Monday, December 28, 2015

Succulents I have known

Found in the friary garden but very
prevalent in the area. I am told this plant
is an import from colonial times.
This is my last day the Rift Valley, Lower Subukia. I return to Nairobi tomorrow to prepare for a move to Uganda. This will be my permanent location until June and probably thereafter. So... I have been taken by the flora of the Rift Valley, because of the cyclical nature of rain and aridity there is a profusion of succulents  ans I thought I would share them with you.  Hope your New Year is blessed. Pax et Bonum  ODE  tim

Also found in our friary garden tended well by Br. Florentius
Found growing wild along the fence line
just outside the friary.
This is called a Pencil Plant.  It is used commonly as fencing but
here is growing wild. Oh by the way, it poisonous.
Aloes growing along side the road. You see one in bloom on the
left.  This to is an import to Kenya. This species originated in Mexico
and parts of the US

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Reflection

The following is a reflection offered at Christmas morning Mass at St. Jude Church in Lower Subukia, Kenya.

Today we celebrate! We celebrate the very special gift that God give us, His only son. All that we have is gift. God has given us good things like the air we breathed this morning as we woke or the warmth of the sun on our faces, or the food we will eat today. All of these are gifts from God and they are good. Yes we suffer. Life is hard and sometimes life gets harder and not easier only harder. Is suffering from God? No. God suffers when we suffer. I suffer because I do not trust God.

This Christmas – once again – we are reminded that God gave us his only son, Jesus. God became flesh and lived as one of us. Because of Jesus, God knows our suffering and pain Jesus knew suffering and pain AND joy and happiness. God knows it all and is waiting. Waiting for us to turn to him for help. God is ever ready to turn our sorrows to joy and pain into happiness. But we have to ask.

This is a season of gift giving. Some are big gifts and some maybe small. Some may not get any gifts at all this Christmas. God is always ready to give of himself – this day and every day. His love is abundant and his mercy sweet. His over-flowing love continues when we love in return. God needs our love. We love in return by giving God thanks and by loving all those we see everyday – even those who do not love us. God's gift of love is multiplied by loving in return by being generous, forgiving, helpful, and thoughtful of others. Today is a celebration of God's love. Let us love one another. Amen

Here is a picture of me with a parishioner St Jude church. Her name is Elizabeth.

Christmas Blessing to all who read this.  OED  tim

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Views From the Laundry Line

I hope these pictures capture the immense beauty that is around me even doing the most mundane things, like putting laundry out to dry.

Have a blessed Christmas. ODE   tim

Friday, December 18, 2015


I arrived here from Nairobi on Wednesday by car.  Sabukia is just under 200 km north from Nairobi. Several firsts occurred on the way.  I had my first sighting of a zebra in the wild, first sighting of a baboon (they are bid don't mess with them), The first time I saw the grandeur of the Rift Valley and finally the first time I crossed the equator. A lot for an old man in one day!  Sabukia is a rural village in the Rift Valley so there are mountains and hills all around. I was told that I would experience what real life in Kenya is all about.  So far so good.  The friary is comfortable despite the frequent power losses. (The friary has only had electricity for the past year.) The house is backed up by solar power so essentials are still available.  I will be here through Christmas.  Here are some photos I took of the place.
This is the friary chapel. The hut-like design is very typical.
This is the friary. The picture is a bit fuzzy due to all the rain we have been having.  I am assured that the dry season is coming soon. My guess its a combination of global warming (blame everything on global warming) and El Nino.
This is a picture of a landscape feature that can be seen around the friary.  I was curious about what they were called. Obviously they are cacti. So I went on line (not always easy to do here) and discovered they are called poisonous cactus trees. Much to everyone's surprise.  The sap of the cactus can blind a person or cause caustic like burns on the skin. Nice to be seen from a distance.
Peace from the Rift Valley.  OED

Friday, December 11, 2015

Prayer Requests

I just heard that civil war has begun in Burundi and that genocide may occur.  This is part of the territory of this province (Province of St. Francis of East Africa...).  I am told that there is one of the younger friar of the province there, alone and the border has been closed. Please pray for this friar and for the people of Burundi, that peace may prevail. Pray for the leaders of Burundi that they may consider the lives of the people more important than any civil or tribal dispute. This truly a right to life request.  Please spread the word and let us all storm heaven together with our prayers.  People have been dying and will continue to die as leaders vie for supremacy.  Let God's peace reign in Burundi and the whole world, Amen.

On a lighter note:  This is our protector from snakes and rats but not monkeys, alas.

As far as I can tell she has no name per se. I call her cat.  She greets me every morning as I go to chapel. The door of which can be seen in the background. 

I caught cat napping, unusual right?  Here she is fighting a yawn.

Well, she gives in and yawns.  Fierce huh?  Snakes beware of the fangs.
May God bless you do this day.  Peace   tim  ODE

Friday, December 4, 2015

Well, I have arrived in Nairobi.  The flight and the custom (PS: I wanted to send you pictures of our neighbors who drop around every now and then - a troop of monkeys.  So far they are proving to be elusive but I will keep trying to capture a photo)