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Travel and Arrival

Heidi Bowman writes:

Well, we've finally arrived at our final destination. After several delays and stops along the way, we got to Nairobi this morning on time at about 8:20. All our luggage arrived and we are happily becoming settled at the Mennonite Guest House in the city. This weekend we will be heading out to the village of Olepolos, but tomorrow there will hopefully be a more detailed note of our travels. For now, know that we arrived safely and are enjoying our time in the unique city of Nairobi.

Heidi Bowman writes:

I think I've simply come to expect that international flights will have some sort of change or delay, no matter where you are traveling. Our experience getting to Nairobi was no exception, but we arrived safely and ready for a month of new experiences and exciting activities.

I guess you could say our journey began bright and early on Monday morning, even though we came right back to Harrisonburg after figuring out we couldn't fly out on Monday at all. So, we got together Monday night to hang out and lament the fact that we were not on our way to Africa. After talking about our trip as a group, we realized there were several people who were able to use that extra time to look forward to our trip and to just mentally prepare for the exciting time we're sure to have. So, looking back, we see that God knows what He's doing after all! :)

We left again on Tuesday afternoon from EMU. We arrived at the airport in good time and actually had about four hours until our flight left. Needless to say, we allowed ample time at the airport lest we would encounter any more barriers to the beginning of our trip. We got through the airport and to our gate with no mishaps, however, and simply spent the time playing card games and people-watching (a favorite airport activity, of course). Once we got ready to leave from Dulles, though, it seemed as if everything was going wrong. First of all, it was raining fairly hard, so we were delayed boarding. Then, once we were on the plane and ready to taxi to the runway, the pilot discovered that the weather radar was not working properly. Once again, we waited, only this time in a rather stuffy airplane. After this problem was fixed, we were told that someone on the plane had become sick and would not be flying with us. Some paperwork had to be completed, and some staff had to locate and remove some passengers luggage from the plane. All told, we ended up taking off at about 12:30 A.M. when our flight had been scheduled to leave at 9:30. Once again, we were glad to be on our way.

After arriving in London on Wednesday around noon (London time), several of us decided to go into the city, due to the extended layover we had in Heathrow. Oh, this felt so glorious! Not only were we able to get fresh air on an absolutely beautiful day, but we got to experience London itself! This was definitely a highlight of our traveling to Africa. We took the Underground into the city and got to see awesome sights such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.

We made our way back to the airport and got on our next flight with very few obstacles. By this time we were all very ready to actually be in Africa and begin our cross-cultural. The flight went well, and we arrived in Kenya on time. Eventually, we loaded up vans with all our luggage (Praise the Lord!) and embarked on our short trip to the Mennonite Guest House. After over 36 hours in the same clothes, it felt absolutely wonderful to shower and relax in the lawn.

We spent the day relaxing, learning about Kenya, and catching a few power naps. The evening was a great time to sit around and talking about our experiences so far. We are all amazed at how God has already brought us together as a group. The group dynamics are great and we are definitely looking forward to our time together. All in all, it was an interesting trip with what I might call a beautiful beginning

Photo galleries:
(most to least recent)

Victoria Falls
and GYS

AIDS orphanage

Gallery 2
First impressions

Gallery 1
Travel and arrival