July 1st: Welcome to Kenya

August 14, 2009

At 6:30am Wednesday morning we landed in Nairobi.  As we were coming in, we were able to see Mt. Kenya poking through the layer of clouds in the pre-dawn light.  It was really spectacular, but it wasn’t the best thing we saw that morning.  After getting off the plane, we met up with our friend Laura, and that was really awesome and fortuitous.  We had planned to meet her after passport control, but there she was in the terminal hallway!  Laura is a friend of ours from Albuquerque, and she’s studying Arabic in North Africa.  She had a break from school while we were in Kenya, so she flew down to vacation with us.  Laura’s been gone from New Mexico since December; getting to hang out with her was a highlight of the trip for us.  Both Nathan and I love to go new places and try new things, but it’s even more fun when you have the kind of friends (like Stephen, Ginny and Laura) who want to go with you!

After making it through customs and picking up our packs at luggage, we headed over to AIM’s Mayfield Guest House.  Ginny and her family spent quite a bit of time over the years staying at Mayfield, and it was a good place for us to meet up with friends of her family who would be driving us to our next destination.  At Mayfield we got to take showers, rest, and eat lunch.  We also finalized our reservations to stay at the guest house our last night in Kenya

AIM Mayfield Guest House in Nairobi

AIM Mayfield Guest House in Nairobi

Following lunch, we loaded into a van and headed west towards the Great Rift Valley and Rift Valley Academy (www.rva.org).  Ginny and her siblings all attended RVA, so we had heard stories about her time there and met some of her friends from RVA.  Before getting to the school we stopped at an overlook of the Rift Valley.  It was hazy so we couldn’t see a long ways, but we could see far enough to tell that it was a very beautiful vista!

Great Rift Valley Overlook

Great Rift Valley Overlook

Sunshine in the Great Rift Valley

Overlooking the Rift Valley at an elevation of 8000 feet

At the boarding school we were hosted by the couple who were Ginny’s dorm parents when she was in 7th grade.  They still work and live at RVA, though not as dorm parents anymore.  For supper we walked down from the school to the village below.  There we went to a small (5 table) restaurant that had really great food.  Ginny told us that it’s good to ask what’s ready when you go to a restaurant because they’ll usually make whatever you order even if it’s not even started.  We found a lot of that kind of go-out-of-your-way hospitality in Kenya.  We had curry, rice, samosas [link], chapatti, and ugali [link].  It was a great introduction to delicious Kenyan food.  The bananas we had for dessert were really great too.  After supper and visiting with our hosts for a bit, it was awesome to finally crash into a real bed!

The next morning Laura and I went running around RVA on the guard’s trail.  I’ve been running all summer, but not at 8000 feet!  As Laura said, “Corrie, can you believe we running in Kenya!?  In the Rift Valley!”  My lungs were a little less sure, but it was an incredible place to run.  We got a tour by Ginny of a few places, including the chapel, the ceramics studio (Ginny’s an amazing sculptor and potter.), and the cornerstone laid by Teddy Roosevelt.

Laura and me stretching after our run

Laura and me stretching after our run

RVA Basketball Court

RVA Basketball Court

Stephen and the RVA cornerstone

Stephen and the RVA cornerstone

The Centennial stone erected in 2006

The Centennial stone erected in 2006

Ginny making a brick for the sidewalk

Ginny making a brick for the sidewalk

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: