We Have Arrived in Kenya
JAMBO (Hello in Swahili): We’ve arrived in Kenya. All of our flights were on time and we were able to get some sleep during travel. Since we speak a bit of Swahili we proceeded through customs and immigration without any problems. Our driver was waiting for us holding a big "RITT" sign.
We spent 3 nights in Nairobi at a Catholic (Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood) guesthouse across the street from the Nairobi mosque. We were serenaded by Muslim calls to worship which began early in the morning just as the first light was breaking and continued throughout the day. The main road to central Africa goes right by the guesthouse and since there is no a/c we had to keep our windows open and the traffic noise was indescribable. Also, at this time of year, the mosquitoes are quite bothersome. They decided to "dive bomb" us at 3am in the morning. We were able to do some grocery shopping while in Nairobi for our stay in the countryside. One of the items we purchased was an electric mosquito (mbu) paralyzing apparatus. It has worked very well so far.
Our driver was supposed to pick us up at 9am on Sunday morning for our trip to Eldoret/RITT (Reformed Institute for Theological Training). This is about a 6+ hour trip. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, he did not arrive to pick us up until after 4pm. EAWA (East Africa Wins Again). As we were driving we came to the area north of Nairobi that is known as the area of the "Fever Trees." The British camped under these trees while traveling in Kenya and always got sick afterward with fevers, etc. They had no idea that the malaria mosquitos (mbu) lived in and under these Acacia trees. Consequently, they always got malaria after camping there. The roads are not too safe at night but we arrived safely at RITT after 10:30pm. The roads are horrendous and we were jostled and bumped about for almost the whole trip. There is no possible way to describe these roads other than saying that driving in the ditch is the smoothest part of the road.
It is good to be back at RITT. Margaret, our house staff person, was anxiously awaiting our return. The house was clean and the freshly made beds were very inviting. It was wonderful to sleep with no traffic noise and in the morning we were awakened by the beautiful songs of Kenya’s colorful birds.
Our first morning was spent unpacking and organizing our materials. In the afternoon we met for a few hours with Ariko, RITT’s principal, talking about what had transpired since our departure and about the future plans for the library and school. We felt that we accomplished a lot our first day here.Tuesday we walked the ¼ mile to the school and looked over the new library in preparation for moving into it next week. We then met with Priscilla, our library assistant, discussing what had gone on in our absence and what immediate plans were for moving. Priscilla is working on a Library Science diploma and then hopes to get a degree in Library Science after that. She is a very intelligent, bright young lady. Ray meets this afternoon with the people who are supplying furniture and bookshelves. The library shelving and some tables and desks should arrive this coming Monday.
Diesel is very expensive here in Kenya. Since we are renting a Toyota Land Cruiser and pay by the kilometer, we are very careful how far we drive. The cost for 1 litre of diesel is about 72 shillings - which equals one US dollar. So for an imperial gallon we pay about $4.00. Each time we drive to town for supplies or to use the Internet Cafe it costs us about $20.00.
Our first school week at RITT has gone very well.