After 28 hours, 3 continents and 8 lost bags we arrived at our first night’s lodging in Nairobi, the Chak Guest House (Christian Health Association of Kenya) with only our carry-ons. My team members, Pastor Lynn Renne, Sylvia Richert, Larry Driscoll, and my husband, George Relyea ran the gauntlet from Evansville, USA to Amsterdam, Holland (Netherlands), and finally to Nairobi, Kenya. Our jumbo KLM jet landed at 9:30 p.m. Kenya time which is 1:30 a.m. Evansville time. From Evansville to Kenya we traveled through 8 times zones over 8,112 miles, 4 jets and a lack of sleep I haven’t experienced since cramming for finals at Murray State University way back in the day! Our driver, Moses met us at the airport last night along with his friend, Frank. They gathered us weary travelers into the van sans most of our luggage and all of our eye exam equipment! Hopefully those pieces will show up here at CHAK this morning as promised by the airlines.
After falling into that very welcome bed we crashed for the night to be awaken by the strange sounds of some of Africa’s bird life, barking dogs and the sounds of the city waking up all around us. Nairobi is home to over 3 million people, just a bit larger that Chicago. What I could see of the city in those late night hours was many familiar companies and of course, MacDonalds and KFC. America leaves its mark everywhere!
This morning, we prepare for the journey to our first medical camp at Ekerenyo. There is a map of our path on this blog just to help you locate our team as we move. Before we head out we will visit a Kenyan United Methodist church, located in the Lavington neighborhood, but I have already been to church on this very chilly Kenyan winter morning. As we enjoyed our breakfast 2 beautful young women came through the dining room to invite us to their service upstairs. Just WOW! They sang with such exuberance, such delight that I was swept up in the music and in their infectious charm. Some of the praise songs were familiar but others were new and completely engaging. I particularly enjoyed “Jesus, you are the king of Zion. Jesus you are Judah’s lion.” With “Zion” and “lion” pronounced “zi-own,and “li-own”. Out of nowhere one of the lovely lead singers began YOU RAISE ME UP! Perfect song for a Sunday service.
Pastor Lynn’s good friends Peter and Irene Mageto met us at their home church in Nairobi, Lavington United Methodist .Their family lived in Evansville several years while Peter completed his doctorate and his wife earned her degree in nursing . They are lovely people just as we’re all the people at Lavington Methodist . Words fail to describe the hospitality here. Our team has been bathed in welcome at every turn. The warmth of the people is contagious.
End of the day…still missing 8 bags, we made it across hundreds of miles of the most incredible landscape imaginable,weaving through head on traffic like an Indy NASCAR racer, with our driver ,Moses, confidently at the wheel. We whipped to the side of the road to take in the jaw-dropping views of The Great Rift which stretches from the Holy Land all the way across Africa. Grand as our Grand Canyon yet ultterly different . Google it to learn the story. Wow!
After fields is zebra,herds of goats and ramshackled villages, one upon the other, we made it to our hotel just as night closed in. We are in Nakuru at last. Exhausted and grateful for all I have experienced thus far, we enjoyed a late supper then collapsed into bed, mind spinning with visions of Kenya.