Friday, November 29, 2013

A Happy Family Heading to Germany

We are so excited for Rita and Christiane to have a new family. For the past few days the proud mama and papa came to spend time with the girls to give them some time to adjust before taking them to the capital with them where they will go through the process of getting visas for the girls and then travel to their home in Germany.

It was precious to see how the girls bonded with their new mom and dad. They are going to have such a wonderful life!
This is such a cute picture and captures the moment!

Although Rita and Christiane are sisters, they did not meet until Christiane was over a year old. Rita came from another orphanage and we were able to unite the girls. It didn't take long for Rita to assume the role of Big Sister. Christiane came to the orphanage when she was only three days old.
It was both a sad day and a happy day for the tantie's who have cared for the girls. What a bittersweet moment! I will miss their laughter and chatter as a part of my daily routine, but I am joyful and my heart is full for them and for their parents. AND I can't wait to see a picture of them in their new snow!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Special Visitors and a Special Gift

This past Friday Jon and Annelie arrived in Yako. Jon visited the orphanage about a year ago and now, after completing a work assignment and getting married, he and his wife will spend a month with us. It has taken no time for them to jump into life here. They have cleaned out and organized storage areas, played games with the children, visited our malnutrition clinic, help take pictures of our students for sponsorship, had some lessons in Moore...and it hasn't yet been a week!

With them, they brought a special gift of toys, books, games, puzzles, sports equipment, clothing, and other supplies that were donated by military families stationed in Germany. The wives rallied together under the direction of Sandra Thomas and Christine Lane. These ladies organized the gathering of items and there were huge suitcases filled with wonderful things!

What should we play with first?

I'm having a hard time choosing!
I found my toy!

What a great day!

We immediately distributed the clothing to our children and a few of the toys. We are excited to receive some developmental toys that we will be using during one-on-one time with the children and when our new toddler play area is completed.

We are ever thankful to the U.S. Military for their generosity and we want to thank Sandra, Christine and all of those who collected and donated items. What a tremendous blessing this is for the children. God Bless!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

For God

I was in a meeting when my phone began to ring. Not being Burkinabe (pronounced Burkina bay), I chose to hold off until after the meeting to answer the phone. A true Burkinabe answers his or her phone at any and all times...... I'm not there yet. I called back and found there was a 7 year old girl who was in the hospital, but needed to be placed in the orphanage once released. I exclaimed, "Of course! We would love to have her!". Two days later Social Action shows up at the orphanage with this little young lady whose name translated from Moore' means "for God." I can say with all my heart, this is the name was right on mark. I walked in and she looks up at me and smiles from ear to ear. Not too uncommon for a child, but the story attached to this particular one makes this smile nothing less than remarkable, amazing, and humbling.

I was told that she had just had surgery on her mouth and tongue due to severe damage done by drinking lye. Lye is the acid used to make soap here in Burkina. It literally melts all that it comes in contact with at full strength. She was rushed to the hospital in Ouagadougou for surgery, and for the most part, the surgery was a success. Unable to speak, she can only communicate with emotions, and the emotion she used when she arrived at our orphanage was a smile.

The history of the difficult childhood this little girl has had nearly made me collapse. There was a evidence all over of the hardships she had faced, but this child was different. She was "for God", and He had a different life in mind for His little princess. We handed her a small doll, and she instantly started caring for and hugging the doll. All the staggering details of her life just stopped, a u-turn in life with the hope for the future.

As impossible of a place Burkina can be, at times you think to yourself, are we truly finding "the least of these"? When we get tired, and worn out from running long hours 7 days a week, many times we ask ourselves "are we making a difference"? When I find myself once again walking into the cemetery with a heavy heart there are times I could even ask myself "why am I doing this?", and the answer is all wrapped up in this little girls name, For God. It was God who brought me here, it was God who brings me each of those who the world considers the least of these, but God sees the diamond in each of them.
Life is hard, but my life is not. People I know have suffered, but I have not. It is much easier to appreciate the life I have now that I live in Africa. When you see a smile on the face of a 7 year old girl who has endured more than I will in my lifetime, I am humbled. This smile was not for me, this smile was "for God."

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Reflections on a Saturday Morning

Saturday is the weekend for most folks. Time to relax. Believe me, when I get a chance to relax on a Saturday I try and take full advantage of it. Most Saturdays are full of activity around here and this morning was no exception.

