It is currently 7:50 pm here in Kenya and Lucas and I just got back from a long day of meetings and running errands. I have come to the conclusion that great drivers in LA are only good drivers compared to the drivers in Kenya (that would make me a very very poor driver). Lucas’ brother’s friend, Abdul, was very kind to take us around the city, and when I say around I mean around and around- I was amazed at his thorough knowledge of every backroad, sideroad, paths that barely resembled any road I’ve seen and just how he navigated them! Did you know there is no speed limit any many roads don’t have any lane dividers? Talk about super navigation and spacial skills! If I get my act together I will try and videotape some of this mad skill tomorrow.
Anyhoo I digress. Back to my arrival and time in Nairobi….
Advised by Kristen to not fall asleep on the second leg of my trip, I was determined to do anything and everything to keep me from leaning back and passing out till we arrived. Thankfully, I was seated to a very talkative and kind gentleman who was originally from South Sudan but is currently living in Las Vegas. He was headed to South Sudan to find out how he could better serve his community and I was instantly encouraged by his desire to give back and help those around him. His love of history and thirst for knowledge reminded me a lot of my dad and only made me miss my family even more. Once again, sensing that I was a new traveler, he took me under his wing and not only helped me make sense of some of the forms I had to fill out but gave me some great advice for my time in Africa. Half way into the flight I took out Hunger Games and began reading it intensely; however when we were about two hours away my stomach began to tighten up in knots and I could nothing to calm my nerves… the realization that I was going to Africa finally hit me. While super excited, I began to get anxious- what if I have problems in customs? Or what if I don’t recognize Lucas? Funny enough, customs, which I was worried the most about, was the easiest part of the whole process. In fact, obtaining my visa was a little more daunting (I was stared down for quite a long time when the officer’s computer decided to not work when it came to be my turn in line) and time consuming than anything else. Finally, with luggage in tow I exited the glass doors to be welcomed by a sea of faces, many with cardboard with names. I panicked when I walked back and forth and could not find Lucas. I decided to exit into the crowd and immediately walked straight to some Americans who were waiting for their friends. Moments later Lucas was standing right in front of me and the rest was history. We got to Wildebesst Camp Reserve late, around 10 pm and after sorting through my luggage, I quickly put up the mosquito tent that my sister so thoughtfully bought for me and crawled into Kristen’s sleep sack.
Today we quickly got to business as we set out to meet with the two well drillers that we have contracted in the past. It was truly an honor to see Lucas talking about the project and I could see the mutual respect that the well driller and Lucas had for each other. Ajay, one of the well drillers said it best, “I am ultimately not in the business of well drilling. I am in the business of community development.” Nala, the other well driller, said later in the day that “Though it’s business, our partnership is not so that one of us may gain but its for the community, to help bring them water.” I could not agree more.
Getting ready for our video conference with Kristen… after that, it’s bed time for both Lucas and I! We have a long day ahead of us as we travel to Wamba where I will be staying for most of my trip. Can’t wait to tell you all about the trip tomorrow!