My husband has a way with words, which is good because his line of work requires it! Mike/Pastor Gurath's blog post from last night well detailed the happenings of our "Arrival Survival" and our first day in Nairobi...I'm not an eight-time veteran though, so I hope I can bring some fresh perspective!
While waiting in the line for our visas, I'm pretty sure that a good handful of fellow travelers asked me random questions that I didn't have a straight answer to (it's been a while since I've traveled internationally, let alone ever traveled to Africa), so I just looked up at Mike and he would kindly lead them in the right direction...we soon found that this was a trend. Looks like blondes have more fun AND are more approachable! After about an hour getting through the looooooong visa line and thankfully identifying that all our luggage had made it with us, Mike was quick to find Jemima's friendly face in a crowd of a couple hundred Kenyans trying to find their family, friends, clients, or new mega-church pastor. Yep, think Joel Osteen arriving in your hometown. Apparently there was a celebrity pastor that had arrived around the same time we did, and there were a ton of people there to greet him in his fancy suit. Jemima and her friend Joan graciously helped roll our luggage out to where they had parked after stopping at safaricom for the technological essentials and dropped us off at the hotel to get some rest.
Yesterday (Monday) we ventured off to breakfast at the guest house/hotel after sleeping in. We made it to the tail end of service time and had the whole dining area to ourselves, which is nice because that means less spectacle. Pancakes, potatoes, steamed cabbage, bread and jam, Spanish omelette, etc. were available - and we're enjoying taking advantage of the spread while in town! I finally got to meet Abdallah the driver after hearing funny anecdotes and videos of his jokes the last few years, and we made our way to the Lutheran Heritage Foundation to get some printed materials to share in the days ahead. It took a while to find the new location, but it was found with the help of Herbert, who helps run the place. We were blessed to miss the dreaded Nairobi jam on the way back and witnessed the other side of the road not experiencing the same. Naps and dinner followed where we met another wazungu that introduced himself as Mark, a guy from Tennessee who goes around doing medical camps and was in between sending teams off and picking up another at the airport. He gave us the lowdown of the room and shared that the Kenyan Junior Olympic team was also staying with us which explained all the kids coming in and out of the lobby in Nikes and wind breakers. We did some studying, social media updating and blog writing when we went back to the room and woke a few times early this morning for hunting the lone mosquito that made it through the net and the morning call to prayer at the mosque next door. Today is all about resting before we pick up the rest of our team tonight (Kirsten, Hannah and Jennifer) and head out to Kiisi town tomorrow. Hopefully I can share more photos as we go along - Mike has his camera for plugging in to the laptop for easy posting.
Many thanks to all for your continued prayers as everyone makes their way to their respective countries - may the Lord keep us in his care as we share his love (foreshadowing of our lesson series!) with so many in East Africa!