Today we had a shoe distribution at a school, a grain distribution for widows, a water baptism, a military visit and a trip to the hospital with a sick child...all before noon!!

We sent people off in different directions to get everything accomplished. Mike and I went to the baptism because one of the girls living at the orphanage was getting baptized. This was the first baptism we have gone to here.

Baptisms are typically done at the end of the rainy season when all the water has not dried up. This morning we arrived at the church. There were about 150 people getting baptized today. Before things got started, there was a large crowd gathered along the street. Then we heard the screaming and laughter and thunder of little feet as a local school was dismissed from class to join those gathered along the street. Something was about to happen! After several "official looking" cars passed a large group of cyclists came down the street. I am not sure if this was "Tour de Faso" (an actual event here) or something else, but everyone was cheering and we were glad to have witnessed it.

After the crowds died down, we greeted some of the pastors and then started our walk to the barrage (body of water, like a lake). This is where the baptisms would take place.

Everyone gathered and we were given a bench to sit on. Then there was some passionate preaching and singing. Afterwards, 2 of the pastors pulled off their shoes, rolled up their pants and walked down into the water. People then lined up in the water and one at a time they spoke a little and then were dunked under.

It was a very nice experience and a very beautiful morning and we couldn't help but reflect on the very first baptisms.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A week in pictures

Just a little bit of what's been going on this week at the orphanage.

Bathtime is now quicker, easier and more fun now that our baby bathing room is finished! 
Our tanties have their hands full!
Here comes trouble! We use a lot of diapers every day!
Schoolchildren receiving a new pair of TOMS shoes
Our new dining hall is nearly complete! Painting has begun!
Repainting the cribs for a fresh new look

Kids receive letters from their sponsors 
How many flies can you fit on one grape sized piece of fruit?
Now multiply that by 1000. It's the season for fallen fruit.
Teatime anyone? A daily ritual here in Burkina.
Time to go! See you next time!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Spa Treatment in Burkina Faso?

Well, we often say that we cannot complain about the heat and the sweat because millions of people pay to sit in saunas. And when you sit in the back of a truck and ride at high speeds, the dust that pelts your face can almost be called dermabrasion. However, this past Saturday, a few of us were treated to something special...a pedicure of sorts.

Okay, so we didn't have the fancy foot bath or the sweet smelling lotions, but we did get our toenails painted with fancy designs. And this cost us a whopping 40 cents a piece! There are some bargains to be had here.

Marguerite came to the orphanage guesthouse with her basket of nail polish and even some fake eyelashes if we were interested. We bypassed the eyelashes and got down to business. While our toes were being made works of art, Marguerite's son was playing with a few toys on the floor.

Pat gets the royal treatment

In the beginning all was good, but then she pulled out glue and press-on toenails. I think my eyes grew 3 sizes. I had to act I let her do this or not? I couldn't imagine what would happen to my toenails if I had plastic glued to them, so my tongue caught up with my brain and I said, "Wait!". I asked if it was possible for her to just paint my natural nails. She complied, we picked colors and away she went.

My forty cent pedicure!

I received a lovely design. Emily and Pat had their toes done up in the colors of the Burkina Flag, complete with stars. There was a qualifying soccer match on later that day for Burkina's team and we think they won because of the good luck they brought with their toes.

Burkina toes in progress.

Another interesting day in Africa!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Together We Stand

Living in Africa, you are confronted with one thing over and over again. Things have been done the same way for hundreds of years, and change does not come easy. In a third world country with little to no resources, you realize the hardships of those ever cycling climates. A drought one year can and does send the entire country into a desperate situation that takes years to recover from. Sadly many times before recovery is realized the country is hit once again. This is nothing new, and unfortunately has been accepted by Africans as “the way things are”.

I have never been much of a science guy, but I must admit that I am fascinated by it. I would laugh when I would listen to Alex Beurenger, the science teacher at Hollywood Christian School in Florida, as he so excitedly explained something he was working on which was so far above my head that it would make me dizzy! Then he would slip me a piece of paper during church with a sketch on it in an attempt to help me understand.  Science guys kind of have their own language, ya know?

