I've enjoyed lots and lots of laughter in the past two days. I really do love God's sense of humor. And does he ever have a sense of humor!
Yesterday, Karen and I were to drive from Nairobi. I also offered a ride to a young APU student who happened to be in Eldoret and was heading to Nairobi, so we started the day in ELI's Isuzu Trooper, driving through little rivers - or so it seemed - to town. We had had lots and lots of rain the night before, and everything was flooded! (I kept waking up in the night wondering if the kids down the road are warm enough!) Anyway, in town we got matatu (taxi minibus) tickets to Nakuru, where my car would be waiting for us. The three-hour drive over potholed roads in a van with very little seat padding was bearable, knowing my Land Rover's waiting in Nakuru...
After waiting for the mechanic to bring the car to a hotel where the shuttle dropped us off, the guy called to say he has bad news . . . as he was driving to meet us, he heard a funny noise in the gearbox!! He said he'd like to take another look at it. Though my immediate thought was "Crisis! No!", I remained unusually calm and decided I'll simply let the mechanic solve the problem. Which he did. He offered a few solutions, none of which would've worked since I had two guests with me and one on her way, so he finally offered us his Land Rover pickup for the journey.
However, his dad was out on "field service" with this car, so he called his dad, who was near Nairobi at the time to say turn back. He gave us their dinky Suzuki (no shocks, small) which they call "The Donkey" and we drove it for the next 90 minutes on the worst stretch of the road with more potholes and detours. But Karen, Ryan and I laughed so much, we hardly realized how long the bumpy ride was! Karen tried several times to take photos out the window of the flamingos on the lakes, but we'd bounce around so much, her pictures were usually of the car roof or the door! Fortunately, when we passed a herd of zebra on the road, there were no trucks behind us, so we could pull over so she could take a decent picture.
Finally, our paths crossed with Baba Riaz, about half way between Nakuru and Nairobi. We switched cars, getting into our fourth vehicle for the day, and laughed even more for the rest of the journey! Riaz is Indian and probably in his mid 30s, and his car is TOTALLY SOUPED UP. It's really not the car in which you'd expect two sort-of-middle-aged white women to be sitting in the front seats. People would gawk at the car, and then to a double-take when they notice it's not a young guy behind the wheel! The only music in the 12-CD changer is Hindi pop music and Hindi love songs, and with a sound system that could broadcast music to all the neighbors, we had quite a cross-cultural experience.
As I drove Karen and Laura around Nairobi today, we continued to have the same reaction from people around us. Young boys would stare. Men would stare. Security guards would hang around close to the vehicle in the parking lots, not to guard it, but to appreciate the sight, I believe. One such guy gave us a huge smile and a thumbs up, saying, "Poa kabisa!" (Totally cool!)
It's been really funny to me to drive into Mayfield, the missionary guest house where we're staying... There are many Land Rovers around, but none look like that one! One missionary looked at me today and said in a monotone voice, "Wow. Is that your car?" I love joking around and saying, "Yeah! Do you like it?"
Anyway, the car will remain here for the next two days as I accompany Laura on a breakaway to celebrate her big 4-0. I am looking forward to the time of R&R. On Sunday, we'll come back here, get the Bling Mobile, and drive back to Nakuru. Please join us in praying that my car will be ready then and we can take it the rest of the way to Eldoret!
Before I head to bed: For those of you who are following The Adventures of Flannel, she's doing OK. My colleague Kierra is babysitting for me, and is enjoying the time in my studio cottage in Kipkaren with the purr ball. And Flannel's loving Kierra. But aparantly, she really is missing me. God's truly blessed me through this little ball of love.