Friday: Days are long and good. We started Friday morning with a 6:30am call to breakfast and a 7am departure to Rosslyn Academy. As we drove across Nairobi we noticed a drastic difference between the neighborhood of Mayfield Guest House, our lodging, and the area where Rosslyn is located. With the tall walls, groomed lawns and gardens, and large elaborate homes lining the well-paved roads, you wouldn't even know you were in Kenya anymore. We saw multiple embassies and were intimidated, even from the safe distance of our van on the road, by the diplomatic police and security checkpoints at each embassy entrance we passed. Rosslyn's campus did not disappoint nor lack in their own beauty or security measures. As we entered the property, we were greeted by the lush green lawns, tall trees, and refined buildings. Their campus is beautiful. Their students were even more impressive.
We were scheduled to lead four hours of college sessions that morning and from the beginning we knew that day was going to be special. Even the youngest of the group engaged us and asked meaningful questions. Our almost 3-hour long college fair seemed to fly by as students kept us busy. It was today that I saw not only the need for Christian higher education, but also the pure and raw desire for it within the student body. That desire was and is so tangible here. Even in the parent session, that went twice as long as it was meant to (as it did in Budapest), the parents asked questions that conveyed their sincere desire to understand our communities & programs, and their earnest hope that their children will achieve their greatest potential and stay committed to their faith in Jesus Christ along the way. Their appreciation and hunger for what our campuses provide and prayerfully aim to balance was received in such a way that my tiredness almost fell to the wayside as parents approached us after the session to ask more specific questions for their children.
Throughout this very full -there's that word again- and busy day, Rosslyn's guidance staff kept us both hydrated and fed. At every corner our hostesses had coffee, water & snacks primed and ready. After about 10 hours of meeting with parents and students, we finally took a break and dined with the Rosslyn's counselors and campus pastor. They carpooled us to a shopping center close to the school and we continued to observe the strength of security here. In order to enter the mall, you must hand over your cell phone and purse before entering a metal detecting scanner. Photos within the malls here are not permitted. I attempted to take a photo of the Christmas decorations at Junction Mall the night before and a guard in a finely pressed uniform & dark colored beret rushed toward me. He informed me that photos are not allowed and had me delete the innocent photo of a Christmas wreath. He was very polite and courteous, but the intensity of his action and the need of his presence is what really caught me attention.
We learned another difference during dinner that night: Servers do not "interrupt" you with your check. They allow you to chat, your food to settle, and they only bring you your check once you request it and decide you are ready to leave. It made me think about how often my husband I have scooted out quickly at the end of a meal for other guests to come in and have a table. There's no worry about that here. Same in Hungary. You are checked in on, but almost encouraged to sit, enjoy the company of those you're dining with and just be still. There's something refreshing about that especially in the midst of this very busy and FULL journey where we've averaged about four hours of sleep each night (one in particular averaging two -- we all know who that is). This invitation to sit and be still with one another is welcomed and most needed as we move into our last day and school visit here in Kenya tomorrow.
Much thanks to Rosslyn and their community for the incredible hospitality, wonderfully organized schedule, and beautiful quality time. You are appreciated!
Olympia Sina Hugo
Assistant Director of Admissions