Lions on the Loose

 Credits:  This story and photos are from today's AFP story, "Lion on the loose in Kenyan capital's urban jungle"

When Danish author Karen Blixen penned her autobiography "Out of Africa", she wrote of the fierce leopards and lions that prowled the coffee estate she farmed at the foot of Kenya's Ngong hills.

Today, that farm is a leafy upmarket suburb of the rapidly growing capital Nairobi, swallowed up by breakneck urbanisation that has turned a century-old colonial railway yard into a traffic-clogged major city.

But the sharp toothed big cats have remained, finding themselves under growing pressure as one of Africa's fastest growing cities creeps onto ancient migration routes and hunting grounds.

This notice outside the main entrance of residential houses in Nairobi's Karen suburb, was put up after a lioness was spotted near the area. Wildlife officials have issued warnings to residents near the park to call them "should they see another lion in their area as it is possible more than one lion had strayed from the park." (AFP Photo/Simon Maina)
This notice outside the main entrance of residential houses in Nairobi's Karen suburb 

"There have been no attacks on humans -- only dogs -- but as the encroachment increases the probability of attacks grows," said Francis Gakuya, chief vet for Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), as captured lion cubs growled in the background.

Pacing in a cage at the KWS headquarters in Nairobi, four orphaned cubs hiss and snarl at vets taking care of them -- then give a surprisingly powerful roar for a two-month-old baby already the size of a small dog.

Wildlife rangers were forced to shoot dead the cubs' mother after it was spotted in Nairobi's Karen suburb and it charged before it could be darted. The cubs are now being looked after.
But it is not the only recent case. Conservationists warn of the growing likelihood of closer interaction between wildlife and humans if development is not managed in a sustainable manner.

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers Juma Baraka (L) and Samuel Induare examine a two-month-old lion cub at the KWS headquarters in Nairobi. The cats are finding themselves under growing pressure as one of Africa's fastest growing cities creeps onto ancient migration routes and hunting grounds. (AFP Photo/Simon Maina)
Kenya Wildlife Service rangers Juma Baraka (L) and Samuel Induare examine a two-month-old 
Another lioness captured last month later escaped back into the park, a 117 square kilometre (45 square mile) wilderness where buffalo and rhino roam just seven kilometres (four miles) from the bustling high-rise city centre.

Wildlife officials have issued warnings to residents near the park to call them "should they see another lion in their area as it is possible more than one lion had strayed from the park."
Traps are set out when a big cat is reported but the wily lions have so far avoided the baited cages - sparking concern in residents, fearful at night when guard dogs howl that a lion could be hunting in the back yard.

"Lions can hide invisible in the long grass so it's frightening they could be around waiting to pounce," said Mary Okello, who lives close to where recent lions were caught.
Visit the park and one is rewarded by the bizarre sight of long-necked giraffes running through wide plains of yellow grass with the gleaming skyscrapers of Nairobi's business district rising in the distance.

These two-month-old lion cubs, in quarantine at the Kenya Wildlife Service, were rescued after wildlife rangers were forced to shoot dead the cubs' mother after it was spotted in Nairobi's Karen suburb and it charged before it could be darted. (AFP Photo/Simon Maina)
These two-month-old lion cubs, in quarantine at the Kenya Wildlife Service.
Although fenced in on the city side -- some bars even have terraces where one can view animals over a cold drink -- the park is open-sided elsewhere else to allow the annual wildlife migration in search of grazing.

Zebra and wildebeest in the park migrate from the protected Nairobi national park through informal wildlife corridors, areas where pastoralist herders graze their cattle. But Kenya's population is quickly growing.

The land is under threat from increasing urbanisation and more intensive agriculture, and the routes used by migrating herds in search of fresh grass -- and the carnivores that follow for fresh meat -- are growing narrower.

"Some can't find their way through, and they get stranded," said Nicholas Oguge, President of the Ecological Society for Eastern Africa.

"There is an urgent need for an effective land policy...without establishing formal wildlife corridors, Nairobi National Park will become like an island, a large contained zoo," added Oguge, a professor at the University of Nairobi.

The situation has changed dramatically in recent decades. In the 1970s residents used to report roaming herds of wildebeest several hundred thousand strong. Today, in comparison, there are just a relative handful of wildebeest left.

