Friendly Notice

7 12 2007

FYI — I don’t plan to post anything new on this blog over the next couple of months.

Working hard at finishing out our time in Togo strongly, starting to try to piece together our future lives in the US and trying to stick faithfully to renewed spiritual and physical exercise regimens has left me with little time to write.

Oh – that and I have little to NO motivation to do so.

(I seriously doubt the new gaming console Santa is bringing for Christmas will help the situation any either!)

Anyways, I just wanted to do the courtesy of letting the handful of you who regularly check this page know not to expect anything new for a good while. I’ll be sure to let you know via our team newsletter (and maybe T’s blog) if and when I get something new up.

In the meantime, keep checking Tracey’s blog . She does a consistently fantastic job of posting pictures and sharing insights into our family’s lives.

Also, here’s a picture I plan for you to see hanging in our house whenever you come to visit us in the US. My favorite picture from our safari in Kenya last July. Peace.



Masai Mara – 3

21 11 2007

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the beautiful, wonderous, amazing creation God placed here in Africa. I’m also thankful that our family was able blessed with the opportunity to travel to Kenya in July and that we were able to take in a safari at the Masai Mara game reserve. We saw so many fantastic animals, such as…


  • this cheetah (and his two brothers). Having at least 10 van loads full of people ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over his every move didn’t seem to phase this guy one bit. He even decided to lay down in the middle of the road, roll over a couple of times and take a little rest. I still can’t believe I saw this in person.


  • these hyenas (and many others). They were scavenging the scraps from the scene of a zebra kill. As we drove up to the site, we saw these guys on our left and just up on our right were the 5 lions which made the kill sitting in the shade guarding the zebra carcass they had relocated to a cooler place. These hyenas fought with vultures, and each other, over little chucks of hide that was left behind in the move while others circled the tree at a ‘safe’ distance, trying to find a way to get at the really tasty eats. Again… can’t believe I saw these guys either.


  • this lioness (and the rest of her pride). Can you name a lioness ”Scarface”? This girl has obviously been through some battles, and she was seemed to ready for another if any of those hyenas (or other scavenger) were to get too close to the zebra kill. She was definately the most attentive while we were watching the lions under the tree. Too bad those hyenas didn’t make too bold of a move. It would have been a pretty awesome sight.

As if these sights weren’t awesome enough!

Masai Mara – 2

15 09 2007

Here are some more pictures from our safari in Kenya…


This is the one male lion we saw with a big mane (the only we saw really well that is). He was hanging out near a stream and was kind enough to sit and pose for us. His size was very impressive. The picture doesn’t really do him justice.

After he moved back into the brush, our van got stuck in a huge rut. Our driver tried to get us out, but we ended up having to be towed out by the other van. It was bit unnerving to think that a huge lion was well within striking distance as they hooked up the cable. Thankfully, the lion stayed away and we got out the hole and on with the safari.


These hippos are in the Mara River, which is right along the Kenya-Tanzania border. We were lead on a guided walk along the banks of the river to look at hippos and crocodiles. We had hoped to catch a glimpse of wildebeests migrating across the river, but the timing just wasn’t right. Maybe next time…


Here is a decent picture of a zebra with lots of topis (a type of antelope) in the background. These species can no longer be found naturally W. Africa (although, the president of Togo has zebras in his personal game reserve which is not far from Kara.) It was really cool to see these animals ”in the wild”. Since he loves the movie Racing Stripes, Owen got a big kick out of seeing the zebras run and prance around.

Pics from Masai Mara 2007 – 1

10 09 2007

This is the first in a series of posts on our safari in the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya this past July. We went to Kenya primarily to attend the All-Africa Missionary Conference, a bi-annual meeting of Church of Christ and Christian Church missionaries. Once we were over there, however, how could we not resist taking in a safari?

Our trip was pretty low-budget as far as safaris in East Africa goes. We slept in tents, ate in pretty rustic dinning hall (the food was great though) and shared a bath house with the rest of the campers. Our friends from Dallas, Suzanne, Anna and Will Sager were with us along with another Dallas friend Ro Diaz. It was definitely the trip of a lifetime.