This is why I was interested in a very dear friend of ours new project. This is a friend that owns a mechanic shop, not a science guy. This guy speaks “my” language. But God had put a project on his heart. Not anything he had ever thought about, nothing he had ANY training on, but a science project. It started as a thought of using hydroponics to help feed the homeless of Broward County.  As he began learning and experimenting on a small storage lot that he had, God moved in and started to bless it.

The project grew, the owner of the property saw the mission and gave him more property, the equipment started to arrive, and the science started to happen. I must admit, I was overwhelmed when I first walked onto the project, but again, he spoke my language. He started talking of simple things, made with simple materials that produce food, lots of food with little water, and little effort. We are talking fish to vegetables, it was a sustaining system that could feed a family even in times of drought, or monsoon. His project that he thought was local, went global.

We are in the process of beginning our project here in Burkina with the help of John Mears and the team at “Together We Stand” . They have already started building education facilities and new environments with new ideas. Just finding all those other little details God has hidden in His creation to provide for those who He loves. When it comes to an unending quest to seek out God’s hidden treasures, and to provide for the least of these, I would say to my friend John, Together We Stand.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sweet Moments

There are so many things I love about living in Burkina and being able to do the things we do. I can count about 30 things that made me smile just this week!

Yesterday we were able to meet with 2 of the widows in our sponsorship program. They had received letters from their sponsor so we came to read these letters to them. These ladies were so thankful to hear stories from their friend across the world. They listened intently and had really great reactions to the news that we shared. It meant so much that someone took the time to write to them.

Each shared a little about themselves so that we could let the sponsor know how they were doing. One suffers from chronic headaches and the others eye sight is failing, but they really had no complaints and said their health was good and just wanted to give blessings to their sponsor and her family, saying thank you again and again!


For me, I just enjoyed sitting with them, seeing their reactions and facial expressions and hearing them speak and laugh. It's the relationships that you build that are such a special blessing here!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

With Sadness and Remembrance

This past week we learned of the death of one of our volunteers, one of our friends.

Outside the clinic in Kabo
Dr. Roger Styles came to Burkina Faso last January with a team of ten people from West Pines Community Church in South Florida.

This was a diverse team with vastly different experience and gifts to bring and use on the mission field. Roger took part in all that we presented him with enthusiasm, but it was at a huge, pediatric medical clinic where he shined.

This clinic was held in a small church, in a small village where thousand of people came because they knew we would be there. Hundreds of children were treated, mostly for simple illnesses or infections that would have been left untreated had we not shown up. It is the untreated infections that can become serious and even lead to death in many cases.

Roger was able to slip right into the role of health provider, working alongside a team that consisted of three American nurses and two Burkinabe nurses and a few volunteers to grab medicines and keep waiting children occupied. I believe this was a tremendously successful, life changing afternoon for all of the volunteers as well as the families who received help.

Roger will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. He will be remembered in what he gave of himself. We know that he certainly left his mark in Burkina Faso and we are so glad that we got to know him.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

God Let's You Know He is With You

We are getting to the end of our stay in the states. We have had a wonderful time seeing friends and family and sharing the wonderful things God is doing in our lives and ministry in West Africa.

In coming to the states we have had some amazing things happen. Things that allowed us to see that God is with us every step of the way and that He wants us to trust that he has all areas of our life covered.

If you read one of my previous posts, you know that I (Amy) had surgery. I know that I was blessed to be able to take care of this while I am here, but it was also very cool that I was able to share with doctors, nurses, hospital administration even, our mission and how we got there. I gave bracelets our orphanage girls made to the pre-admitting department and on the day of my surgery they came to check on me and told us how they had been sharing our story. In talking with my surgeon, it turns out that he has done medical missions in Uganda.

Recently we brought our daughter Delaney up to St. Louis where she will be living with her aunt and uncle and finishing her senior year. This is our baby, so you can imagine how we feel about leaving her here in the states while we return to Africa. She will be attending a public high school for the first time in her life, so she too was a little anxious. When we arrived to a residency meeting to establish that she would be living in St. Louis we met with the Superintendent for the school district. Actually, he was leaving to another town and the new Superintendent met with us as well. Also in attendance was their secretary. When we told them why Delaney would be staying with her aunt and uncle the Superintendent's face lit up. He first stated that we were in safe company so that he could speak freely. He told us of his many missions trips. Turns out he as well as his replacement and the secretary are all Christians! They were very encouraging to Delaney and she was feeling more at ease. As we were leaving the current Superintendent asked me if you could give me a hug! Wow, thank you God!

