Well, it’s been three weeks since I left, and though I haven’t actually arrived at RVA yet, I thought I would let you all know what’s been going on anyway.
As most of you know, I left Austin for Atlanta. The first hitch in the trip happened when I arrived at the airport in Austin—my flight had been cancelled and no one had told me, which is not the best news to get at six thirty in the morning. Fortunately, I was able to be moved onto a later flight and arrive with all my stuff only three hours after I was supposed to have done. In Atlanta I met up with the other people that were being sent out. At this time of year, this is a mostly RVA group—we can all get there in time for the school year to start. There were two other dorm parents there, as well as some teachers and doctors. We did all the outbound administrative stuff that I won’t trouble you with, and then we all flew out together. Our flight was delayed leaving Atlanta, which turned out to be a good thing. Between the 18 children, and 13 adults and 128 pieces of luggage, we almost didn’t get checked in as it was. (Though it turns out, a perk of travelling with babies is that you get to go through the priority line in security, which saves a lot of time, and while I myself do not have a baby, the security people do not ask if the baby you’re carrying belongs to you. 🙂 )
Many hours later, we arrived in Nairobi where we spent a few days recovering from jet lag, figuring out cell phones and exchange rates and such, and meeting up with all the other people who would be joining us at orientation who’d come from places outside the US. It took three buses to get us all to Nakuru for orientation (it would’ve been more if our luggage hadn’t been sent on ahead to RVA). One bus—the one with four families and the three single ladies (of which I am one)—got pulled over by the police about ten minutes into the trip. Turns out our bus was guilty of an out of date music permit. That’s really a thing. Public vehicles have to have a music permit if they have a radio—something to do with copyright. Though we assured the policeman that we would not listen to the radio for the duration of the trip, it was to no avail. The driver was forced to abandon the bus and take a taxi back to his agency, where he got a new music license and brought it back. After that, it was pretty smooth sailing to Nakuru.
So, that’s where we are right now. We’re staying at a lodge doing cultural orientation, and learning some stuff about the different branches of AIM and what they all do. We’ve been out to a couple of different churches, visited some local community improvement projects and we visited a mosque yesterday as part of the evangelizing to Muslims study. It’s been interesting. To be perfectly honest, some of the cultural orientation stuff is testing my patience, simply because it’s mostly stuff I’ve already done and know. I’ve been working on keeping an open mind and positive attitude about it, so please pray for me in that regard as we head into the last week. On the plus side, there are some really great people here, and I’m really enjoying getting to know all these people who will be my colleagues both at RVA and around Africa. And yes, I’m learning things too. 🙂