God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Heri ya Siku kuu!

This was a big birthday year for Casey--his last before becoming a teenager; although, it often seems as if he is already there. I know that he and his friends are much more aware of life around them and incredibly more things claim their interests and passions than when I was 12 going on 18. The thing is I think that in many ways they may be less mature. As much as we try to minimize it and direct focus in many different directions, the "me" of life appears to be much more omnipresent.

Casey was almost a 4th of July baby but fortunately not. He has his own day and doesn't need to share it with the other newborn--the USA. Besides, the 4th is not my favorite holiday--too noisy, too hot, too exhausting. This may explain why he has celebrated his years in a variety of locations over the years--Ecuador, France, Italy-3 times, Hawaii and now Kenya. Next year it will be Italy again--but then that is like being home.

What a special place to have a birthday--Kenya--where you are surrounded by nature, God's creation--unpolluted, natural, and a feeling of oneness with that creation. Science says that life began in Africa so it is as if being at the beginning of time.

Casey's birthday had several memorable events:
  • Stopping at the equator line on the way to the airstrip. When we stopped, a Kenyan man demonstrated the opposite water movement on either side of the line. This was particularly interesting to Casey as he remembered being at the equator line in Ecuador.
Ecuador 2004-Birthday 6

Kenya 2010-Birthday 12
  •  Flying low over the savanna with elephants, lions, giraffes, zebra below. It was a thrill to climb on-board the little plane, strap in, peer out the window and then land no-where. What a neat birthday experience!
This is so cool!

  • Having a herd of hippos as a welcoming committee. Once we reached camp, slushing around in the mud and making weird noises were the short of adorable hippopotamuses. Fun!
  • Finally, at the end of the day, Casey had his celebration. As we sat at our table in front of the fire pit, we heard a rhythm, a beat and a song and then, weaving in, came men and women of the staff, carrying the obligatory birthday cake. Something magical was in the air.

Aunt Mindy really surprised him.
    Heri ya Siku kuu! Casey Boy

    So it was a good day. I think he will remember 12. Wouldn't you?

    Next: Lake Nakuru--flamingos and baboons. You'll love them.


    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jane,
    What an amazing life experience you have given to Casey. I just can't believe he is 12 yrs. old already.
    Happy Birthday to Casey.
    I will have to catch up on reading your blog and his in the next few weeks and will comment on his. Glad to see he is still writing.
    chiaro di luna

    Chiocciola said...

    Great post and great photos! What a memorable birthday. And I just love the photo from Ecuador! So cute.

    Jane said...

    Chiaro--yes, 12! Amazing isn't it? Welcome home.

    Chiocciola, I love the Ecuador photo, too, and it brings so many good memories. I love my boy now but I miss that little one. He was so fun as you can tell from his smile. A real imp.