Conservationists say wildlife protection is a low priority for city officials struggling with multiple challenges in a grossly unequal capital of some 3.5 million people with overstretched basic services and infrastructure.

In Nairobi, lavish villas rub shoulders with squalid slums and cramped high rise apartments.
"Nairobi National Park is a microcosm of what is happening elsewhere," said Luke Hunter, president of the wild cat conservation group Panthera, noting that lions have lost over 80 percent of their historic lands across Africa.

"In protected areas lions do well... but outside they are getting hammered."
Kenyan wildlife officials and other conservation groups are working to support the establishment of a wildlife corridor, including mapping the key routes, but it is no easy matter, said Paul Mbugua, KWS assistant director.

"It would be good to have corridors in place, but we have a challenge as all the land to the south of Nairobi is owned by somebody," Mbugua said.

How Great is Our God, Hallelujia

I was listening to worship music last night on line. I was looking for a couple that had recorded the worship music for the "Revival Down Under" in the 1990s. I found their CD but didn't find any youtube videos of them, nor did I find out their names. However, I've always liked the worship group, Hillsong and the worship style of, Darlene Zschech. I wanted to share this song with you where they sing part of the songs in Russian.

I understand that Darlene Zschech and her husband have moved on from Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia after 25 years there. They are now senior pastors at Hope Unlimited Church on the Central Coast.

Today I also want to acknowledge that the late Internal Security Minister, George Saitoti, of Kenya was laid to rest at his Kitengela farm.  The Hon. Saitoti, and his assistant, Joshua Orwa Ojodeh were killed in a helicopter crash in Ngong Forest earlier this week as they were carrying out the functions of their ministry. I was able to watch a good part of the service on line as it was televised through several news agencies in Kenya.

The accident occurred on Sunday minutes after they had taken off from Wilson Airport in a new police helicopter, heading for a fundraiser in Mr Ojodeh’s Ndiwa constituency.  A high powered government delegation, led by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, paid their last respects.  The late minister has been eulogised as a “hero, patriot, team player and a voice of reason” during a requiem mass at the Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi Friday.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families of these two honourable gentlemen who gave their lives in the service of their beloved country, Kenya.

Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti  
 Photo credit: The Kenyan Daily Post

Don't forget to tell your loved ones that you love them. Only God knows how long each of us has on this earth.  Be blessed.

Interview with Sir James Barlow, Great Great Grandson of Charles Darwin, Pt. 1

I stumbled upon this recent and interesting interview with Sir Charles Barlow, one of the great great grandsons of Charles Darwin.  Darwin is the man who developed the theory of natural selection, the basic mechanism of evolution and who wrote the book, The Origin of the Species.  Through the interview I learned some interesting things about Charles Darwin and what he really believed.

Sir James Barlow came to a personal relationship with Jesus in 1979 at the Manchester University in the UK-- Sir James has held positions within the business community as President of the Abbotsford ( a city about 1 and a half hours east of Vancouver) Chamber of Commerce and is now a Director of the BC Chamber of Commerce. In his personal life, Sir James serves as a deacon in his local Church, is involved in various wildlife organizations, and is also an ambassador for the Galapagos Conservation Trust.

Thanks to my readers who have said that the links I provided, take them out of  my blog.  I have now embedded Part 1 of the interview here rather than a link.  However, clicking on the link for Part 2 of the interview  will take you to youtube.  To return to my blog you simply click the back button (arrow at the top left of your computer menu) and it will bring you back to my page).

The second part of the interview is here.


A Good Start to the Week

I had a wonderful Monday and I'm looking forward to the rest of the week. I hope you had a great start to your week also.

It started off as a beautiful sunny day. I got up early and proceeded down the street for

a little pampering...

before I continued to the shops to try out sofas.

After 30 faithful years of service, I am retiring my sofa. It is less expensive to buy a new one rather than reupholster the old one.  I am a frugal person so I do intend to keep my armchair for awhile longer until I find one I am happy with.  The chair is in slightly better shape that the sofa and can still have new life with a slipcover.

Next, I went on to a lovely lunch....

Fungus soup and green tea

Lightly battered cod fish with sauce
and finished with some refreshing strawberry bubble tea....

Fresh strawberries with ice and tapioca pearls
Later, I did some knitting....and reading.

Now I am having tea and hope to relax and read more. Shopping research continues tomorrow when the rain is also expected to return.

