now I remember....

why people LOVE this place so much!
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Now, I always can think of reasons why we are supposed to be here, what we are learning, and why God brought our family here but to be honest for a while I have forgotten the sheer beauty of this place. Having your baby get typhoid can do that to you. So can sweating like a pig wearing a long skirt and head covering in the market just so you can bargain for some bananas. So can power outages, dead things in your water tank, and the never ending bugs in your food. I digress. But this weekend I remembered; in all it's vivid colors, the beauty that is hapa (here). The fishermen heading out for a long day, the women is brightly colored kangas walking along the road with children strapped to their backs, the color of the ocean that escapes description. This little island we call home is an amazing corner of God's creation. And I am glad I paused for a day to really look at it. Take it in. Breath deep. Pray. and pumzika (rest) a bit.

A couple weeks back I got an email about a last minute deal at a resort here. This island is covered in resorts along the coasts but we have never been to one. They hire Masai to keep the likes of our cheap, kid toting selves out of the serene and swanky places reserved for mostly Europeans with too much money. But this email gave me hope we could pretend to be real tourists for a night: A place that in the high season can be up to 350 dollars per night was empty because of the election and low season so they were offering rooms for only 50 bucks!! I thought it would be fun to surprise Jason and use some of my birthday money to get away. We had this planned a week or so before Evy was sick and had to call to cancel but the owner said we could change the date since she had no tourists. We kept it in mind and finally decided after another power outage, finishing Evy's 3 shots, no food around, and visitors checking in on us that we ALL needed to get away from the chaos at our house. The morning of my birthday we packed up and started driving but there was torrential rain. A downpour so bad it was flooding the streets and traffic was horrible. We turned back (since we realized we forgot the pack and play anyway..argh!) and thought we would just cancel. Too much. But on the drive home we talked ourselves into going anyway and I am so grateful we did. J grabbed the pack and play, some crackers and pineapple for lunch in the car, and we headed out again through the now flooded streets.
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On the drive the sky was grey and we talked about how we could just stay inside and play games but Anni had faith. She prayed screaming over the rain "Jesus, please make the rain go away so we can have fun at the restaurant" (she thinks hotels are restaurants since most here have restaurants and we never stay at them so to her I guess to her they are just restaurants:) we do not correct her because we giggle every time she says it). On the hour drive the rain cleared and the grey sky completely lifted: it was amazing!
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The only one of us not shocked was Miss Annikah Joy (although during the weekend she was also overheard praying that Jesus would let us LIVE at the hotel for least the kid dreams big). By the time we got there it was completely dry and we were able to swim in the pool overlooking the ocean all afternoon.
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The room was awesome with a shower open to the sky, a "secret" upstairs where Anni and Evy slept, a huge bathtub with warm water, towels, and food I did not have to cook or clean up. It was fabulous. Like life affirming.
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We squeezed every ounce of relaxation (or at least as much as you can do with 2 kids under 5 in tow) in our just over 24 hours there. We felt like complete posers sitting at dinner alongside rich Europeans and I happily read my book next to some South Africans getting their tan on while Anni splashed away in the pool making way too much noise. Then I joined her for some "performances" that included dancing, diving, and singing poolside for the great price of mia tano (500 shillings) or a leaf picked from a tree. We stuck out for sure but we embraced it. It sorta felt like a secret life...being real Wazungu rocks! I took endless pics because it was my birthday and I can :)
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watching the sun slip below the ocean...we highly recommend it.
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me & my girls...........
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yummy breakfast! Anni highly reccommends the hot
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I woke up in the middle of the night to nurse Evy and was so glad to be awake to just listen to the quiet. the still. no sounds but the ocean waves lapping up onto the jagged coral rocks below our banda. Refreshed. Grateful. Loved. Recharged. At Peace. Happy Birthday to me.
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Doro said…
Beautiful pics! Happy, that you all had such a good time away... hopefully we will enjoy this place once, too.
Bibi Ronnie said…
So glad you had a wonderful , relaxing birthday. It was so well deserved. Better than any gift I could have sent. What beautiful pictures. Could be postcards.
Beck said…
Happy indeed! That trip is so in your wheelhouse. I'm so thrilled for you girl. I want one of those. Snaps to Grand Master J. And Pole that you are still up in the middle of the night nursing.
Roxanne said…
thanks- and Beck I am only up nursing b/c she was so sick- we were doing 7pm until 6am before that:(
Christina said…
Looks like you had a very relaxing time and much needed retreat! What a beautiful place!
Kers said…
I think they should hire you to do PR for the Island Tourism Board cause I'm sold :) Looks like the best 24 hours of birthday ever! And that family picture is a Christmas card in the making. So thankful you were all healthy to enjoy it!
Gma Rho said…
Sounds wonderful - so happy you were able to do this.
jamie said…
aw rox those pics are awesome! glad you had a blast there and got to relax!

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