Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Kenya trip - home away from home

On January 7th, Ted Witmer came to meet the team and drove us out to Kijabe, a town about 80 km NNW of Nairobi and the largest missions station in the world. Kijabe is the home of the Rift Valley Academy, a well-known boarding school, a seminary, Bethany Crippled Children's hospital and Kijabe Hospital, where we would be working for the next three weeks. Peter and I stayed in this two bedroom apartment, while Tim and Allison stayed with the Witmers.

I quickly discovered that the things we were used to being able to handle at home weren't necessarily going to be quite so easy here. The first challenge was food. We bought the food we thought we needed in Nairobi, but I don't have much experience with putting together a week's shopping list, so there were some gaps that needed to be filled. Groceries were available at a small store in Rift Valley Academy (open on Monday and Wednesday), produce and bread was sold by door-to-door vendors who came on Tuesday and Saturday. Thus I had to plan carefully to make sure I had everything I needed until it was next available. Improvising was sometimes necessary since a lot of familiar foods weren't available or took a different than expected form (we ate a lot of English muffins in the absence of other breads). Sometimes we came up short, and some food spoiled because I'd gotten too much, but overall we did pretty well, and by the time we left, I had the planning down reasonably well. The biggest disruptions to plans were the fairly frequent and very welcome invitations we received to eat with the Witmers or other people at Kijabe.


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