Saturday, December 31, 2011

Death's Door

It's not just people that are dying in the drought-stricken areas.
But their livestock - which is also their livelihood - too.
Esther came across so many rotting carcasses as she travelled.
This was just one of them.
Thank God death is daily left outside the door.
For those children who cross the threshold into our centres.
This girl is one of them.

Food For Free

This is one of the photos taken by Esther, our roving reporter.
It is a big 'sufaria' (Kenyan for cooking pot) full of rice & beans.
New Life currently feeds about 2,000 children each weekday.
Nearly all of them in the drought-stricken regions of Kenya.
Often these meals are the only food these children have.
And we provide it at no cost to the children or their families.
Thanks to partners all across Kenya. And around the world.
Here is some of that same rice and beans a few minutes later.
Enough to keep this wee fella going for one more day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Roving Reporter

Recognise this? It's a honeymoon suite.
If you happen to live in Tana River County, Kenya.
This one was snapped by Esther, our newest PR team member.
She's serving New Life as something of a roving reporter.
Collecting stories from our many locations across Kenya.
And specialising in our more far-flung ones.
Here's the young lady herself.
At the entrance to the same suite.
Just minus one groom at the moment!
Any offers?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Daily Bread

We have a French artisanal bakery on our doorstep.
It is called Alexandre. And you MUST visit it, when you visit us.
Anyway, I was buying a baguette from there a few weeks ago.
And chatting about New Life Home at the same time.
The manager immediately came up with a wonderful idea.
That we should receive ALL their leftover bread each day.
Since then, we've collected bin liner bags full of bread every day.
It really is some of the finest bread available in this city.
Need proof?
Just look at the smile it's putting on this toddler's face!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Come Back, Jamie

It was great to have a team of 10 from City Church Aberdeen.
Between them they visited 7 of our homes/centres in 2 weeks.
Jamie (above) had to leave a few days before the others.
But she had all the office staff here begging her to stay.
Everyone wanted more of her one-to-one coaching on MS Office.
She did finally get permission from the staff to leave.
But only on the strict understanding that she must come back.
Soon and very soon.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Good Job!

Someone taught our toddlers to stick up their thumbs and say:
It has rapidly caught on among all of us here.
Has one of the staff done something a little bit extra or special?
Then up go their team members' thumbs and their shouts of:
Last Saturday my wee niece Leanne became Roland's wee wife.
So the four of us here stuck up our thumbs and shouted:
And hoped that she & Roland would hear it 5,000 miles away!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

WednesDay Is YaYaDay

We have a posh shopping centre near here called YaYa Centre.
And every Wednesday afternoon we get out all our pushchairs.
Load them up with all our crawlers and toddlers.
Recruit a small army of volunteers.
And then head off to the centre.
The kids love it.
If I ever forget it's Wednesday, I'm quickly reminded.
By toddlers screaming "YaYa" upon first sight of the buggies!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Where's Mine?

I was still in Scotland when my 53rd birthday rolled round.
But that didn't stop my buddies in Nairobi celebrating anyway.
Susanna & the boys were already back in Kenya.
So my darling wife knocked up a cake for all the 'lads'.
And they happily cracked on with celebrating in my absence.
Although someone drastically underestimated the candles!
Here's Edward (his hand anyway) feeding Gerro a super slice.
While Levi looks like he already has a face full.
And our Senior Accountant George stands grinning behind them.
No doubt anticipating his turn.
Needless to say, not one crumb was left by the time I returned!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Neesee Leaves Home

Lucas wasn't the only one to start school that day.
A few miles away, Neesee was also packing her bags.
She seems to be explaining to her sister Harry:
'Don't worry, darling, I'll be back later.'
Neesee herself doesn't seem too worried.
What a smile!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lucas Lifts Off

I was lucky enough to be in the UK for Lucas' first day at school.
Here's the young scholar himself in his immaculate new "kit".
Pretending his rucksack's a jet pack & he's going to fly to school.
Now that would have been a dramatic entrance.
Clearly his mother's son!
Unfortunately though, the jets failed to fire.
And our would-be Rocket Man ended up walking instead.
With Kris & I acting as his personal "heavies".
Mum was there too, of course.
Proudly snapping the historic occasion!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Highland Homecoming

This time tomorrow, we will be flying home.
A week in England, then 4 weeks in Scotland.
These Highland red deer seem to have got wind of it.
And are scanning the skies for a sign of our vapour trail.
See you soon!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Glam Gran

With 2 eyes ...
or with 4 ...
she's still the glammest gran of them all!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sassenach In Skirt

A skirt? A skirt?!
My Kenyan colleagues were incredulous.
When they realised I'd be wearing a "skirt" to Arran's wedding.
But what about the Maasai warriors' "dresses", I pleaded.
Not the same apparently!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

