Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Random Thoughts

I'm still in Nairobi. Partly because I needed some time away from the village. That's for emotional health reasons. I need to get to the city every 2 months or so in order to feel normal--go out and read at a coffee shop, perhaps see a movie, get a haircut.

So I've been to the coffee shop a lot to sit and get work done. Haven't seen a movie since nothing good's showing. (Seriously! There are about 3 Bollywood movies showing, 2 kids' movies, and then stuff like "Thank you for smoking" and "Benchwarmers." Nah.)

I've met lots of cool people while at the missionary guest house. Some are missionaries who are heading back to Tanzania. Others are going home for furlough. There are some short-termers whom I've connected with. And there's an AIM TIMO team doing language study during the worst part of the Djibouti summer.

I laughed really hard with Janna, one of the Djibouti team members last night... She was searching online for a Somali Bible. Couldn't find anything online, except something in a language she didn't know. I went to see if I could help her. Turns out the site she found was Swedish. I can't say living with a Swedish roommate for 4 years helped. But somehow (perhaps because Swedish is close enough to German??) I was able to figure out the order for her. We laughed a LOT in the process, though, and I thought that I'm glad the order's on HER credit card... Not sure I'd order something from a Swedish Web site where I'm basically guessing what they're asking me. But I believe she'll be getting her Somali Bible from Sweden soon.

And I've been laughing a lot with some of the other missionaries who are my peers. It's sometimes really funny what we'd talk about. I think only when you live in a place like this do people discuss with total strangers their bowel movements and so on and so forth. I went to see a tropical disease doctor today, just for a check-up. (I'm OK. And no, I'm not planning on sharing the details here. May it suffice to say that it's not uncommon for people to have all kinds of intestinal worms here. And no, I don't have any.)

I also got my car serviced, which was no laughing matter. Just needed to get the shocks replaced, which is a pretty expensive deal since I put in heavy duty shocks. Combine the condition of our roads with the weight of my vehicle, and regular shocks simply won't cut it! What's great is that despite the fact that I've been driving in terrible mud and river-like roads, there was no mud or water in the dif. Nice. You have no idea how often I thank God for that car of mine!

Tonight, I had dinner in the city with the missions pastor from Christian Assembly and his wife. Saw this REALLY bizarre incident after picking them up at their hotel. It looked like some guy was mugging a lady and another lady was trying to help her friend. But the guy stepped away and it turned out that the two girls were fighting. Totally fighting! Pulling each other's hair type of fighting! They were all dressed up really nicely and in their early 20s. I have NO idea what was going on, and if the girls were his girl friends fighting, or perhaps prostitutes. Anyway. It was VERY un-Kenyan to see something like that, and very unsettling, too. One of the many reasons why I try and stay out of the city center!

Tomorrow, I'll be meeting up with an intern, then have a few other meetings (with our travel agents etc), and finally with other team members from teams passing through the city. On Thursday, I'll be driving back to Eldoret. On Friday, I'll be off to the mountains to meet with a lady who is caring for the orphans of her 3 older siblings who have all died of AIDS. She lives in a village where even the babies are addicted to alcohol... Toddlers are taken to bars in the mornings to get a cup of changaa (very strong home-made brew) so they'll sleep all day! The plan was to do an outreach in that village, but we're postponing it until after the rains have passed so we can show the Jesus film at night.

In other news...
It's been rather interesting being at the guesthouse this week as teams have been passing through. British Air has so far lost 10,000 bags, and many of the visitors arriving haven't received their luggage. It's been 5 days now for one team without much of their luggage... They've started using some of the clothes they've brought to give away at the slums!

The craziest story is of this one elderly British couple who had met a pastor some years ago and have since been traveling to Kenya every year to teach at his church in Nakuru. Due to the fact that they couldn't take anything but their travel documents aboard, they left his contact information in their luggage. But their luggage got lost! They went out to meet him at the airport, but told him they have to go back in to fill out the lost luggage claims. The line was very long, so three hours later, when they finally came back out, he had left! It was already after midnight... British Airways put them in a hotel for the night, and last night they came to Mayfield. Today, someone took them to Nakuru, which is about a 2-and-a-half hour drive from here. They don't think they know where his church is. They still don't have his name or number... Yikes!

On that note, I'm heading to bed. It's almost 1 am. Time to sleep. Tomorrow's another busy day. But a good one, I'm sure.


  1. You are kidding? How could they have lost 10,000 pieces of luggage! That would be a nightmare! Glad God is in control because obviously the airlines are not.

  2. No, I'm not kidding. Read about it on

    Can you imagine flying at this stage and not being allowed to take expensive equipment such as cameras and computers as carry-on luggage? BA has since changed their policy so you can now take a notebook computer bag on board, but when I took visitors to the airport last night, Kenya Airways still wouldn't allow travelers any carry-ons save their travel documents!