The first days in Kenya have been interesting. It has been a more intimidating experience than I expected. While in the Amsterdam airport, I had to go through security again and packed into a line of an entire group of people I had never been around or seen before. For the first time I think I felt like a minority and very vulnerable. Even when I have traveling to Mexico or China, when I was the only tall white girl for a long time, I didn’t feel out of place somehow. Maybe it was my confidence that allowed me not to notice how of place I looked to everyone else. Well, that was missing in Nairobi my first couple days. I don’t know how to explain it, but I didn’t like it.
I met a cool dude on my flight to Nairobi that has a non-profit out of Louisvill, KY where he travels to train people across the planet on disaster relief training and outdoor wilderness training. He raises money and then invites people for free to come for the 8 or 9 day training course. Amazing work. Wish I had his site for you, but can’t find it right now.
I got to the airport, sailed though getting my visa, and ALL of my bags arrived (yahoo!!) and then had an easy pass through customs. Beverly, the wife of the SIM Sudan director and also the missionary relations and general health lady, met me at the airport, super nice of her! We loaded up and headed out and saw 4 wild zebras on the side of the road, crazy, eh??
Got in and settled in the house I am borrowing while some missionaries are on home assignment, started watching something on my ipod and at 11:10 pm, all power went out! And with a clouding night and no street lights, the house turned pitch black! Ok, admittedly, I started to get scared. Come on, first night. alone. no idea what just happened. eek. Luckily those ipods are quite bright, so I was able to find my headlamp and checked things out. Then I crawled back in bed and fell alseep pretty quickly, only to wake up at 3:30am and stayed out. Half jet lag, half excitement.
Went to some orientation of how to stay safe in Sudan and also some information about the culture. I love how important greetings are in Kenya and Sudan. Everyone gets greeted all the time, strangers on the road ot best of friends. And if someone leaves and comes back 10 min later, you greet all over again. Now this is a place I could call home – I love meeting strangers! I am always that girl that says hello in an awkwardly silent elevator and such.
I walked around a little by myself and have started to feel a bit more confident here. Nairobi is quite a dangerous place and every where is gated. No joke. All businesses, restaurants, store fronts, apartments either have really intense metal cages behind the windows and/or a 12 foot tall metal gate where a guard stands 24/7. Freaky. So far so good. Glad about that!
Big negative: I busted my knee. For real. I’ve never had an athletic injury before, but after talking to a nurse practitioner and today getting checked out by a sports medicine lady, they have deemed my troubles to over use. Makes sense since I have been aggresively hiking almost everyday for about 4 months now! I have a knee brace that has been helping a little bit, but mostly I am trying to chill as much as possible. Since rest in the best medicine and that’s an impossibility since my feet are my only transportation here in Africa, I will just push through.
I leave tomorrow for Loki in Kenya, spending the night and then onto Malakal in Sudan. I CAN”T WAIT TO SEE MY NEICE!!!
One surprise about Sudan, if I get bitten by a snake or scorpion, I have to wait it out. I thought they were joking. If anyone knows me, I have minimal pain tollerance, so let’s just pray that doesn’t happen. (I bought some codine over the counter just in case)
Salek Aleakum (Means peace be with you in Arabic.)