We had a great time in and around Mombasa, North and South Coast. The city has a certain pulsating rythym that is both intoxicating and alluring. Crowded streets, busy markets, chaotic traffic, street hawkers and the mosques call to prayer all add to this huge melting pot of cultures and people.
We spent time with an amazing couple doing work in both the North and South Coasts. To see the work God has done through them in such a short period of time is nothing short of a miracle.
There is a lot of need in Mombasa as it is predominantly Muslim and the people are suffering greatly from the drop in tourism due to the recent Al Shebab terrorist activity. We spoke to hotel and shop owners and they said their business is down by 80%. 80%!! Unbelievable! We were saddened by their stories of the struggle they are facing. I am amazed though at the Kenyans resilience to survive.
We then traveled up the coast to Watamu to enjoy a stay in a Christian marine research center. We stayed in their guest house and enjoyed the beach, the fellowship and wonderful traditional Kenyan food for Christmas. The snorkeling, eating Christmas Eve dinner on the beach and a Christmas day beach volleyball game with the staff were a few highlights.
We celebrated our Saviors' birth with our girls in a simple way by opening simple presents we had gathered along our travels, a Christmas story reading and Swahili Christmas carols. It was a wonderful way to focus more on the reason for the season and not get caught up in the hectic, busy and hurried Christmas season.