Well, we haven’t blogged in a while because we’ve had a pretty crazy 3 weeks. My parents arrived on Good Friday and left last week. It was really great to have them visit, and we booked every day pretty solid with things to see and do. Oh, and we moved houses during that time too!
Easter Sunday we went to Nairobi Chapel and then home for an Easter egg hunt and a big late lunch (photos here). Monday we had our friend Wycliffe take mom and dad and Lesa on a tour of Kibera, visiting the church that DCC helped sponsor and even making some home visits with Kibera residents. We wrapped up the day with Kenyan staple foods ugali and sukuma at Wycliffe’s tiny 1 room apartment on the edge of Kibera.
The next day we toured the AIM AIR hangar, home to International Services, our division of AIM. While the kids crawled in and out of the airplanes, we visited with pilots and mechanics. We wrapped up with lunch at the Simba Saloon.
The next day we went to the Nairobi Safari Walk, adjacent to the Nairobi Game Park. We saw pigmy hippos, albino zebra, a rhino, a leopard and a cheetah among other things. Then we spent the afternoon finishing packing for our overnight train ride to Mombasa.
The train was quite an experience. It takes 45 minutes to fly from Nairobi to Mombasa, or a bone-jarring 8 or 9 hours in a car, or a slow 16 hours by train. Honestly, if I had to do it again I still would have picked the train. If we could have been better prepared we might have slept better, but the kids had a blast, which is why I would choose it again (versus being crammed together in a car, stopping for potty breaks, not to mention riding in our Land Rover for that long would be guaranteed to give you a headache). The train, while slow and constantly stopping, at least gave us private sleepers, supper and breakfast, and the opportunity to go potty when you wanted. Not to mention getting to stretch out and relax, since I wasn’t having to drive!
Our time in Mombasa was great. Roger (dad’s brother) met us at the train station and drove us to the house they’d rented for the week. Just north on Mombasa, right on the beach, the house had a small pool that the kids enjoyed, and the immediate oceanfront was an awesome coral reef full of starfish and lionfish and jellyfish and all kinds of cool stuff. It was shallow enough that even Robbie and Avery could snorkel around and enjoy. The house even came with a cook, who prepared and cleaned up every meal for us. Now that’s what I call a vacation!
We flew back, because mom and dad had an early Monday flight to Malawi where they visited with good friends who have been in Africa for 30 years or something crazy like that. While they were away we packed and moved out of our house. We scattered all our stuff all over the place as the house we are staying in temporarily is fully furnished (and on a compound, not in a Kenyan neighborhood as before). Couches went to one house, dining room set to another, and a bunch of stuff went into a sea container for storage. Beginning of June we’ll move back to the estates (Kenyan neighborhoods) and try to remember where we put everything.
After mom and dad came back from Malawi, we spent the last week doing stuff around Nairobi. We drove up to the overlook of the Rift Valley, had a picnic lunch at RVA, drove some really rough roads down to the “lower road” and back to Nairobi. We also went to Roger & Shirley’s church and had a nice picnic lunch at Tumaini, where they live and work. One morning I even put mom and dad on a matatu by themselves and sent them out to Karen by themselves. They toured Robbie and Avery’s school, and had lunch with them there.
The last day of their time here we got up early and went on a game drive. We picnicked and saw a lot of giraffe, zebra, baboon, antelope, warthog, and even some crocodile. We wrapped our time up with them with supper at Java House, and then I drove them to airport. Exhausted, but very very happy. And a little sad that the event I’d been looking forward to since arriving in Kenya last June had come and gone, and we won’t see them again for another 14 or 15 months. We’ll miss you, mom and dad.