Jambo means hello!
Today was amazing! We started our day bright and early; 6am to be exact. First we brought our bags to be loaded onto the bus for our trip into Ndibai. We had an awesome breakfast prepared by our host at the Heart Lodge.
I must take it back a little bit… When we arrived last night, I couldn’t help but notice that our hotel was gated, guarded and secured by electric barb wire. A little scary… Made me wonder a bit. Night 1 was a bit challenging with taking a shower and washing your face, brushing your teeth and such. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about how much I depend on water; I suppose until you don’t have it. When taking a shower, we had to make sure the water didn’t get any where near our face. We couldn’t brush with it… We simply couldn’t use it so bottled water it was. I’m sure I will have many more reminders thoroughly the my trip but how do you live with no clean water? That is definitely something I take for granted.
Now back to Day 1; after breakfast we took some pics and then proceeded to get on the bus for our nearly 3 hour drive to Ndibai. We drove through a town called Kiambu. Our leader from the 410 bridge, Kate (forgot to mention her; she picked us up from the airport) told me that Kiambu was one of the first developed towns in Kenya. There were lots of people in town walking in the streets. Some waved at our bus and others didn’t look our way. Did I mention that there is no street signs, no street lights and not many paved roads.
We continued on for 30 min or so and then stopped to look at some coffee fields with Ms. Kate. She is just wonderful. We drove some more and then stopped at a tea field where there were workers picking tea leaves. One man gave us a tutorial on picking leaves. They even let us take pictures with them. They laughed at our Swahili. We then proceeded back to our bus. I neglected to mention that it was cold today; sweater weather. It was really foggy this morning and extremely overcast but even with that; we were able to see this beautiful tree. It stood so tall and proudly and looked as if it had been growing for a hundred years or so. Can you imagine the stories that tree could tell? It was just beautiful. One of God’s creations.
We finally made it to the village of Ndibai and the nerves immediately set in. I didn’t know what to expect; we drove deeper and deeper into town passing children who were playing on the side of the road.
Finally we turned down the dirt road towards where we would be greeted in the church and as we got closer, you could see all of the children, all of the adults; waiting there for us. As they opened the doors for us to get off the bus, I can tell you that I wasn’t ready for the emotion that I felt. Next to giving birth to my children, that was one of the best moments of my life; one that I will never forget. The kids came up to each one of us and gave us hugs, high fives, came just to hold our hands. We were welcomed with singing and dancing.
I could not stop the tears. Two little boys came to me right away and held my hand as we walked to the church.
Once there, we danced some more; shortly thereafter service began. My two little boys: Vincent and Daniel stayed with me as we took our seats. The church welcomed us with open arms. We heard from each person within their council (which were all that were responsible for each of the churches in their community.). The choir and the children sang for us. All the while, I have three little girls in front of me who have taken my hand to look at my nails. One even proceeded to tell me that my nails were not real. Not true. I laughed; we laughed together. Then it was my sunglasses which they passed around to everyone. The joy in the hearts of these children is so amazing. They accepted us all as if we were part of their family. WE danced once again with the children and then it was time for us to meet about our plan for the rest of the day. It was hard saying bye to my two boys but I had to. I told them I would see them tomorrow.
They then took us on a tour of the training farm that they are providing through 410 bridge. This farm will help to provide training to be sustainable for the farmers in the community. Most important words said: we must be happy when we plant the seeds; to be grateful to God for providing so that our crops will grow. How profound. How simple; how is it that we lose sight of such things?
I ended tonight in a funny mood; perhaps tired; but if I’m being honest with myself, I’m thinking about all the things that I have been blessed with back home and yet I still find moments to complain. The people of Ndibai are joyous and happy. I asked one of my teammates why he has come to this village now 4 years in a row and he said you’ll see when you get there… I now know.