SAFE AND SOUND

Trip Start Oct 20, 2007
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Trip End Dec 24, 2007


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Flag of Kenya  ,
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

HI EVERYONE!!

I'M IN AFRICA! AHH!! I SERIOUSLY CAN'T BELIEVE IT. IT WAS QUITE A JOURNEY TO GET HERE....

I MET 2 OF THE GIRLS I WILL BE WITH THE WHOLE TIME AND WE  TOOK OFF FROM CHICAGO SATURDAY AROUND 6 PM. WE LANDED IN LONDON 8 HOURS LATER AND HAD A 3 HOUR LAY-OVER. FROM THERE WE TOOK OUR SECOND 8 HOUR FLIGHT TO NAIROBI. WE WERE PICKED UP FROM THE AIRPORT BY A COMPANY CALLED PRIMETIME. A BUNCH OF GUYS STARTED HELPING US WITH OUR LUGGAGE. WE WERE ALL SORT OF CONFUSED AND JUST LET THEM. WHEN IT CAME TIME T O TIP THEM, WE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! WE HAD EXCHANGED SOME OF OUR MONEY, BUT NONE OF US WERE FAMILIAR ENOUGH WITH THE CURRENCY EXCHANGE TO KNOW WHAT A REASONABLE TIP WAS. AFTER WE ALL TIPPED THEM, THEY ASKED FOR MORE! AFTER WE DROVE AWAY, WE REALIZED WE HAD TOTALLY OVER-TIPPED. ONE U.S. DOLLAR EQUALS ABOUT 67 KENYAN SHILLINGS.... AND HAD PROBABLY GIVEN THEM A TOTAL OF LIKE $10.... SO THAT WAS A PRETTY NICE TIP! HAHA! BUT NOW WE KNOW A LITTLE BIT MORE!

THAT NIGHT WE STAYED AT A PLACE CALLED UPPERHILL CAMPSITE IN NAIROBI. IT WAS BASICALLY LIKE A DORM WITH BUNK BEDS. THE NEXT MORNING WE WERE PICKED UP BY PRIMETIME AGAIN AND TAKEN TO THE ATM AND THEN TO THEIR OFFICE WHERE WE GOT ON OUR SAFARI BUS. THAT BUS IS WHAT DROVE US TO THE VILLAGE. IT TOOK 8 LONG HOURS IN THE BUS FROM NAIROBI TO KABULA-WHERE WE LIVE. ON THE WAY, OUR DRIVER WAS GREAT! HE STOPPED A FEW TIMES FOR US TO TAKE PICTURES OF THINGS.... LIKE ZEBRAS JUST HANGING OUT ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD! HOW COOL IS THAT?? THEN WE SAW SOME BABOONS TOO... PRETTY FUNNY... IT WAS THE MOST BUMPY CAR RIDE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. IT FELT LIKE THE TIRES WERE GOING TO JUST POP. 

ONCE E GOT TO THE VILLAGE, WE TOOK OUR STUFF TO OUR HUTS. RIGHT NOW WE ARE IN WHAT THEY HAVE NAMED THE MANSION.... IT HOLDS LIKE 12 PEOPLE. ITS A BUNCH OF BUNK BEDS. IT WAS ALREADY GETTING DARK WHEN WE GOT THERE AND THAT'S WHEN IT HIT ME!! IT WAS QUITE A REALITY CHECK. WE DECIDED TO JUST GET OUR BEDS SITUTATED AND ORGANIZE TODAY WHEN WE COULD SEE. WE JOINED THE FAMILY FOR OUR FIRST MEAL. IT WAS PRETTY GOOD. RICE, VEGETABLE STEW... SOME FRUIT. AFTER THAT WE HUNG OUT WITH EVERYONE FOR A WHILE. THERE ARE A LOT OF VOLUNTEERS THERE... NOT INCLUDING THE 12 IU STUDENTS PLUS THE FAMILY. SO EVERYONE JUST STARTED TO GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER.

