We landed in Nairobi early in the morning after flying for 17 hours plus an 8 hour layover. It felt great to get off the plane. We breezed through customs, loaded up our 24 bags, and were greeted with warm smiles from Lorna Meeker ( Pastor Meeker's wife) and Emmanuel, one of our drivers. Since our flight to Kisumu did not leave until 6pm that evening, we decided to do a little shopping in Nairobi. But first, shower! By this time most of us had been wearing the same thing for 3 days and I hadn't shower in just as long. The ELC-K guest house is located on Embassy row in Nairobi. If you remember pictures from my last trip we stayed here our first night. ( and we would stay here our last night on this trip.) The room in the picture below is the same room I had previously :-)
Driving through the streets of Nairobi brought back memories. It's crowded and the driving is insane yet I love it. We headed to a shopping center to start our souvenir shopping. We all found some good finds and than Scarlet said she had a surprise for us but we had to hurry to make it in time. None of us had a clue what it could be. Before we knew it we were driving on dirt roads through bushes to what looked like that middle of nowhere. We pulled into a make shift parking lot and Dr. Larry said, " What are we doing? Feeding lions out here?!" Scarlet grinned mischievously and said, "No, baby elephants!"
Pretty cool, huh? They were really cute and really hairy! Never did I imagined that an elephant would be so hairy but they are! These elephants are all rescued from the wild. Most of their mom's were killed for their tusks and the babies were found close by. With no chance of survival, they are rescued and brought here to be taken care of until they are old enough to head back out to fend for themselves. And yes, they drink out of bottles. It's a baby formula much like the ones here in the states.
They also play soccer =)
These adorable kids were on a field trip!
Mud bath time!
While leaving the baby elephant are we stopped to see a RHINO! When I did the safari a few years ago, over a course of 3 days we never saw a rhino. And now there was one inches from my face. He walked right up to the gate and put his horn to it. Pastor Earl stuck out his hand and grabbed it. Katelyn and I followed suit and the next thing you know we were petting a real, live rhino. :-)
It was lunchtime so we headed to the Java House which is delish! Their coffee is famous much like Starbucks is here but they serve really good food also. After that it was back to the airport to fly to Kisumu! ( Please notice the hand written air plane tickets!)
Touching down in Kisumu was such an incredible feeling. As we drove on the bumpy roads to the village of Atemo it felt as if I was coming home. You know that feeling when you go back to your parents house after being gone. Where everything smells the same, sounds the same, and you feel safe...where you are right where you are supposed to be. That is what it felt like returning to Atemo.
We stayed on the compound that housed the clinic from last time. There are some guest homes there, mingled in with homes where Lutheran missionaries are living as well as Kenyan seminary students who are attending the Lutheran sem in Kenya. ( This made my mom feel better!) As I stepped out of the van with my back to the house I heard my name called out. I turned to see a Kenyan man saying, " Emma! Emma!" as he walked towards me. He greeted me with a hug while saying." You came back! You came back! What took you so long?" I still tear up thinking about Joshua. A man I saw maybe for a day two years ago and here he was, shouting my name and hugging me. Welcoming me back to his village.
The house where Katelyn, Larry, Brenton, and I stayed
The main guest house where the others slept, where we ate, showered, & played cards till midnight!
After a delicious Kenyan dinner ( of course with Chapati), sorting of medications we would take and a cold shower it was off to bed. Snuggled up under my mosquito net with my flashlight close by I was out for the night. The next morning we would begin our clinics and I couldn't wait!