Captain’s Log-20 September 2012-Celebration in Lamu: 40 Years of Marriage to My Lovely Wife, Cher

Beautiful Dhows in the evening light off Lamu Island ,Kenya

Cher and I really enjoy celebrating our love and after 40 years we took off to the Kenya coast for a holiday with family and then a week alone on Lamu Island…if you can be alone in a town.  It was fabulous from the boat ride over to the ride back in a boat right out of The African Queen.  One of the things we have learned from years of watching people come out to Africa and traveling from game park to game park is that you can spend all your time traveling and not too much of it resting and really seeing what is there.  So we have taken to going one place at a time and being there long enough to really absorb it.  And Lamu is a great place to absorb!  It is an old city for Africa and steeped in history.

Lamu’s old Stone Town from our veranda at Subira House behind the Arab fort where men play drafts in the shade of the parapets of ancient walls.

It was built before cars and the streets are too narrow for even one, so donkeys are the transport through the narrow passages.  We stayed behind the old Arab fort in beautiful Subira House, owned by a Swedish couple, Christina and Paul, who have made it a continuing piece of the history of the island.  The former home of the governor it has been renovated in the Swahili style to perfection.

The dining area at Subira off of the flowered courtyard.

We were on  the top floor where the verandah gave us a lovely view of the old fort and the ocean and one of the main little streets in town where men gathered in the late afternoons to play drafts, donkeys carried woven basket loads of sand and cement to a building project and the fruit and vegetable market bustled.  We had been told that it was dirty in

One of the magnificent doors Lamu is famous for. I would love one at my house. They can take months of carving to finish but are amazing.

the city and you might have to dodge the odd pile of donkey droppings, but the culture was fascinating to us and we loved being submerged in it.  The streets are edged with straight walls that usually go at least 2-3 stories straight up giving you the impression that you are in a deep valley or almost like a cave sometimes.  But the doors are magnificently carved and I spent much of my time taking pictures of them.  When you walk though them to the inside there is usually a greeting area and then a courtyard opened to the sky.  Plants and climbing vines give a clean and airy feeling and inside is where everything is to one’s personal taste and under his control.
We ate sea food and, as this is a very Muslim area, there was juice instead of alcohol. We enjoyed fresh mango and lime and tamarind juices and there were too many choices that kept us amazed and refreshed.

Cher touches one wall while leaning against the wall on the other side of the street.

We walked the town streets, shops, and markets just looking and talking to people who, to a man, told us “Karibu…”, we were welcome there and they were happy we came.  We felt almost protected by the whole population.  Of course, there are people who offer you boat rides and donkey rides and other entertainment but most people just wanted to say we were welcome there and we really felt it.
We took a dhow sailing one afternoon with Captain Bubu and his two young grandkids, both named Mohammed, and nephew, Achmed.  I had asked Captain Bubu to teach me how to sail his dhow and he gladly obliged.  My Stetson hat blew off as I was steering across a stiff wind and, before I could open my mouth, Achmed made a beautiful dive into the ocean and retrieved the hat, using it as a scoop to help him get it back to the dhow that was quickly leaving him behind.

Achmed “Blacki” and one of the Mohammeds set the sail as captain Bubu teaches me the fine points of sailing a dhow.

A dhow off the bow of ours as we sail through the calm waters off Lamu.

I swung the boat around to dump the wind from the sail and let him catch us up.  We sailed along the mangroves full of bee eaters and other lovely birds at “magic hour”.  That time when the light is just perfect for photos.  Then we turned back toward Lamu Island just as the sun started to set and we enjoyed sailing through a liquid sunset back to the old city.
We were sitting in the Moonrise Restaurant having our last seafood lunch before we left and said to each other that this had truly been a perfect time for us.  Rest, relaxation, great food, interesting culture, and each other.  How do you beat that?  It just keeps getting better all the time.  Thank you, Cher, for a great life together.

I laugh as the two Mohammeds try to learn to take off their fingers and get coins out of each others ears under my instruction.

Cher in the sunset as we return to Lamu after a memorable day.

Donkeys carry heavy loads of rubble from down the street on the shore line of Lamu.

Cher and I agree that this was a perfect holiday and we are blessed to still be in love after 40 years.

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14 Responses to Captain’s Log-20 September 2012-Celebration in Lamu: 40 Years of Marriage to My Lovely Wife, Cher

  1. Carlos says:

    Hello, Mi Name is Carlos, I used to fly Helio Couriers for JAARS in Colombia, I am now living in the US and flying King Airs.. How can contact Mr Jon Cadd??

  2. Paul says:

    Many congratulations Jon and Cher. Looks like you had a great time in Lamu. I wanted to reach there last year but only managed to head as far north as Malindi due to time constraints. I think I missed something really special and a return visit could prove worthwhile ?! Hope things have settled in Lamu since the kidnapping. Safe travels. Take care.

    • jcadd says:

      Hey Paul, We heard a lot about that everywhere but Lamu where we felt totally protected by the whole population. They were really happy that we were there and made us feel that. We were there over 9/11 and didn’t get any sense that there was any problem at all. Go! It was great!

  3. Hannah says:

    Congratulations John & Cher on your 40th wedding Anniversary! Love from the Van de Ruit family (and a huge hug from Caleb!)

    • jcadd says:

      Hey Hannah and all the Van de Ruit’s! Lovely to hear from you. Thanks so much. We miss you guys and sharing wildlife experiences with Caleb and you all.
      blessings on you, Jon and Cher

  4. Dave Edden says:

    Hey Jon & Cher, First of all many, many makorokoto’s for 40 wonderful years.. You are both so special to Chrissie and I and we miss you guys. The photo’s are beautiful and we can see why you chose to go there and celebrate. Loads of love.. D & C

    • jcadd says:

      Dave and Chrissie, you guys also have a very special place in our hearts. We often long to come and see all our great friends there. Maybe someday soon. Blessings on you! Jon and Cher

  5. LuAnne Cadd says:

    Ahhhhhh. This is so lovely!! And Lamu looks as wonderful as I remember it.

  6. Jenn says:

    Awww….so sweet! Congrats you two! What a way to celebrate. : ) God bless!

    • jcadd says:

      Thanks Jenn, Sweet is not the word that jumps to my mind when I think of Cher and me. Durable, tough, strong, intense are more in my mind. What ever words you use, it is worth celebrating. Jon

  7. Joni Germann says:

    Hey Jon and Cher, many great storys and fun but also many deep and haevy things you could tell
    in al these years. But i’m shure the greatest thing is Gods and your LOVE in these 40 Years. We have now 29 years and it’s still fine to be on the way together and with our Lord Jesus. Be blessed
    an congratulation. God would further guide you. Beautiful pictures.
    Many greatings your friends Joni + Sylvia

    • jcadd says:

      hey Joni and Silvia, You are right that there is more to the story that just the fun and great stories. God’s grace on us and submitting to his plans for a good marriage make all the difference. Dying to our selfish ways and living for the other is un-natural and needs a supernatural touch to work. We are committed to this. We have seen each others “crazy” and aren’t going anywhere. Still in love! Jon

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