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Looking out into the night sky, my mind seems to become clear at the beauty of it all. I see the stars staring back at me… the brightest stars I have ever seen. Sparkling diamonds in the cool night air.
Our first night in our new home, I remember staring out my window through my mosquito net. My mind drifted back to the night we arrived in Kenya, several days earlier. I didn’t get a rush of excitement when we landed, I honestly did not feel anything. The emotions of leaving my beloved family, and friends was still raw. As we stepped off the plane we were greeted by a young man with a huge white smile. Wanda, Charlton, and I all had full hands. Ava was sleeping in my arms, and Charlton and Wanda were loaded down by all of our carry-on luggage. We had a full flight of steps to walk down that led to the bus that would take us to immigration. This young man with the huge white smile, saw we needed assistants with Boaz. He automatically bent down and picked him up, and helped us carry him to the bus. It was such a simple act of kindness, but one that meant more to me then he will ever know.
If you have traveled internationally with children, you know how overwhelming it can be. Showing patience, and kindness to strangers is extremely rare, and very much appreciated.
We reached immigration, and I noticed that the airport was completely surrounded with a sheet metal wall. Sheet metal and barbed wire was everywhere. Then I noticed that the line to get our entry visas was almost out the door. Since Charlton, and Wanda already had their work permits, we were allowed to step into a shorter line. Before I knew it Ava was fast asleep in the stroller, and Boaz was ready to party. We paid $50.00 each for our visas and were allowed to cross over to pick up our luggage.
And man did we have luggage!
We had about eight large totes, and about six large duffle bags. All filled to the prime with medical supplies, books, homeschool materials, cloth diapers, clothes, miscellaneous household goods, sewing machine and fabric, new towels and washcloths, etc.
We also packed some hand made pillowcase dresses that were gifted to us to give to young girls who need something to wear. I gave the first one out today. A little girl about three years old came to play in our yard. She had on a tattered, dirty little dress that kept falling off of her every time she tried to push someone on the swing set. The back zipper was broken, and she was simply trying to have fun with her friends but that old dress kept getting in the way. Well, I gave her one of those darling pillowcase dresses, and she LOVED IT! I helped her into her new dress, and gave her back the tattered rag she previously had on. I told her to bring it to her momma. She ran home quickly with the excitement of her new dress radiating from her. She could not stop touching it, staring at it, and putting her little hand in the sweet little front pocket of that pillowcase dress.
So once we collected all of our many pieces of luggage, we headed out of the airport with our entourage of Kenyans helping with our baggage. Before we knew it, we were greeted by our brother-in-Christ Glenn Roseberry. He has lived in east Africa for several years now, and just rented a tiny apartment in Nairobi. He is a very energetic 56 year old man, with a zest for life and serving our King Jesus. He came to the airport with a 1978 Volkswagen bus that he borrowed from a neighbor, and a driver. Wouldn’t you know, we fit everything we had in that bus… it was perfect! That little rust bucket on wheels became a temporary oasis for me, safe and sound in our new home country.
When we arrived to Glenn’s apartment, it was gated and guarded by two Masai warriors. He lives in a nice middle class neighborhood, but to an American straight of the plane, it looks like the slums. His apartment was small, but very clean and comfortable. The hospitality we received warmed my heart. I got the children ready for bed, while the men unloaded the van. At about 1am, we went to bed… exhausted from the days travels.
The next day was spent in and out of office buildings, trying to get all the required paperwork in order. I also had my first experience using a paid public potty! Bascially, when people have to go to the restroom here, they use what is called a latreen… a.k.a a hole in the ground where you do your business! This public latreen was very nice, you paid ten shillings and they gave you a little toilet paper, and you went in a privet cemented stale with a hole. Afterward, you get a basin of water and pour it down the hole, as to make it fresh for the next person who uses it. There was a very sweet attendant named Esther who was very helpful, and made sure the place stayed clean. I truly believe that no job is a small job. A clean fresh bathroom is always nice!
Well, that night Marc Carrier, and several other disciples arrived in Nairobi. They stayed the night, and the next morning we were on the road to our new home in the van that was so generously bought with the help of friends. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
About nine hours later we finally arrived in Kiminini! Our new home was just minutes away. Everyone stared and waved at the new white people in town. We were greeted by two Mzee (old men) from church, and the whole Carrier clan when we got ‘home'. It was a warm welcome, with a “Welcome Home Sweazy’s” banner on the wall.
The first thing I did at our new house was tend to the beds. I could not wait to pull our clean, fresh sheets out of our luggage and make up all our beds. All I can say, is that night we slept good.
We have so many more adventures to share, everyday brings something new. But that is all for today.
We love each and every one of you! Thank you for the love and support.
I WILL POST PICTURES SOON... I HAVE TERRIBLE INTERNET CONNECTION