OH WAIT.... DID I MENTION IT WAS POURING?!?!??! I NEED A RAINCOAT!

AFTER A LITTLE WHILE WE WENT BACK TO OUR HUTS WHERE WE SET UP OUR MOSQUITO NETS IN THE DARK! IT WAS INTERESTING, BUT WE MANAGED. WE WERE ASLEEP PRETTY EARLY. AND WE WERE UP EARLY TOO.... WE ORGANIZED OUR HUT A LITTLE AND ATE SOME BREAKFAST. ITS PRETTY HOT.... AS EXPECTED I GUESS. RIGHT NOW I CAME INTO TOWN WITH SOME OF THE OTHERS TO GET WATER AND USE THE COMPUTER. LATER TODAY OR TOMMORROW, I WILL GET TO SEE THE SCHOOL.

I KNOW THIS NEXT WEEK WILL BE A LITTLE BIT DIFFICULT. THERE IS A LOT OF ADJUSTING. I HAVEN'T ATTEMPTED THE SHOWERING SITUATION YET. I'M SURE THAT WILL BE INTERESTING! I CAN ALREADY SEE HOW YOU JUST ADAPT AND GO WITH IT..... HOPEFULLY BY THE END OF THIS WEEK I FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE WITH EVERYTHING. IT'S HARD NOT TO BE ABLE TO PICK UP THE PHONE!

REUBAN AND BETTY, THE FAMILY WE STAY WITH ON THE FARM ARE GREAT. THEY ARE BOTH VERY KIND AND INVITING.

HAPPY 30TH RY!!!! CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU TO BE HERE!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRI... YOU OLD MAN!

GUESS WHAT JOY SCHOOL FIRST GRADERS!??!?!? I WILL BE TEACHING FIRST GRADE HERE TOO!!!! :)

I MISS EVERYONE ALREADY... I LOVE YOU ALL A TON! EMAIL ME!!!!!!!

ALWAYS,
ERIN

PS. IF SOMEONE ISN'T GETTING THIS, LET ME KNOW OR HAVE THEM SEARCH FOR ME AT TRAVELPOD.COM.....

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE... FOR EVERYTHING YOU ALL DID TO HELP :)
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Comments

juliewojcik
juliewojcik on

Back home in Indiana
Erin,
Your Mary Kay friends are so proud of you and your ability to adapt...but it doesn't really suprise us... you did with the skirts for business too!
What an experience you are having. I am sure you are keeping a journal along with lots of pictures. We can't wait to hear more. Keep blogging when you can!
J

kidsrpeople2
kidsrpeople2 on

good4uErin
hello Erin..I was checking information regarding Bungoma,Kenya. My son, husband and I are hoping to make this journey as Christian volunteers, through 'Anchor Academy Christian School for International Homeschooled students and D.L. students', here in British Columbia, Canada. We will be there for about three weeks to one month this upcoming 2008,summer,as part of a team involved in a development and building project called Chemwa Children's Home in Bungoma, Kenya. Funds have been raised in Canada to secure land and begin building this vital project. We will be working alongside the Kenyan people to assist them in making a better life for themselves. Due to the shortage of lodging space, any extra adults, that being my husband and self, will be looking for our own lodgings elsewhere. We are just in the prep stage, doing the research on Bungoma,and came across your writings.
God Bless you for taking on this heart and soul touching journey; thereby offering your students back home, an even more loving and nurturing gift; 'You!' I'm sure you are just about to head back home soon, probably in time for Christmas. We just wanted to hear more of your experiences, if possible, and ask you about your own lodgings. We have heard differenct stories, some great, others not so bad; others, very frightening. We realize this is a missionary journey and do expect more than drastic culture differences. It is not a five star, not even a one star holiday; We know this much.
Anyway Erin, May God continue to bless you and keep you, and may your young children always be a part of your life. May you bring this adventure to your students at home, and may all be richly blessed because of your journey. Sincerely, Carol-Ann

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