We walked next door to the school to pick up a packet of forms for Delaney to finish her registration. The woman we needed to see was out for the day, but there was another woman who said she would try to help us. She said that she was just there for the day and that she used to work at this school so she thought she could find the paperwork. In talking she asked where we were from and we told her we were missionaries working at an orphanage in Africa. she said that her sister visited an orphanage in Africa. In Burkina Faso. In Yako. At Sheltering Wings! She called her sister up on the phone and I spoke with her. She visited a few years ago and would like to return. she asked about one of our boys who is still living with us. AGAIN, thank you God!
We went up to Illinois and had some family reunions and Mike spoke at a church in a small suburb. They had two services and in between Mike felt God leading him to talk to a guy who was up on stage singing and dancing with the children who had just finished a week of vacation Bible School. He had an elephant hair bracelet with him and felt like he was supposed to give it to this guy. To make a long story short. It turns out that this guy graduated from the same small private school in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida two years before Mike. Mike played sports with the guy back in school. Interesting!
Finally, this past Sunday we had no speaking engagements so we decided to visit our home church. Upon arrival a family that we know brought a couple over to us that was visiting. They said that they were from Africa and they wanted to introduce us to them. The couple said they were from Ghana. We told them we were living in Burkina Faso and the woman says that she was born in Burkina Faso. We were shocked and excited. We asked her where in Burkina and she told us Yako. Yako? Wow, that is where we are from. I spoke to her in Moore, the local language from our region and she was speaking back to me. She had such a smile on her face as I imagine that I also had. How cool that We were able to meet these people and have this experience!
We have a week before we board our plane and we are very excited to be returning to our home, family & friends in Burkina. I wouldn’t be surprised if God showed himself to us again during the rest of our stay. I will be watching for Him!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Give the Gift of an Education

You Can Change This Child's Life For $1.15 a Day

Maimouna Zoundi was born on June 24, 2012.  Her mother died in 2006 when Maimouna was just one year old.  She has one older brother who is living in another town.

When Maimouna’s mother died, her father brought her to her grandmother to be cared for.  Her father is now living in a town over 300 kilometers away and she very rarely sees him. 

The grandmother is up in years and is no longer able to work in the fields.  The family lives in a small mud-brick house in Sector 3 of Yako.  Maimouna and her grandmother draw water from a nearby well, but it is not safe drinking water.

Maimouna is in the second grade (CP2) this year (2012-2013) at the Sheltering Wings Primary School.  She says that when she grows up she wants to be a teacher.
Sheltering Wings offers a private, Christian education for children in extreme need. The majority of the kids in our schools have lost one or both parents. The families are doing everything they can to feed their families and simply cannot afford the fees for school and school supplies.
Once children are enrolled in our schools they receive more than an education. Our philosophy is to take care of the total wellness of each child. We address their educational, physical and spiritual needs. Each child receives a school uniform, school supplies, a hot lunch daily and medical care. They learn in a safe and loving environment in classrooms that aren't overcrowded and with Christian teachers.
If you would like to sponsor Maimouna Zoundi and ensure her future please send me an email at or call the Sheltering wings office at 314-635-6316.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Medical Story

Disclaimer: If you are a man who hates the mere mention of anything having to do with the female reproductive system or it’s functions…proceed with caution. If you become dizzy when the subject of blood or anything medical comes up…this may not be for you. I have been as careful as I could to word things for those that are sensitive. 

About a month ago we were in Burkina Faso preparing for our trip back to the U.S.  We were setting dates with family and friends, scheduling speaking engagements and making appointments for dental and medical check-ups.  We were both excited to share our journey with those in the states and a little sad to be leaving behind our Burkina family.

We have learned to be flexible and remain positive when changes come our way because living in a different culture and working with children can be unpredictable. With all of our scheduling we expected a few changes. What we didn’t expect was that I would need a surgery that would require anesthesia that would knock me out, a few days in the hospital and six weeks of recovery.

