The morning we left Naivasha was full of good-byes, packing, and tying up loose ends. First we attended the staff devotions. The staff included the cook, maid and some of the foondies (construction workers) that lived in the worker house. Pastor Simon came to share. We started with some songs that some of us knew. Really, it was easier to hum along and pretend. As we sang, we shivered in the morning dew- it was actually 48F that morning; colder than most days.
Later we went up to the work site for the community center. We wanted to say goodbye to the foondies. We had all brought work gloves to use and when the foondies first saw some of us wearing them, they sort of picked fun at the guys because their hands weren't rough and blistered. We didn't think they would use them but we left them anyway. Well, they were wearing them that morning. :) Funny how things are more appreciated when one realizes how useful they are.
Our driver, John, picked us up at the meeting point in Naivasha town. We loaded up and drove up 2,000 feet of elevation. The scenery changed drastically from exotic plants and wild animals to cypress forests and winding roads. It was like driving through northern Michigan. The air was 10 degrees colder and it was raining off and on most of the morning. We were warned to bring a rain coat and sweatshirt... glad I did. I was pretty cold though.
We arrived in Kijabe after an hour or so to meet up with George and Joyce and the kids. George is a Psychology prof at Moffat Bible College as is Joyce.
They both grew up in Kenya, but moved to the States for about 10 years. They later felt called to come back to Kenya and they settled in this past August. We were taken on a tour of the campus where we saw three different hospitals.
One of them was called Cure which was for children.
There was another hospital and education center devoted to children with AIDS. The main hospital was for adults and children. George allowed us to walk through per request of one of our teammates. I was a little hesitant, but after seeing the people and their state of being, my heart sank. They were packed into rooms of 4-6 people. No privacy. No HIPPA. Babies were sitting on adult sized beds, in pain, crying and just longing to be held. My teammate was interested in getting involved in sending unused instruments and medical supplies to the hospital. The kits that Doctors use one item from and then discard for the reason of 'contamination' are still able to be used if sterilized. It was yet another reminder of how much we use in the States and how much we have at our disposal.
Later on we toured Rift Valley Academy (RVA). The campus was just gorgeous. The view from the soccer field was Mount Longanot and skies filled with cumulus clouds. From the moment we walked through the security gate into RVA, I felt like we were back in America. It was amazing. It really reminded me of the university campus I taught at in China. It was like our own little bubble.
That is exactly what RVA seemed to be, an American/Western bubble in the middle of Kenya. We walked inside of the gym and Kenya and any sign of Africa melted away. It was exactly like an American high school. The workers around the school were Kenyan, so there was still opportunity to mingle with the host culture.
We went back to the house for chai, the typical mid-morning and afternoon treat. We ended the evening hanging out with the kids while watching monkeys play in the backyard. A wonderful end to our first day in our new temporary home.