodation (no water, no electricity, a nightclub downstairs) in Kabale we got a bus to Kampala (Ugandan capital).  There we filled up on city life with hot running water, electricity and the internet....we also got a phone call about a job in Burundi with a job description written out for us...we said we would think and pray about it....

Meanwhile, we passed through Jinja (source of the Nile) and got to Mbale and stayed with Tiff who works for Jenga (  We talked lots about living as a missionary abroad and shared stories of life... 

One day, Tim went to play local football and I went to see Jenga's Saturday Bible Club with Tiff.  As I seem to be the camera-person, we only have photos of the Bible Club!

Tiff getting the kids fired up at Bible Club!
Kids Bible Club

In order to spend time away from distractions of people and stuff, we went to the middle of nowhere (Sipi Falls) and spent time thinking about the decision to move to Burundi....night 1, we were pretty sure we were going to Burundi, night 2 we were pretty sure we were coming back to England...
Our room at Sipi Falls....
...with an incredible view!
Walking behind the falls
I can't quite stress how wet Tim was as he'd forgotton his waterproof...doh!
View from the guesthouse restaurant!
From there we took a crammed mini bus, an overfilled volvo estate, a motorbike each (with all luggage in tow), another 2 crammed mini buses and we had safely crossed the border into Kenya and finally arrived in Kitale, at Pastor Timothy's.

He invited us to stay and speak at his youth off we went to that...

Somewhere in Kenya, near the Ugandan border (we were never quite sure where we were with Pastor Timothy) Tim awaiting Sunday church at the Youth Conference...
Others also waiting
One of the 14 choirs - each of whom sang 3 songs - it went on for 3 hours straight.
One of the women inspired that women could stand at the front and speak!
Pastor Timothy and 6 of his 10 kids!
Worship leaders - Edwin and Timmy!
Tim entertaining the kiddos at the orphanage/our home

We accidentally locked our room.  Luckily Pastor Timothy doesn't have a ceiling
so Tim could climb up, pass up chairs so he could get down the other side!
With now only 2 weeks before going home, more muddy that we'd ever been, with more washing than we'd ever needed and in desperate need of the internet to let people know about our decision of the job in Burundi, we headed to a beach resort near Mombasa (which is an island FYI)...but of course, woe betide us to actually do luxury to the max - no, we got a 16 hour overnight bus (pumping with disco tunes from the late 90s), a tuk tuk to the ferry, ferried across to the mainland and got a mini bus to the resort.  So we rocked up at 7.20am, about 8 hours too early for check in, hot and sweaty having just come down a coupla thousand feet in altitude.

Welcome to our paradise...

Happiness in bliss
Pre dinner rose, soft cheese, crackers and gin rummi!
Blissful poolside dinner
After this dinner we wrote an email in response to the job offer...and...we declined.  It was an amazing offer that ticked so many boxes but our heart is for living in a more deprived area of Oxford - a place where we would love to be a light in the community, showing love to people from all walks of life. The Bible teaches us about looking after the widows and the fatherless...this includes single mums and their children - we long to show them love.  Africa has shown us how much need there is all over the world, and for us, right now, we want to start with our next door neighbours.  We want our lives to look different when we get home - we want our daily jobs to financially support us, to enable us to focus on the community around us.

We can't wait to share more of this with you if you'd like to hear it - we're not entirely sure what it looks like as a reality yet but we are fired up for life back at home.  We thank Mr God muchly for all of the experiences out here that has shaped and moulded our hearts to have a heart for others.  Bring it on!

So we're back on Friday morning - we'll be living at my parents home and on our old phone numbers.  We'd love to hear from you!

Big love to all who have followed this blog and who have in a sense, journeyed with us.  

If this is your first time at reading our blog, we still love you too.


Tic Toc xxx