Dear reader, if you have a moment, I'm curious as to how long you keep your sofas? I like things that last a lifetime but so many people do like to change their furniture often.

It's a Beautiful Friday

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ~ Claude Monet

No ray of sunlight is ever lost, but the green it wakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to live to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith. ~ Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, 1952

This was my sky for a short time today. It was a break in the otherwise gray and wet weather we've had all week.

The rest of the photos are from  my garden which is now growing. The container plants look especially nice.  They were planted before my little garden was planted but I keep adding more plants to containers. The most recent acquisitions were the red blooming geraniums because the big pot of geraniums in the blue pot are not yet in bloom and I just love red geraniums.  I also added two blue poppies. This time I planted them in a pot and if they do well I will add them to the garden plot later.  This year I finally got a community allotment (community garden plot) but I gave it up because it was just a little out of my walking distance. I'm hoping to get one of two plots closer to my home but was told I have a long wait. In the meantime I'll see if I can get my little garden more productive.

Zucchini squash


You can see they are already coming out so I will need to put some supports around these soon to support the weight.

I have  more than enough parsley here in the container. I need to transplant the rosemary you see on the lower right.

The lettuce is ready to be harvested for salad.

Corn is growing well. I only have a few stalks. These are usually feed for the birds.

Pansies are still my favourite.

I have white and pink petunias. These ones have a sheen due to the rain.

The dogwood tree is also in bloom but there doesn't seem to be as many flowers as there usually are. My neighbour's tree has many more blooms.

I can see the buds are starting to come up on this big pot of geraniums. I can't remember what colour they are but they may be pink and red.

This is a recent acquisition. I love red geraniums.

Oops, I caught my foot in the photo, lol. You can see more buds ready to bloom in this pot.

I've had a very busy week and a fruitful one also. It is nice to sit back and enjoy the beauty around me at the close of the week.

I'm sending you all good wishes for a wonderful weekend. I'm also sending prayers for Edwin who continues to have need of sponsorship to receive outpatient medical treatment in Nairobi and for Kipngeno who desperately needs a sponsor to continue attending medical school. He is in the last semester for year 1 which finishes in August.

For more sky photos please join Sky Watch Friday here.
For more flower photos, please join in Floral Friday here.

My Visit to Chinatown

I had a quick visit to Chinatown today.  I'm afraid I had a number of errands to do there and was trying to hurry myself along so I could get to a movie.

A long view west on Pender Street in Chinatown. You can see the historic old buildings in the foreground and the Millenium Gate in about the middle of the photo (above the red car).
The way the the one tourist is dressed with a winter hat you would think it was cold out today.   I think she was wearing it to protect herself from rains which really turned out to be almost negligible. I found it rather humid today and was too hot in my thin jacket.

The first thing I did when I got to Chinatown was have a wonderful but short session of foot reflexology.  I haven't had one of these for at least 12 years or more. I enjoyed it a lot but it was too short and so I've got to return and get a full treatment. After the session, my feet felt so much better for about half an hour. I may decide to go every so often and treat my feet well since I have more problems with them than most people. Anyway, enough of that.  My main reason in going to Chinatown was to get some medicines and after many stops at different stores, I came away with a month's supply of the main medicine I want and need. The other one, I'm not so sure about, so I only bought one bottle.  Altogether I only spent $10. and that is the best bargain I've had in awhile.

Here is a slightly better view of Millenium Gate. The movie theatre is just past it to the left. I was in so much of a hurry due to being late that I didn't stop to take good photos.

I also wanted some new plastic basins, one for having an epsom salt foot bath now and then, and one for doing dishes or light hand washing. I managed to find them but at a different store from the one I planned to shop at since it is now.  Yet another casualty of the poor economy.

I bought two basins like the green one in this photo. The other one is yellow.

After this purchase I hurried off to walk to the movie theatre about 5 blocks away. Along the way I stopped to buy a wiener bun and egg tart at the Chinese bakery.

I stopped again at a wonderful little shop where I found all kinds of Chinese lanterns and fans and lovely chopstick sets, etc. I quickly selected a few different fans, some for my mother and some for me. I chatted up the store owner and told her what a lovely shop she has. Funny I'd never been in it before but have passed it by many times over the years. Now that I know what a treasure trove it is, I will certainly visit again.  I'd like to get a few colourful, paper lanterns to hang in my home.  This cute little shop sells the paper lanterns at half the price of a store further up the street from where I live.  I'm always looking for a bargain!

