Our first full day in Kenya, and most of it had to do with (still) traveling to our destination. Adventures ahead!
Day 1 (in Country).
I awoke to stomach cramps, which, for me, is actually an expected side effect of being in a plane so long. I am also prone to elevation sickness, and all of that combined with jet lag and little sleep was a serious amount of adjusting for my body. Ben seemed to be feeling great, probably the adrenaline of being in a new place.
The team was so gracious with me, though. I did give everyone a heads up that I can get car sick too, so the front of the bus always had a seat open for me. At breakfast, they took care of me like a princess. I was served all manner of bread and potatoes and fruit to try to feel better. The ginger and carbonation of the coke in a glass bottle certainly helped. I also had my first “chai”. In Kenya, chai equals mixed milk tea with sugar. This tradition that harkens to British Colonialism is very much adopted and embraced by Kenyans.
We loaded up the bus and headed to 410 Bridge headquarters outside of Nairobi to meet the staff and to do leadership/ team building activities. We enjoyed devotions with them and learned about gentleness and grace.
It was a beautiful time to see their heart for the community. It was also beautiful to see their commitment to indigenous leadership in practice.
We headed up to our base camp for the day. With stops, it’s usually a 5 hour trip. On this day, it turned out to be 8 hours. Our poor truck gave out climbing into the highlands.
We pulled into a curio shop and the owner was kind enough to set up tables and chairs for us to wait it out . Talk about hospitality! They walked across the street to another business to borrow enough chairs for the group.
Our host decided to call Mutatus in for us. I was kind of happy to experience this very Kenyan way to travel. It was definitely more authentic, the aggressive style, the passing, the bumpy roads felt in full force.
We drank in the beautiful country, bonded with our team, saw zebras, camels, baboons, and so much variety in the people and the landscape flickering past our open window view. And we also tried not to get car sick. Even in the front, that was challenging. The road conditions, as well as yielding to livestock and wildlife, all made for a lot of bumps and starts and stops.
We finally made it to the base camp, very thankful to get out of the mutatus and get settled. We were staying at Maiyan, a resort with villas. Maiyan means blessing or place of blessing in the local dialect.
In our minds, we’d be roughing it a little more, but at the Maiyan, we were treated with excellent service, clean and comfortable rooms, and delicious food.
Our first dinner together we all got to know each other a little better. Some of us lingered and hung out, some of us unpacked, and some of us turned in early.
We were all processing different emotions knowing that we had officially arrived and that we would begin meeting people and heading into the communities we were here for the next day.