We saw lots of lions during our 4 day, 3 night trip. I think the total was 15. This lion was sitting in the middle of the road at high noon, trying to stay cool. She moved over to the shade of our van pretty soon after we stopped to take some pictures.


These cheetahs were probably the ‘crown jewel’ of our trip. We spent 2 1/2 days looking for these guys before we saw them on our last game drive. There were actually 3 cheetahs (we were told they were brothers) but I didn’t get any picture of all of them together. You’ll see more of them in future posts.


While the lions and cheetahs were awesome, I think my favorite animals to see were the giraffes. I was blown away by their height and grace. I loved seeing them, whether they were up close or far, far off in the distance. Maybe the fact that I don’t have any chance of seeing them in our ‘home’ game park of Pendjari made me appreciate them more… Anyways, this picture was taken as a herd of 12 giraffes crossed in front of our van. It was really cool. (The picture in the header of the blog was taken at during the same encounter.)

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll post a few more pictures in a day or two. Let me know what you think!

Pics from Pendjari 2007

9 09 2007

Our teammate Becky Reeves returned from a trip to the US this past week which means that I was finally able to see the pictures I took during our last 3 safaris — 2 at Pendjari in Benin and 1 at Masai Mara in Kenya. (Film processing here in Togo is not very good so I always wait to have my film developed back in the US. Maybe someday we’ll get one of those nice 35mm digital cameras…)

Anyways, I’d been anxious to see how the pictures turned out and I was happy to see some good ones. I’ve scanned a few of my favorites and I’ll be posting them throughout the week. (I’m also hoping to use some to change the header of the blog from time to time too.) Here are a couple of pictures I took in Pendjari – along with the stories behind them.


We saw these elephants at Mare Bali during a trip in mid January. Isaac, Graham and I went with David & Elijah Reeves and Brett Emerson. I think we later met this group while driving back to our campsite.

Another highlight of that trip was getting lost and having to drive around the park until 10pm – a big no-no. We stayed at Mare Bali until it was almost dark waiting to see the lion we heard roaring nearby would reveal itself. It didn’t. Since it was dark, we drove by the turn off for the park campsite, searched for it for about 2 hours and we eventually found to be abandoned. So we drove for another hour and camped at an unmanned guard post.

While it doesn’t sound like much of a ‘highlight’ it really was. We saw lots of animals which aren’t out during the normal park view hours including 1 cerval, 4 jackals and a crested porcupine. We also came across a big buffalo who looked like he was more lost than we were! I digress…

Here is a picture of the buffalo kill and 2 of the 4 lions we saw near it during our February trip to Penjdari with our teammates and friends from Tabligbo. The kill was maybe 20 yards off of the road so we had a great view.


The buffalo was killed during the night so we got to watch the ensuing post-kill drama throughout the day. We watched as the lions kept a wary eye on a nearby herd of buffalo (mourning relatives?) and took turns chasing off the increasing numbers of opportunistic vultures. In the afternoon, the vultures had free reign of the carcass but the lions were back at the kill around sundown. By the time the next morning rolled around, the kill had been reduced to a pile of skin and bones.

Lions are difficult to see at Penjdari so this was rare treat. That the whole family – indeed, the entire group of 35 people – got to see these lions up close and with a kill made it all the more sweeter.

Close Encounter

5 08 2007


So what if Tracey has already posted this picture on her blog. There is NO way I could pass on posting a picture of me this close to a lion on my own “Into the Wild” blog!

Before you start retroactively fearing for my life, know that this lion was extremely lethargic and had approached our van seeking shade – not lunch. When we came across her on the road, it was high noon, the heat was pretty stifling, and there weren’t any trees nearby.

Anyways, our trip to Masai Mara in Kenya was absolutely amazing. I hope to post more pictures from the safari just as soon as my film gets developed. Maybe by the end of the month…

Apologies for not having posted in awhile. We’ve…

18 04 2006

Apologies for not having posted in awhile. We’ve had a busy, busy few weeks. I hope to have something for your viewing/perusal in the next few days. Meanwhile, hope you enjoy these pictures of the elephants and lion we saw during our latest trip to the game park in March!