I managed to get to the movie,"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", but I was a bit late. Missing the first part didn't take away from the enjoyment of the second part. The movie stars Dame Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith and a host of other great actors. It is about a group of British retirees who travel to take up residence at what they believe is a newly restored hotel in India only to find out otherwise. It is quite lovely and charming in unexpected ways. I recommend seeing it if you can although I believe it will appeal to the older set more than to the younger generation.  When I mentioned this movie to my nephew's girlfriend yesterday, she said she thought it would be a good one for her grandparents who are nearly 90 years old!. I'm not nearly that old but I still enjoyed it.

If you'd like to see more of what other were up to on Tuesday, please visit Our World Tuesday. If you missed my post about missions needs please read here.  Thank you for visiting.

Kenya Missions of Hope Needs Your Prayers

Hello friends,

Edwin getting blood work.
We begin a new week and I hope you are all having a good one. My nephew was to arrive was his girlfriend yesterday for a small birthday dinner for him but due to unforeseen circumstances this had to be rescheduled to today.

My main news today is that my friends in Kenya need our collective prayers to meet some big needs in the next short while. I hope you will take a moment to read the short report at the link below and to offer your prayers and good wishes. Please note that there have been bombings and deaths in Nairobi City over the past few weeks and the city has been on the alert so not only do my friends need prayers to meet their material needs but they need prayers of protection.  God bless and have a great week.

Kenya Missions of Hope: Short Update on Missions: Hello, Edwin and I will be going to Nairobi in about two days for further cancer treatment.  Last Friday we went for some check up and ...

Beautiful Skies Overhead

(This is a submission for Skywatch Friday)

It's one of those days that flew by. I was going to do so many things but where did the time go? I'm having some issues with very hot and sore hands and feet and tired legs so I decided to stay home. Nonetheless the day went quickly. I will have to wait until tomorrow and hopefully get my mani-pedi as well as go to Chinatown. I've been wanting to go there for ages and I have to buy some herbs so now is a good time to go.

I finished the book,  Half a Yellow Sun, by the young author Chimamande Adichie.  I enjoyed it immensely. The book is about the fight of mainly the Igbo people in Nigeria for their own country, The Republic of Biafra.  Biafra existed from May 30, 1967 to January 15, 1970 and most of us know little about the struggle.  The book is a fictional account of the events as experienced through the lives of 5 main characters.

I'm now reading Birdsong by Sebastian Faulk. The book is about Stephen Wraysford at different stages of his life both before and during World War 1. This book is highly acclaimed but I didn't enjoy the first part of the book which deals with the protagonist's  illicit affair while lodging with a textile factory owner.  I'm enjoying the second part of the book more.  It deals with another phase of the same protagonist as he serves in WW1. The author does an incredible job of describing the grittiness and harshness of the conditions under which soldiers fought and worked in the trenches.

I've also started a fascinating book called The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock.  I think this book will surely inspire me as it deals with a woman called Mrs. Delany who lived in the 1700s. After her husband dies, she begins her life's work and accomplishment at the age of 72.  Mrs. Delany is the inventor of the art form, collage, and I'm looking forward to learning much more about her and her creative process.

Right now I'm making curry chicken with naan and basmati rice for dinner. The chicken is slowly simmering so I'd better get to making the naan. In the meantime, enjoy the wonderful sky photos and have a joyous weekend.

I never get tired of looking at clouds and the beauty in the skies.

For more beautiful sky photos join Skywatch Friday.

Have a wonderful weekend and please visit again soon.

A True Missionary Heart: Eva Tonui

Mrs. Eva Tonui (click on the link below to read her story)
Kenya Missions of Hope: Missionary Eva: Hello friends, I have some words to encourage you this week. At 59 years of age, Mrs Eva Tonui is a self-sponsored missionary to an ...

A Little Bird Came to Visit

Little sparrow come
Splish and splash, and dunk again,
Delight in your bath

{me, May 28, 2012}

Please join others here for Our World Tuesday.

A Peek at the Garden

To date the spring season has been quite cool and a lot of rain. I haven't had to do much in the garden as a result and I find it isn...