Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hogsback at its finest

This a picture of kids enjoying a break after a short hike to swallow tail waterfall. It was great to give these kids a piece of my joy; that being the outdoors.

UNO the international card game

This is Dom and I playing UNO with a couple of kiddos on break.


This is my group of kiddos at Hobbiton doing a group dynamics exercise.

Blessed by Steve

Picture of Jesse and I being blessed by newly ordained Steve.

Ordination of Steve in Clerksdorp


Bulungula is amazing backpackers on the Wild Coast. 40% is owned by locals, and the locals do tours, cook etc. It has a very chill vibe. Most electricity is solar power. We went canoeing, and swimming and sun burning.

Back from travels

I just returned from a two week run of travels. School ended on the 28th of November. I moved out of my apartment and into a new one on the 29th, then visited a friend in Umtata 4 hours north where we spent the weekend on the beach at Bulungula on the wild coast. Amongst the highlights was the unfortunate sunburn of Megan who fell asleep in the sun, canoeing up an inlet, and being offered sexual services by a local for 8 rand. I quickly declined the offer.

Following the weekend retreat I volunteered at itipini the place where Jesse works (another volunteer also going to Uganda). Working at the clinic was very moving. The living conditions of folks there is astounding. The health of the dogs was the most worrying, while the people seemed somewhat healthy, the dogs were skin and bones with hair missing. They were almost like large rats. I attended a funeral of a missionary in Umtata. While I did not know the man, I was very inspired by his work and love for his patients and drive and passion to see god's work done. The man was a spinal surgeon, and a professor at the local university and father, and helped start and run the aids clinic I helped at.

From Umtata I went with Jesse and Megan to Klerksdorp. This was a 11 hour drive that we broke up into two days there and drove the whole way back. Another volunteer and friend Stephen was being ordained a priest, a culmination of 7 some odd years of university and seminary. It was great to be a part of his big day.

We then drove back to hogsback a mountainous region of the eastern cape where I helped as an instructor at a camp "Hobbiton". Hogsback is where J.R.R. tolkien got many ideas for his setting of Lord of the Rings. I spent 4 days with kiddos from the grahamstown shelter. What an amazing opportunity to get kids out of their environment to see new possibilities.

I will post pictures when the computer is less funky. I will spend the rest of my week in Grahamstown then head for Uganda from December 28th to the 10th of January.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Guitar Lessons with Andrew

Here is something funny: most of my pictures are taken while I am wearing the same sea foam green shirt. Andrew is my guitar teacher. We meet every Wednesday at 12:45 on High Street.


This picture does not do justice to how beautiful the Jacaranda trees are when in bloom in Grahamstown. If you get above the valley you can look over grahamstown and see this amazing view of little clouds of purple dotting the town.

Look at my big black bass!

High Veld

This is a picture of what the high veld looks like. Farming at 6,000 feet elevation on rolling hills/mountains.

Matt Kellen

This is a photo of my buddy Jason, Joanne's Grandfather and I doing grandfatherly things on the farm in the high veld. Jason is reading the paper, I am doing a sudoku, and Grandpa is building a fire. I always said I was ahead of my time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello all,
Well, it was a pleasant thanksgiving here in Grahamstown. My digs (house) mates had a thanksgiving dinner in my honor, which was spectacular. I missed home a lot and phoned home at 12:00 pm. I carved the chicken, and helped eat the pumpkin pie. I also tossed the football with Simon a 13 year old in the house I am staying at. I also tried to teach him cribbage..... the card game my grandpa, uncles and father play every thanksgiving.

Matt Kellen

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This is a picture of some of the boys and me at our after school program by the monastary.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Matt Kellen: Kudu Rescuer

There I was climbing atop a Mountain in the mid-morning in the Karoo. (The Karoo is the bush of South Africa near Cradock in the Eastern Cape, not unlike the rolling hills of Montana or South Dakota with the exception of the wild life: zebra, kudu, springbuk, waterbufallo and the like.) As I scrambled up a rock outcrop, I noticed what looked like a deer leg raised at an awkward angle, then chaos ensued. A female kudu jumped to life straining against the barbed wire fence its back leg was caught in. Shane, a survival expert who was on our trip stradled the fence and hugged the kudu forelegs while I held fast to the free back leg to avoid a thrashing of its hoof. Our first plan was to push the kudu back towards the fence to then free the tangled hind leg. Thinking quickly another plan formed. I shouted to another hiker to pull my gerber multi tool from the top of my pack. With quick surgical precision, I proceeded to cut the barbed wire from around the now exhausted Kudu hind leg. Holding both hind legs, both Shane and I let go of the Kudu at the same time giving her plenty of room to get up. With limping back leg, the Kudu scrambled down the rocky cleft to safety. Just another day in the life of Matt Kellen Kudu Rescuer.

I make it sound intense and a little over dramatic, but hey it was pretty cool to hug a Kudu (not unlike a large mule deer with funky horns. My friend Kim would not be impressed. She hates deer.

Matt Kellen

Friday, July 27, 2007

Word of the week


This is how you say hello when addressing a group of people in xhosa. I have just registered for a class at the local college for learning the xhosa language. I have already started using classroom words like work, and finish, and thank you. So good.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Summit of Mt. Adams

This is an overly pretentious picture, but I thought it looked pretty cool. I climbed Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Hellen's and Mt. Hood in May and June. The mountains were not super technical, but definitely grinding and enduring. They were great introductions to the mountaineering experience.

To look at more photos of my adventures in "My Photo Album", look in the right hand column for a link to connect you to more photos.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Dinner In Manhattan

Originally uploaded by matt_special_k
This was on one of our evenings in Manhattan eating in an authentic Spanish restaurant just off Time Square.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Day to Day.

Praise God on this glorious day in this concrete jungle in New York. Life is in the habits, routines and grind of our lives. Oswald Chambers in "My Utmost for His Highest" speaks of how the disciplines of our lives help to carry us through between the moments when we feel closest to God. I am by no means comfortable in saying I am overtly disciplined, but will continue to make effort to pursue God's will in the small actions. The scripture Chambers spoke from was from the first chapter of 2nd Peter a bold chapter encouraging Christians to follow Christ in all ways.

Matt Kellen