On TheJourney . . . February 2013

The vast tea fields of the Kenyan Highlands are simply beautiful.  We currently live at about 7800 feet.
The vast tea fields of the Kenyan Highlands are simply beautiful. We currently live at about 7800 feet.

Today is Tuesday 4 February 2013

Hakuna Matata  “No worries”  from The Lion King.  Swahili speakers make fun of how we Americans know this term.  Another Lion King word:  Jambo.  “When a Mzungu (white man) says ‘Jambo’ we raise the price* on everything.  It’s evident they don’t know anything.”  (Correct term is “Hu Jambo?” which means “no problems.”  Reply should be “Si Jambo”  (No problems).

* There are three basic prices at the Dukas (stores):

  • Japanese tourist price  (Japanese will not haggle over price due to loss of face.  So they get the inflated price.
  • Mzungu price   White man price.  Still inflated.
  • Local price     Kenyan price.

More on Kiswahili:

  • There is no X nor Q in the Swahili alphabet.   S replaces X and Kw takes over for Q:  Queensland would be Kwinslandi.
  • All Swahili words end in a vowel.  That’s why they cannot pronounce my name,  Curt.
  • As you well know,  Mzungu means “white man.”*   A group of Kenyans traveled to South Sudan (home of the ultra-dark Dinka tribe that we will work with.)  Returning to Nairobi, the travelers said,  “Man, up there, we were mzungu.”
  • A Swahili speaker will hardly ever use the word Kufa (which means “to die”  Ku= to/ fa= die)  They will say “They’ve stopped.”  Similar to our Southern,  “He passed.”

My favorite moments of the past week in Africa:

  • Watching a long line of Kenyan schoolchildren walking home from school. Practically all of them had a panga (machete).
  • Locals bundled up in ski jackets, wool hats, and boots on a 60 degree F day.
  •  The beautiful worship of our Kenyan friends.  So much to learn from them.

My word for this week is Gratitude.  I’m seeking to saturate my life with thankfulness.

My current favorite Swahili word:     “Lakini”  Swahil for “but.”

How you can pray for us this week:

  • Our continuing journey on learning/using Swahil.   “Assante sana” (Thank you very much) for praying!
  • Our ministry in the tea fields and dukas (small stores) in Tigoni, Kenya
  • Peace as our country, Kenya, prepares for a national election. The prior election (2008) resulted in tribal violence and many deaths and displacement.  Pray for the national leaders and major tribes, Kikuyu, Kilanjen, and Luo, to model peace and reconciliation.
  • _thumbBack of PrayerCard

Where we are now:

Google Earth image of our current home near Tigoni, Kenya
Google Earth image of our current home near Tigoni, Kenya

Brackenhurst is a former British golf course now owned by Southern Baptists.

It’s coordinates are 1 degree south of the Equator. Due to that, this is considered summer, although the day length seldom changes.

Our current elevation is 7800 feet above sea level.

  • MyLife Statement: “To be a man God can use and be respected by my wife DeDe, our sons, and their precious families.”



What I’m currently reading:

The Insanity of God  by Nik Ripkin

Kenya: Between Hope and Despair   by Daniel Branch

What is my “Heartsong?”   My current heartsong is “How Firm a Foundation.”  It’s a song that gives me great strength in the trials, struggles, and joys of life.

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  1. Praying for you both! Greetings from the Creek….Right now…our day off…Don’s sitting in the rocker recliner…and looks just like his dad! Give DeDe a big ole hug from me!

  2. Hey, Curt, when I got to go to Kenya in 2007, the World Vision staff were asking about Mountain Home, AR. We noted that we had 4 distinct seasons. One of our group asked, “How many seasons do you have, here?” He said, “We have two: the rainy season and the dry season.” Such a different perspective so close to the equator.

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