Surprise anniversary trip to Mombasa

Last Sunday (October 19th) marked our first full year of marriage, and it was better than I ever could have imagined.

The beauty of simplicity

Before I divulge the details, let me give some quick background info.

Ray and I spent this first year of marriage pursuing a life of simplicity, a lifestyle I tried to pursue in the States but not to this degree. It wasn’t until it came time to move and I had to fit my most prized belongings into a few suitcases and either sell, give away, or trash the rest that I was truly able to let go of possessions I once thought I couldn’t live without.

Starting over in Kenya was the perfect opportunity for Ray and me both to really learn what it’s like to live simply. With only two sufurias (cooking pots) and a skillet, a propane tank for cooking, just enough furniture and dinnerware to host four people, enough clothes to last us two weeks, no television, and no refrigerator, I’d say we’ve got this simplicity thing down fairly well.

It truly has shown me how much I really can do without and has encouraged me to spend less time chasing after possessions, though Lord knows I still have my moments of looking longingly at some of the dresses in the shops around town.

A pleasant, unexpected surprise

Ray and I had agreed that because we were pursuing a life of simplicity, we wouldn’t make holidays a big deal. Of course I secretly wanted him to make a big deal about our anniversary, but quality time is one of my love languages, so I was fine with something small as long as Ray and I were able to do something together. I thought we were just going to go to a fancy restaurant or something. I honestly had no idea what Ray had been saving up for or what he had planned.

A few days before our anniversary he told me that I would need to pack for a four day vacation and that *gasp* I could bring my shorts. If you’ve followed our blog for a while, you know how exhilarating of a statement that was for me.

Then the night that we were to leave he handed me the bus tickets to keep in my purse, and like an idiot I just put them away and went about my business. He had to prod me, “Look at where they say we’re going.” Once I saw Mombasa, I inhaled with elation and exhaled a bit of terror, which continued for the next ten minutes or so.

I had been begging Ray to take me to Mombasa since we arrived in Kenya, so I couldn’t believe he had actually made it happen, but several months ago the embassy placed a ban on the island for Americans because Al Shabbab had been going on killing sprees and Americans are obvious targets. It’s a good thing I’m a Black American though. I blend in. Anyway, it’s been quiet there for quite some time now, we weren’t anywhere near where the other incidents had occurred, and it’s off peak season, so there aren’t many tourists in the area at all. Ray assured me that everything would be all right, and once I calmed my nerves I let the excitement overtake me again.

Okay, so enough talk. Let me just share some highlights from the extended weekend. If you want to check out more, we’ve uploaded an album of photos to our Facebook page, From Kansas to Kenya with Love.



 First, Ray had booked us into the Cowrie Shell Beach Apartments for three nights.

beach view

The beach was right in our backyard.

Our room was pretty cool too.


I think I contained my excitement pretty well.

growing excitement

Until I realized we had use of a full sized fridge which meant I could actually have cold milk with cereal and hoard a stash of yogurt.

 happy hippo

Even though we had gotten on the bus at 10pm and got off at 9am with the typical quality of sleep one can get on such modes of transportation, we were too excited to sleep, so we went straight out to the beach to play.



Ray's idea of fun

Ray’s idea of fun


After a few hours we went to the supermarket, stocked the fridge, and Ray cooked dinner while I napped (he cooked every day we were there, by the way. He wouldn’t let me do anything.)

The next morning, the day of our anniversary, we swam in the ocean and then set out for go kart racing (I lost, badly).

We were forced to wear these shoes, btw.

We were forced to wear these shoes, btw.

 And then he took me to a floating, yeah I said floating, restaurant called The Moorings.

The Moorings restaurant


Monday, we got to visit with a friend I haven’t seen since 2006. She and I had met on a Teen Mania mission trip to South Africa, and then almost ten years later we discover that we’re both living in Kenya married to African men. We had a great time with Laura and Abdi and we’re looking forward to seeing them again in the near future.

The last morning of our stay we woke up early to catch the sunrise.

sunrise Indian Ocean

This has no filter or editing, btw.



It was sad to bid Mombasa goodbye, but I am so grateful for the time we were able to spend there. Ray and I never got a real honeymoon, so this surprise was above and beyond anything I could have imagined.

Guess this puts the pressure on since his birthday is in less than two weeks!

20 Replies to “Surprise anniversary trip to Mombasa”

  1. Kelly

    Ah! so lovely! I’m so happy you got to runaway to the coast for your anniversary. And I totally can understand your excitement over the refrigerator! Haha. What I wouldn’t do for even like a little dorm fridge.

    • Sambrosia Wasike Post author

      Right?! I had truly forgotten how amazing it is to have a little ice box. People shouldn’t get as excited I was over the fact that I could put meat in the freezer and then thaw it in the fridge the next day before we cooked it. That was seriously a highlight for me.

    • Sambrosia Wasike Post author

      Thanks! Yeah, he did a pretty good job on that one. 😉 Mombasa is gorgeous and super cheap. The whole trip (including transport, food, accommodation, and recreation) only cost us like $700. Okay, well it’s cheap if you already live in Kenya. ha

  2. Rebecca

    How fun!! What a beautiful area of the world!! Thank you so much for sharing with us! I am stopping by for the first time from The Peony Project link up and am so excited that I did! I can’t wait to visit more often here and get to know you more!
    🙂 Rebecca

    • Sambrosia Wasike Post author

      Hey Rebecca,
      It’s so nice to meet you. Love Peony Project and I love the photos on your blog. Looking forward to staying in touch. 🙂

      • Michaela

        Sam I’m so glad you were able to have a wonderful surprising anniversary! What a way to commemorate your year of so much change. Thanks so much for regularly writing on the blog. Your posts are often challenging, funny, and convicting and sometimes all three.
        By the way, are you doing your hair differently?

        • Sambrosia Wasike Post author

          Thanks, Michaela. You’re so sweet.

          I’m not really doing too much different to my hair. I switch between having it in twists for a few days and slapping gel on it so I can wear it down. I did have a routine with shea butter, but then I ran out, so I’ve been trying to find other options. What are you doing with yours these days?

          • Michaela

            I usually wear it in twists, then fro it about once or twice a week. I really like wearing headbands and flowers with mine.

            • Sambrosia Wasike Post author

              Yeah, I’ve noticed that in most pictures I’ve seen of you there’s a cute flower accessory in your hair. It’s cool that you can wear it in twists now. Is it growing pretty well?

  3. Yulunda

    Hello Beautiful Soul –

    Nobody better for this wonderful surprise. It looked as though you true had an ahhmazing time and I can feel the love oozing through the computer.

    Happy Anniversary Lady!


  4. joy

    waoh! happy anniversary guys.been following your blog but never really commented…. God’s blessings on your marriage

    • Sambrosia Wasike Post author

      Well thanks for taking the time to comment, Joy. We really appreciate it, and thank you for your kind words. God bless you too!


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