You Are Not Alone

Susanna & I went away to celebrate her birthday.
We found this devout "dudu" (insect) sharing our bathroom.
We need all the prayer we can get!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kids & Camels

Levi, Gerro & Lucas were playing happily on this sculpture.
When suddenly they were face to face with 2 camels.  Literally.
Can you see the 3 of them huddled up together for protection?
They're just behind the biggest camel's tail in top right corner.
The 2 courageous uncles on either side of their nephew.
You'll be relieved to hear all 3 survived the encounter!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kung Fu @ Kitengela

Boys in glass shops.
Almost as scary as bulls in china shops.
Here's Uncle Levi with Nephew Lucas at Kitengela Glass.
Not the best place for Lucas to be impersonating Karate Kid.
Watch where you ... ?!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Liquid Lunch

It's a tad warmer here than in Scotland.
So carrying water in the car at all times is critical.
Here's Levi keeping himself hydrated on one recent journey.
I like his style!
Guy (aka Baba Levi)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eight Years Later

And 8 years after Lauren's first visit?
Here is that same 3 month old baby.
Now looking like Kenya's answer to Indiana Jones.
Ride 'em, cowboy!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Three L's

Lauren & Lucas stopped off in Kenya for 2 weeks.
On their way back from Arran & Kate's South African wedding.
We saw a lot of the 3 L's - Lauren, Lucas, and a Little'un!
Lauren first came here 8 years ago, to volunteer for 3 months.
That's when she met a certain 3 month old baby.
That baby's name was Gerro.
And the rest (as they say) is history.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

And What About Us?

And now (after all those babies & young 'uns) ...
for something completely different.
Two wonderful people at the other end of the age spectrum.
Mum & Dad, you don't look over a day over 100.
Keep taking the Complan!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hey, What About Me?

Say "hello" to Harry, Neesee's little sister.
She thinks her big sister has had quite enough attention.
And that maybe it's her turn on centre stage now.
I'm not prepared to argue with her!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cook of Cakes

Here is the Queen of Cakes again.
But this time looking like she can bake them as well as eat them.
Or maybe not?
Looks like she could do with some help.
No problem.  Bibi to the rescue.
The Princess of Pastries herself!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Queen of Cakes

So what exactly does a girl goalie eat to keep herself match fit?
Chocolate cake & cream, of course!
Neesee looks temporarily confused about what to do next.
But then quickly remembers ...
Anyone else just a tad envious?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Girl Goalie

Me too!
Neesee grabs Gerro's gloves & guards the goal.
But looks more like she should be in a boxing ring.
Rather than on a football pitch.
That's my grand-daughter!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Bench Boys

But the boys do sit down sometimes.
Here is photographic proof of one such (rare) occasion.
And the bench is not even a subs bench.
No connection to football at all.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Ball Boys

Our boys putting their new boots through their paces.
Gerro's goalkeeping is fast becoming legendary.
So is Levi's pinpoint accuracy in passing.
They really are the Bastable ball boys!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Boys & Boots

Levi & Gerro's obsession with football shows no sign of waning.
When they're not outside, playing it for real.
Then they're inside, begging to play it virtually.
We try to encourage more of the former (healthier) option.
As you can see, these boots were a big hit with both boys.
They couldn't wait to get outside and 'road test' them.
Gerro's smile is what Kenyans call a Mombasa to Uganda grin.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Slug Snake

For those of you planning to visit us here, don't be put off.
We photographed this fella 1000's of miles south of here.
While taking a leisurely stroll around Barrydale.
The quaint South African village where Arran's in-laws now live.
It just slid out of the roadside drainage ditch to greet us.
The Frogfather assured us it was "only a slug snake".
Whatever that means!

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Frogfather

You've already met Queen Jean, Arran's mum in law.
Now it's time to meet Les, Arran's dad in law.
Better known to most of us as ... The Frogfather!
Why? Because he's a leading world authority on frogs.
Yes, really. In fact, he's a full-on frog fanatic.
As his terrific tree frog T-shirt testifies.
We love you, Les!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Boozy Bovine?

In South Africa, my boys got to feed some baby calves.
Gerro was given a Carling Black Label beer bottle.
With a strong black teat on the end of it.
And told that it was full of cow's milk.  
Whatever the bottle had in it, this calf couldn't get enough of it!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Queen Jean

This is Jean.  Arran's mother-in-law.
And yes, she really is as nice as she looks in this picture.
Of course, the very best mum-in-law in all the world is mine.
But Arran might just have the second?
Jean certainly got the "thumbs up" from Neesee.
Who is a great judge of character!