Well, we are nearly back to normal now after an eight-day long trip to Africa and Europe. It sort of went like this…Austin and I departed Detroit late due to the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano and missed our flight in Amsterdam to Nairobi, so we were re-routed to Dubai and then onto Nairobi about twelve hours later.
We were supposed to be in Kenya for about forty-eight hours and were thinking that a twelve hour delay would really hurt, but God, who knows all, had our itinerary well in control. Arriving at Jomo Kenyetta International Airport, we were met by a long line for immigration clearance but a kind female officer came to us and directed us to another arrival hall with no waiting!
Going down to baggage claim, the suitcases were just coming out on the belt as we walked up and collected them, put them onto a cart and headed for Customs and again, another long line. The officials were ripping everything apart in the luggage. They were even going through the flight attendants and pilots things on open tables, which is most unusual.
As I was watching, Austin, who was pushing the full luggage cart had been directed to another customs lane and the officials wisked him through without even a second blink. It wasn’t the strategy, but it really worked to our benefit for a teen to be on the cart this time.
Dan, our dear friend, was waiting outside and in a blinding rainstorm, we grabbed a 7:30AM Diet Coke and hopped into this 4 WD and he drove us across town to Wilson Airport and dropped us off in Customs, actually a dirty old building with lots of scary people milling about. We walked in one side, still in a torrential rain shower and out the other side to wait for an undetermined period of time for our chartered airplane to arrive. Within minutes the sky was showing blue holes and the rain ceased. Pilot, Jeff, taxied up in the Cessna 206 and in about twenty minutes we were airborne to a meeting in Loiy, over 500 miles to the north, if we were driving.
We arrived tired, smelly, but exactly on time and when we approached the airfield, Jeff buzzed the house where we’d be hosted in this hostile land and we could see the pick-up blasting out of the drive to meet up with minutes later. An hour after that, we were enjoying a sirloin wrapped in bacon, veggies, and dinner rolls. The day was cool, something like 110 degrees F but the humidity was unusually high, so the smelliness really didn’t matter. The next day, less than 24 hours after arrival, we were back in the blazing sun at the airstrip waiting for the plane to take us back to Nairobi and our continued travels to Siegen Germany.
I had included a link in this post depicting our location as calculated using my iPhone GPS but it’s not working now (so sorry)… I really do love that device! You would have been able to zoom out and get the magnitude of distance we traveled and seen how there is no doubt that God was there and directing every step and keeping us on His schedule.
Lastly, I forgot to mention that before we left Loiy, we attended morning devotionals at the natvie church and sang worship songs in Swahili. Within about thirty hours, we were sitting in a church in Siegen, Germany singing worship songs in German. Both of us agree (Austin and I) that it is easier to phonetically fake our way through in Swahili than in German.
~Carl for Both (Arise Medical Missions)