Learning language with ‘ndovu mtoto’

A baby elephant being fed from a bottle!

A orphaned ndovu mtoto being fed from a bottle!

Today was our last official day of language learning with our language helpers.  To celebrate, we all went to the Elephant Orphanage to see the cutest ‘little’ ndovu mtoto (baby elephants) ever.  While we were there, we got to see the ndovu being fed from large bottles, playing happily in the muddy water, and splashing water and dirt onto their backs to protect their skin from the sun and to cool them in the heat of the day.


Ndovu having a great time frolicking in the muddy water.

Jon Michael and Sarah had a day off from school today, so they were able to join us on our adventure making it extra fun.  In all we saw about 30 ndovu.  The orphanage rescues ndovu in need and brings them here to feed them, give them a natural habitat to live in, let them live with other ndovu, and then, finally, release them back into the wild when they are ready.  They are only open for one hour a day to the public to reduce the amount of human interaction they get, keeping them as wild as possible for a successful re-entry into the wild.

The kids with the ndovu.

The kids with the ndovu.

We are so thankful for all that we have learned in the last eight weeks while studying and learning Kiswahili with ‘Bwana’ John, and practicing our conversation skills with ‘Dada’ Eva.


Dan, Lesli, Abraham, Lydia and ‘Bwana’ John.

Dan, Lesli, Lydia, Abraham and "Dada" (sister) Eva.

Dan, Lesli, Lydia, Abraham and ‘Dada’ Eva.

After the Elephant Orphanage we treated everyone to some KFC at a local mall.  Neither of our language helpers had ever before had KFC and both enjoyed it thoroughly.  Fun to share with them a little taste of America.  And yes, the food tasted much like the KFC we remember from America (though we haven’t eaten there in a long time).  One different thing was a menu item of ugali nuggets.  Ugali is a staple here in Kenya made of corn meal and water.  Most Kenyans eat it at least once a day, if not at every meal.

God surely blessed us with wonderfully patient and kind teachers, who also taught us so much.  We will continue studying Kiswahili on our own from here, working on grammar and more vocabulary, but truly, they gave us a great start in learning the beautiful language of Kiswahili, for which we are so thankful!!!

Mtoto ndovu spraying dirt onto its back to cool off in the hot sun.

Ndovu mtoto spraying dirt onto its body to cool off in the hot Nairobi sun.