February 22, 2019 (Part 1)

Safari salama – it’s how you say “safe travels” in Swahili.

I embark for the airport in a few hours. My first leg is a non-stop flight from Denver to London. (Picked since my other options included layovers at either Chicago or Detroit… lol).  The plane lands at Heathrow Saturday morning, 30 minutes before the daily flight to Nairobi lifts off, so while I can’t make that flight, I will be able to clear customs, check in and check my bags for the Sunday morning flight. 

Then I’ll head to a nearby hotel so I can shower, change clothes and enjoy a few hours wandering around London, where I can grab some food at the Harrod’s food court before I get a full night’s sleep and rise bright and early to catch my non-stop flight to Nairobi on Sunday morning.

I land at Nairobi airport at 9:30pm Sunday night. We’ve rented a car, and George will meet me in Nairobi to help me get through customs. It will be close to midnight, so we’ll be spending the night at the hostel at the Christian Student Leadership Centre in Nairobi. They do strong work there (http://ufungamano.org/hostel-facilities).

Monday morning, we’ll make the 8 hour drive to Kitale and spend Monday-Wednesday at the house and reviewing the farm projects and creating our new 5 year plan.

Thursday, George and I will get up early and drive to Nairobi to meet with Richard, the owner of the new house, to talk about what the process is to move forward with purchase when our lease runs out in June. He’s working in Sudan and got off work to fly home to Nairobi just for the day, so we could meet and talk. We’ll start the drive back right after the meeting and go as far as we’re able – perhaps Nakuru or Eldoret.

Friday, March 1, we’ll stop in Bungoma to check on the hospital, and the well, and visit George’s mom. 

Saturday and Sunday I’ll be speaking all day in Bungoma – Saturday will be a gathering of ministers and Sunday will be the church service that is usually led by Pastor Evans (who oversees the well and the hospital property). The hospital is where the church service is held – I had the good pleasure of speaking there on my first trip to Kenya 13 years ago! It will be good to see familiar faces! 

It’s only a 2 hour drive each way from Bungoma to Kitale, so we’ll drive back and forth each day, saving us from any more hotel charges. My goal is to keep our travel expenses soooo low as donations come in so we can have enough money for Pastor George and Naomi to be able to get beds for the house, a month’s worth of food and hopefully a low-cost phone plan. Donations from people attending the “minister’s meeting” and the “revivals”

Monday morning, I’ll speak in Kitale and we’ll finalize our long range plans. Midmorning on Tuesday we’ll head to Nairobi. My flight leaves just after midnight, so technically I’m leaving Nairobi on the 6th and arriving in Denver on the 6th… with a long layover in London.

Of course, as with everything in Kenya, all this is subject to change! So… now you can follow along with the planned adventure, and I’ll keep updating you as things unfold!

We’ve gotten some wonderful donations, including some gold coins that were sold to pay for the rental car, matching funds from donations made where the donor’s employer offered that gift, and donations ranging from $5 to $1,000. We’re at 10% of our $20,000 goal for this trip already and I thank you all for your generosity!

We also are able to take the refurbished laptop to George (which was gifted to us for him 4 years ago when George was in Virginia, a dozen children’s movies (that play on the laptop’s DVD player), bedding, kitchenware, handbags for the ladies in the family, a scarf for George’s mom, and New Thought Channel t-shirts for George and the boys.

My heart and bags are full!

We’ll be posting pictures here, so keep checking back!

 Much love,
Rev. Paula

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