(Author’s note: After a long, unintentional hiatus, I pulled myself together and am ready to begin posting again. I hope I have not lost too many people. Now let us continue with Dave’s African tales.)
We have spent Christmas in a variety of places, including one in an Inuit village north of the Arctic Circle, but for Dave, celebrating Christmas in Kenya also marked his first trip south of the equator. From north of the Arctic Circle to south of the equator, he sure does get around!
Dave spent the plane ride from Djibouti to Manda Bay, Kenya finishing his sermon and his bulletins for the Christmas Eve candlelight service he was to lead at Camp Simba. About 15 people attended the service. Dave expected more, but a shipment arrived and some of the company had to unload it. Moreover, as is typical for Dave, he met a person from Tinker Air Force Base, OK at Camp Simba, who told him another person from Tinker was also at the camp. “It’s a small base to have three people from Tinker in that site,” he said. Camp Simba is part of a Kenyan naval base on the Kenyan coast in an inlet off the Indian Ocean.
Dave spent Christmas Day with US Naval Commander Elvis Mikel on the beach watching the water. “It was very peaceful. The water and air were calm and there were lots of fish,” he said. The water was very blue, but the beach was short with a forest abutting it. Lamu Island was visible from the beach and further down Dave saw part of the Somali coastline. Lamu is a resort area near the Somali border, which Somali pirates raided shortly after Dave returned to Oklahoma. Then he toured the Kenyan base before making it back to Camp Simba where he had dinner with two Kenyan military officers who were visiting for Christmas. They invited him to their camp to attend services and to meet their priest and pastor.
With the help of Skype, Dave was able to join in some Christmas festivities at home, although he did not talk to Alanna until the next day, since Tyler was deploying on Christmas Day. “I am always happy to talk and Skype with family. I was nostalgic for our Christmas Eve lasagna and being away from home, yet I was happy to be with my comrades-in-arms and faith who were sharing the same experiences.”