I ended up on a later flight out of Newark than I had previously planned, and this left me with precious few minutes to traverse Terminal 5 (From A to B) at London’s Heathrow Airport. It is a good thing I kept my carryon light. I ran up the second longest escalator at Terminal 5, it is 4 stories. Then I ran down the longest one, 5 stories. It was like being weightless. Fun times…
I made it back to Nairobi and had a difficult time going through customs. I did have a lot of expensive equipment for OFM so it was not completely unexpected. In the end, the agent was very amenable and after 45 minutes I was out.
Since I had been gone for so long from the boys we decided on Wednesday we would head to Village Market and maybe go to miniature golf or bowling. However when we got to the University roundabout, the students were protesting and no one could pass through the round about. Because of the nature of the road (lack of) design in Nairobi, going another way would have added at least an hour to the trip. It was almost 1PM already and we were all hungry. So we diverted elsewhere, “Karibu Africa.” The boys did not mind much as they got to play at Children’s World. Cammy and I went shopping nearby in Toi Market for Sam’s wedding on April 9.
Sam is our pastor’s eldest son. He is getting married on our 11th anniversary. Andrej has been asked to be a pageboy. He needed an all black outfit. They are having a coat made so Cammy got his measurements while I was away. We were able to find some second hand trousers and a dress shirt that are in very good shape. Cammy also found a second hand dress. I was in a huge mall in New York on Saturday and I even went into Macy’s (to find a TSA luggage lock). So I think because of that I was willing to pay more for stuff, so I probably over paid. We got the three items for about $18.
Cammy and I met a guy name Joseph as we were leaving Toi Market. When I told him, “Mungu akubariki (God bless you)” as we left he asked if I was saved. I told him yes and he shared that he believed in Jesus but had not committed his life. So we got to share with him for a while. We exchanged numbers and talked later in the afternoon. He invited us to his home up near Kikuyu Town. We will see how God leads in that. Sometimes we have no idea where our real ministry is.
I do not know what it is about Subway, but after living in Kenya for so long it is one of the things I crave. We never used to go, in fact, Cammy did not like it much before. But now we love it. Go figure. We have changed a lot over the last three years, I guess that is just one of the mundane things.
So my trip here is now complete. I walked about a mile and a half (each way, no snow) in 40 degrees for a footlong.
I am on my way to a meeting in New York so I am passing through London again. I picked up some breakfast. What does the phrase, “Sparkling fruit flavour soft drink” make you think of?
Just what the Doctor ordered.
We finally got back to Harvester’s Kabete. We really missed those people and they missed us. I got to preach from Philippians 3:12-15. Has Christ laid hold of you? Are you mature, perfect? God was there; it was awesome.
That is a special place. I told them that Jesus said that His Father’s house had many mansions and He was going to prepare a place for us (John 14:2). Then I told them when I get there, I am going to look for the Kabete mansion because then I know I will be at home.
One of the visitors was a brand new Christian and so we prayed for him at the end of the service. He was there with his three year old son.
As usual, we went to Mama Sam’s for lunch after with all the wazee (elders, prominent people) which included him and his son. I ended up sitting next to the little boy. He was very quiet at first but he began to open up. He did not speak much English but he could say “cartoon network” flawlessly. He was also quite ticklish. This made Andrej jealous and he started playing with him. Andrej had brought his old Verizon phone as a toy and the boy liked that a lot. When he pretended to make a call I answered my phone. I said, “Sema.” (Say) to which he replied, “Imeisha credit.” (Credit is finished.) Everyone had a good laugh.
(They sell ten shilling, about 12 cents, scratch cards. That should give you an idea of how much credit some people have on their phone.)
Mbagathi Way is my morning and afternoon entertainment. It is a main road that runs down toward where I work. It is quite steep in places and a very nice road as most of it is paved in concrete, a rarity.
Each day it seems brings something new. One time I saw a large truck (lorry) broken down on the uphill side of the road with huge stone blocks behind the wheels. This is not rare. It probably happens ever other day at least. However, this time as another large lorry tried to pass, and broke down right next to it, complete with large stone blocks behind the wheels. No one could get by so traffic was backed up for a mile.
Another time I was on the way home and traffic was backed up for a long way. I weaved my way through and found that a large lorry had gone over sideways and was blocking both lanes. It had been full of imported oranges (the local ones are not very sweet or juicy) many of which fell in the ditch in the middle of the road. There were policemen around trying to beat people as they tried to snatch a few. This is right outside the railway exit of Kibera. I quickly sped out of that situation.
Today’s entertainment, a pile of sand. No idea what it is doing there. If I had to guess I would say it was a lorry that broke down and they emptied it before towing it away. But that is only a guess.
Saturday I worked some more on the lot/field across from the house. I am planning on moving where the cars enter so I can put up a fence to keep the balls off the street. This required a digging tool. It can be hard to find a pick but it is not hard to find a jembe. It is a digging hoe, like a one sided pick with a very wide blade almost a sideways ax. I had to go into Kibera to get it. The wooden handle was very rough and did not fit very well so the shop owner planed it for me.
The best part was walking back with it. A jembe is a farm tool which should be in the hands of a laborer. So for a lot of people who saw me it was quite comical. I even overheard someone going past say, “Ona! Mzungu na jembe.” – “Look! A white guy with a jembe.” I also had someone tell me that I am not a shamba-boy (farm). Good times.
I decided to move into the nineteenth century. I bought a push mower today, maybe I am getting soft. I wanted to be able to cut all the grass in one effort. I still used the slasher on the edges and the longer stuff. It also still gives plenty of time to reflect.
I went to Kijabe for a meeting yesterday. It is not too faraway, but it can take some time getting out of and back into Nairobi. On the way back into Nairobi we got stuck in the end of the day rush hour traffic. We were on Waiyaki Way, the main road into and out of Nairobi to the west. Traffic got backed up at James Gichuru road as is often the case. I saw this bus and I thought, “hey cool,” because it said, “Texas Ranger – Chuck Norris” on the back. I could not help but think “Expert.”
I actually took this picture first which was not very clear. Then I realized it might be interesting to use this picture anyway because the bus is actually all the way across the median and in the traffic lanes going the opposite direction. This is not uncommon as I mentioned in a previous post. Before we got to the “intersection,” there were two lanes of traffic going our direction, one lane in the median, two lanes going the wrong way over there and one lane on the shoulder all the way to the right (wrong side). I guess that makes six lanes going our direction, the slope on the bank to the left was too severe for even matatus to attempt it. A few cars were squeezing by going the opposite direction. That is just the way we roll over here.