Kenya Trip Report – Part Two

(The first part of the trip report can be found by clicking this link)

Visiting Our Water Source from 2008

Uluru Spring, which I protected with a team in 2008
Uluru Spring, which I protected with a team in 2008

It occurred to me that it would be a good idea to go back to the spring that I protected with a team in 2008, my first trip to Kenya.  Mishael said it was very doable so we struck out on foot one morning for the site and made it there in 20 minutes or so.  What came with it was a flood of memories.  When we arrived at the spring, with it’s plaque – Uhuru – we came upon a young girl, maybe ten, who was filling two buckets with it’s yield.  It was good to see the spring was in good shape, and that it’s usefulness persisted.  It had been seven and a half years since we did our job there.  Apart from a little faded paint and such, it continued to function as well as ever.  We took her by surprise, as we did most children in Kenya.  I think my skin looks fluorescent to them.  She was, nonetheless, good humored.  After a few pictures and the feeling that someone had just walked over my grave, we surveyed the nearby fields, trees and relatives in the area that Mishael has called home all his life.  To have had the experience of protecting this water source in the first place was a huge blessing, and certainly an eye-opening, life altering event.  To have been able to visit it again reinforced it’s impact afresh.  It was almost like visiting a monument from a different age, at least in my life.

Heading Out for Tigoni

If you are going to ride the bus to and from Nairobi to the Tanzanian border at Isibania, brace yourself for a long journey.  It takes a ton of time with multiple stops on boarding, a stop for a break midway, and then, on the return trip, the long climb up the escarpment (hill) that leads you from the famously fertile Great Rift Valley into the Central Highlands of Kenya, which are beautiful, and, have quite a different climate.  I should have brought a sweater!

Pat Selvey had prepared to meet us near Tigoni, so we prepped the bus driver in advance and jumped out, glad to be free of that part of the journey and in the company of friends.  In a few minutes we arrived at Tigoni House – a name donned by Pat for the in country headquarters of Hydrating Humanity.  Pat, along with Matt Peterson and Josh Young, founded this clean water effort some years ago.  It is quite a welcoming place!  Grace, Pat’s wife and co-laborer in the effort, offered us the kindness of long awaited friends, complete with fluent Spanish, which I know was an added blessing to Israel.  Grace was raised as missionary’s child in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica.  Did I mention Guanacaste is one of my favorite places on Earth?

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Tigoni Tea Plantation – More than 100 years old….

Predictable internet and a warm sun welcomed us with open arms.  We relaxed and began to unwind from the whirlwind of movement the week prior had contained.  And we slept.. and ate, and enjoyed friends.

Nairobi

In what seemed to be a very short time we were headed into Nairobi on our departure day.  We had the great privilege of meeting up with friends who happened to be in Nairobi at the same time, and we talked, chatted and enjoyed good coffee and stories of a King and His approaching Kingdom, and our lives in His service.  God has arranged his Kingdom in such a way as to give relationships central importance.  I am thankful for that and blessed by it, beyond words.  The three hours passed like a moment.

With the help of Alfred, who drove us, we arrived plenty early for our early evening flight to Qatar.  We entered the queue, and, found out that Israel’s ticket had been purchased for the wrong day!  What was a bigger bummer yet is that the flights were too full to get him changed.  We parted ways at the check-in line, but not before another pleasant surprise!  A young woman named Celine that had spent time with our team in 2010 just happened to be in the check-in line!  Impossible!  What made it more impossible, she isn’t even living in Nairobi currently.  Mind = Blown.  Very good to see her and hear of her life since 2010.  Many changes and advancements for her, and we got to share in her joy!

A ten day trip to Kenya is a really short one… It takes two days to get there and two days to get home.  Keep that in mind for your future plans.  And now our minds contemplate returning to Kenya, with a team, in 2016….

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Young Muslim man who joined the pic with Veronica, my friend, in Nairobi
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Mishael and his step-mom, who greeted us on our return from visiting the Uluru spring.
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A dear friend who, in 2010, changed my perspective on Kenya forever
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Kathryn, Mishael’s youngest daughter, who is the name sake of my wife. She’s getting so big!
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Israel’s first experience with ugali…

 

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Mara Serena, where we had lunch midday of our game park day.

Farewell Israel! See you soon.
Farewell Israel! See you soon.

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