Would you plan a stay at a children’s home in Kenya to celebrate your 40th wedding anniversary? Not many people would think of doing this. But this couple from British Columbia, Canada did just that!

Jeannie and Harold Applin had done a fair amount of travel before this adventure, but never to Africa. However, typical for Jeannie, when she sets a goal, no matter what the obstacles, she will realize it! Being very organized is one of the reasons this happens. The plan: take what she needed to be able to put on a Canadian-style dinner for the whole Ngorika family: hamburgers, potato salad complete with a pumpkin pie for dessert.  To make a pumpkin pie meant she had to experiment with using an African pumpkin to make the filling. And yes, she was successful!

The Applins spent 10 days at Ngorika Children’s Home. Jeannie helped around the home, as well as a little in Peninah’s clinic. Harold, who is a handyman extraordinaire, helped David with “fix-it” tasks needing to be done at the home. One of these was to help repair the water line running from the water holding tanks. In addition, together Harold and Jeannie held down the fort for a couple of days in order to give David and Peninah the chance to have a much overdue get-away on their own. And of course, ever-thoughful, Jeannie helped in making someone’s birthday special for them by the purchase of a birthday cake just for them.

When their time to say farewell arrived, the successful forging of cross-cultural bonds can be summed up with Jeannie’s own words: “How do you come to love people so much in such a short period of time?”

What a meaningful way to celebrate your 40th wedding anniversary!