This began with a routine women’s well care visit (gynecologist). I was happy because I was able to see the same ob/gyn that delivered both of our girls. In fairness, I knew there was a little something going on because about 4 months ago I felt a little lump in my abdomen just below my belly button and off to one side. Of course I did what anyone else would…I “googled” it. After much research I guessed that it was very possible that I had a fibroid tumor. It didn’t feel very big and I looked up the different treatments and figured that maybe they would try and shrink it or just leave it alone. WRONG!

At first after my doctor examined me and asked lots of questions he said that it “could” be a fibroid, but he wanted to give me a urine test first. Yep, he was checking to see if I was pregnant. PREGNANT! I chuckled at this because, really, there was no way I could be pregnant. I would know, right?

My suspicions were correct. I was not pregnant. To be sure what we were looking at I was scheduled for some blood tests and an ultrasound. What the doctor did say was a little shocking. My uterus was the size of someone who was 5 months pregnant and what he felt inside of me was really large. Now I understood the pregnancy test!

The next day I had all of the testing done. Diagnosis: at least 3 fibroid tumors the size of large grapefruits that needed to come out and I would need a hysterectomy. I was then sent to a surgeon who agreed that these would need to be removed immediately. At this point all of my other organs and their functions were in good shape and the cancer screening blood test came back normal. Whew! So now what?

The surgeon explained to me that because I had no previous history or record of these fibroids it would be very risky to remove them the new and improved modern, less painful way…robotically. This is where I tell all of my women friends out there that you really should go see your doctor every year for routine check-ups! It was not the size of the tumors that made the less-invasive surgery difficult, but if any of these tumors were cancerous, my body would be exposed and the cancer would likely spread. This was really a no-brainer…I would have a traditional hysterectomy.

The day of my surgery, everything went very smoothly and the hospital was very nice and the staff was very attentive and helpful. After surgery I had a private room (in fact all the rooms at this hospital are private). I had no complications, the tumors were benign and I was able to leave after a two night stay.

It has been about a week and a half since my surgery. I am up and moving around, enjoying a lunch out or a coffee at Starbucks. I am taking it easy, but I have to say that I am surprised at how quickly I am healing. What I am left with is a thankful heart that I was able to have this procedure here in the United States, and a great sadness at the state of medical care in Burkina Faso. We have endured much frustration over this subject as we have seen people die first-hand because of lack of knowledge and training, little to no equipment and resources, or facilities that are too far to reach. The contrast between countries is overwhelming.

After my recovery period we will board a plane and head back to our home in Burkina. Despite the hurdles and obstacles we face, we know that we are home there. There is no greater joy when God uses us to love, assist, clothe, feed and bring healing to his children. And though there are hardships, there are also huge victories!
God Bless!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Could You Say "No" to This Face?

Oh my, how I am missing all of the babies right now!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Maybe You Are The Family He Needs!

Hello, I am 10 years old and I enjoy art, woodworking and spending time with my friends. I would love to be a part of a family.

This adorable, young boy was abandoned on the side of the road when he was just five years old. For the past five years he has called an orphanage in Burkina Faso "home". We know that he has a hearing impairment, but the severity is unknown. As a result he hasn't developed his speech and communicates with simple hand signs. Unfortunately, due to his impairments he hasn’t had the opportunity to attend school. In spite of these limitations he is successful in communicating and interacting with others. He is described as delightful, cooperative and creative by his caregivers.

Perhaps you have a place in your family for him or maybe you know someone who would open their heart and home to him.

For more information visit, select Africa then click on Burkina Faso to review the program profile. For additional information contact Gay Knutson at or call 360-452-4777. Be sure to reference case #83.


Friday, April 26, 2013

From Trash to Treasure...Creative Solutions

One of the first thing you notice here, and in most 3rd world countries, is the problem of trash. It's everywhere! There is no government way of handling trash, no garbage trucks, no trash collection, nothing. So, it just piles up on the streets and even in the trees! Each family is responsible for their own trash and usually you can see smoke billowing all over town at dusk when piles of trash are being burned.

It's unfortunate, but the people have been conditioned to just drop their trash wherever they are. Everything sold here is placed in black plastic bags (sachets) and these are what you mostly see all over.

