Weekend in the Great Rift Valley

"These are the days of miracle and wonder."

If you point the compass northwest and follow the needle out of Nairobi for an hour and a half, the landscape on the left side of the road will suddenly give way to a deep crater. This is your first glimpse of the Great Rift Valley. The two-lane road hugs the side of a cliff and as you wind down, baboons skitter along the road. If you fancy some souvenir shopping, you might stop at the precariously perched World Trade Center Curio Shop or perhaps the Facebook Curio Shop (beyond the names, there doesn't seem to be any correlation between the shops and the World Trade Center and/or Facebook). Gradually the pavement levels and gives way to the lush green of the Valley. A resting volcano, Mount Longonot, looms on the west and hills grace the east. Dotted with billowing clouds, the sky is vast and blue, and growing tall and strong are prickly cactus trees. The air is dry and thin and it slips easily over your palm hanging out the window. It reminds me of home.

With three curious little boys and a raging birthday party at the neighboring house, the weekend wouldn't be classified as peaceful; and yet, in the brief snippets of calm, there is quiet in the Valley. It is the kind of still that magnifies every soft sound, amplifies each step on the rocky path. The wind rushes past in a whistling whisper and the sun beats sweet and clean on the tall grass. The cottage we stayed in was constructed almost entirely of glass and the gardens were manicured in that wonderfully wild, natural way.

I love the times when I can travel, but my day to day life in Kenya is far from exotic. Living in Africa is an adventure, but, just like at home, it's unrealistic to think that each day will involve going on safari or visiting vast natural phenomenons. I love traveling, feel alive on the road, but the significance of the lessons that are being taught me in the quietness of my everyday life are not lost on me. They are not always easy to learn and yet, through it all, there is grace upon grace upon grace.

A rest stop at Delamere petrol station to stretch our legs and for surprisingly good iced lattes.

I am now so used to driving on the left that it will be a bit of a shock to drive on the right in the States again.

Cactus trees along the way.

Josiah and Elijah shooting the breeze at Delamere.

A herd of goats and sheep stop for a drink.

First glimpse of the cottage.

I think all living rooms should be encased in glass.

Zebras on the golf course...that's normal, right?

Dining room views.

Lake Naivasha

Wished I could bring this rug home with me.

Elijah gets some help with his chocolate pudding from his Papa.