Saturday, 12 January 2013

This past week in Kenya

Matthew looking for creatures with Whale Island in the distance.

We’re gathered under the ceiling fan in one of our two rooms at the Arocha guest centre. The day is still warming up, and a brief downpour just after sunrise gave the early morning a sleepy, cooler feel. We’ve got the beds pushed together right under the fan, so that at night, we can keep as cool as possible. Even the locals feel hot during this season of the year, and we are grateful for the ocean to cool off in, though we try to keep ourselves indoors or in the shade during the most intensively sunny mid-day time.

Life at the centre is welcoming and friendly, with many interesting guests coming and going. The staff graciously helps us take a stab at some Swahili greetings and phrases, though they are all quite fluent in English. The kids are eager to share that the Kenyan pancakes are amazing. We are all enjoying the food. The monkeys who jump around noisily on the roofs and peer at us as we eat have helped us understand the possible origins of the English phrase “cheeky monkeys,” as they even make the occasional opportunist dash into the dining room, attempting to snatch something tasty. Cindy was outside reading under a shady tree the other day, with monkeys above jumping about and chucking down the husks of tiny fruits on which they were breakfasting.

As a family, we have been focusing this last week on identifying marine creatures in the nearby tide pools as part of serving in the centre’s ongoing outreach to local school children. We are writing a tide pooling guide, and preparing a power point presentation and other materials to help people enjoy God’s ocean creation. One of the immediate goals is to help staff and a couple classes (maybe 50-plus kids each) of local primary school children experience some rock pooling over the next few weeks, hopefully putting things in place for local staff, teachers, and other volunteers to continue to help children (and other Arocha guests) have a positive experience of God’s beauty in the ocean for years to come. - Cindy writing

Bobby the creative photographer. He picked up a handful of sand and shot the photo from underwater.

Bob's research outfit

A tidepool photo. Coral in the left hand corner with green algae and a brittle star moving towards the upper right. The brittle stars wave their arms on the surface of the tidepool to collect food.

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