Habari Kenya! (Hello Kenya!)
I'd like to start this blog entry off with a nice word of thanks to Jodi for setting up this trip. So far we have met some great students, have flown (a lot) but in general, have had an excellent experience.
As I write this, I am only beginning to take in all of the sights and sounds of Kenya. When our group left Hungary yesterday morning at 3:30am, we were tired, but not without excitement for what was to come. We quickly arrived at the Budapest (sounds more like Budapesht) airport and flew to Amsterdam to await our connecting flight. We went through customs and although the process itself was easy, the airport was bustling with people catching flights. Following our arrival onboard our 747-400, double decker plane, we taxied for about an hour and then zoomed off on our eight hour flight to Nairobi!
We arrived in Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta airport at 8:30pm, which is 12:30pm Oklahoma time, just for a reference. The airport was orderly and once we got our baggage we headed outside to meet our driver, Samuel, who would take us to the Mayfield Guest House. We lugged our equipment onto the bus racks attached to the top and entered. One of our members, Dereck is native to Kenya and proceeded to speak to Samuel in Swahili, and it has been neat to see him reflect on his childhood in the country.
The first thing I noticed as we entered the car and made our way to the guest house is that the steering wheel is on the right side and people here drive like they do in England! It can be frightening seeing "oncoming traffic" coming at you. Regardless, our trip was swift and as we arrived at 11pm, many of us were eager to hunker into bed, feeling safe under the mosquito nets, and thankful to God for a nice journey.
The morning wake began at 5:30am for some and 6:00am for others. After readying ourselves, we were treated to a nice breakfast of pineapple, bacon, coffee and toast and soon boarded a van driven by another Samuel nicknamed "Sammy" and headed out to West Nairobi School. At the school we were met by Jeff Lancaster, the school counselor, and once the students arrived, we prayed and began our session with introductions in the character-filled chapel. Following introductions, we split and went into two different rooms; Amber, Dereck, Laura and Susan in one and Bob, Dana, Olympia and myself in the other. We each discussed different topics from financial aid, to discovering a passion, a major and preparing for college while in high school. These sessions lasted from 9:15-11:00am and we received very good questions from the high school students participating. After the sessions we set-up our tables and began the college fair! The fair lasted an hour and the students listened patiently to the different representatives participating. The students were eager to know that their education would be personalized, Christ-centered and fulfilling to their walks of life.
After the fair concluded, we participated in a parent panel back in the chapel. There weren't too many parents who arrived, but the ones participating asked intelligent questions and kept us engaged. Soon after, we left to eat a fantastic lunch at the school and wrapped up our day at West Nairobi School.
But...our day did not end here. After a college fair, it can be exhausting. However, we were relieved to enter a Giraffe Park, not too far from the school! In this park, we fed the giraffes small pellets as they gave kisses to many of our team members. It was hilarious and a great change of pace. After we and a giraffe named Ed had enough, we said goodbye and went back to the guest house to rest before heading to dinner in the evening.
Thanks for letting me share and God bless!
International Admissions Counselor
Oklahoma Baptist University