Plastic bags blown into the trees

There have been efforts from groups to help eliminate the tossing of sachets by placing garbage cans and signs in different locations. Most plastic bottles are reused by women who either sell beverages in them or liquid soap that they make. Many other containers are used to start plants for gardens. Personally I like to see what the kids come up with. I have seen bracelets made from pen caps, shoes made from boxes, and a variety of different toys fashioned from bits of this and that.

Hats made from discarded boxes

Toy cars made from empty oil containers, broken branches and lids

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dress Up Fun

 We received a few gifts of children's costumes and made a dress-up trunk for the toddlers to have some creative play time. Much like our daughters when they were little, the orphanage kids loved trying on different things. I think they felt very fancy in their outfits. We actually had a hard time getting them to change back into their regular clothes!


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sugared Peanuts and Quality Time

On Saturday’s we usually have some of the kids from the orphanage visit us at our house and it is not unusual to find a few kids in the kitchen with me. Each week I invite two different kids to bake with me. We make cakes, cookies and other different treats together and then share what we made with everyone else. The kids really love it.

Baking Cinnamon Pull-apart Bread
Last week I was invited by one of our boys (pictured above) to cook with him in the orphanage kitchen. This consists of pots over a fire with various sticks. To adjust the heat you just add or remove sticks. Ingenious!
The African Kitchen

We made a traditional treat called Sugared Peanuts or Arachide Sucre. You can buy these in bags all over Burkina and they are addictively delicious. And now I can make them myself and I am sharing the directions with you if you would like to try making them as well.
First you start out with shelled peanuts. We had about 5 cups of peanuts. Place these in a pot and add water. Just enough to cover the top of the peanuts. Turn on the heat. Add sugar. We used about 1 ½ cups. Stir well over the heat until it starts to boil. Cover the pot and simmer. Check to see if the water is evaporated. When water is gone start stiring with a wooden spoon and keep stirring until peanuts develop a sugary hard coating. Take pot off the heat, pour peanuts into a heat safe bowl and let cool.

We're Cooking Now!

It was a lot of fun trying out the African kitchen and letting one of our kids teach me something. As usual, we shared our snack with everyone!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The 3 B's - Beauty, Burkina, Banfora

After having three groups come and stay back to back and a large gift distribution to plan, shop for and hold we were ready for a little rest. We decided to take a family vacation to Banfora which is an 8 hour drive to the southwest region of Burkina.

We made no reservations, just packed up the car and went. We reached Banfora in the late afternoon and the place we were planning to stay had no rooms available. We proceeded to three other establishments until we found a place to stay. Apparently there is a lot of construction in the area and the hotels are chock full of workers! Anyhow we were very happy with our hotel which had a pool and air conditioning...what more do you need when outside temps are 105 degrees?

The next morning we had breakfast at a place called relation to the fast food chain (there are no fast food chains in all of Burkina). It was an interesting place loaded with paintings all done by a local artist and good food choices. I had Cafe au Lait and French Toast topped with Mango Jam...yum! As you can see from the sign and numerous signs throughout Banfora, this town loves Disney. We counted over 15 paintings of Mickey and his friends!

We bought picnic supplies and headed out to find the famous Domes. We took no guide with us...we just followed general directions given in a guide book, stopped and asked local people, made a few wrong turns...but that's all part of the adventure. We never would have come across these strange items (elephant eggs?) if we had a guide.

Finally at the Domes! We did a lot of hiking, climbing, scrambling around on these odd geological rock formations. The only other place to have formations like these is in Australia. We swear that Mike found a lion paw print in the sand, but we never saw any animals while we were there.

After the Domes we left to find the Cascades. Again, we made many u-turns and complete circles driving through fields of sugarcane until we found the entrance. There was much climbing to different levels where each view was more spectacular than the last. We cooled off in pools of rushing water. It was a great time.

The following day we set out to find the Hippo Lake in Tengrela. We didn't think we were going to find this one, but we persevered and what should have been a 20 minute drive was over an hour until we found our destination. So glad we stuck it out because this was definitely another highlight of our trip. Our guide helped us into a wooden boat which we had to bail water out of first and then paddled us out onto the peaceful lake full of lily pads. He told us there were about 30 hippos living in two herds. We continued across the lake and then spotted them. About 15 hippos swimming in the water. Very cool! Afterwards our guide made necklaces and crowns for us from the flowers in the lake.

We had a very relaxing and fun adventure together that we will never forget!