Thursday, 13 August 2015

Multiply Trip East Africa 2015 Day 2 August 12

With Viv, Hilary and me on board, plus Janet's main luggage, Sam put his foot down.  We soon cleared the M40, and next came the Heathrow perimeter road as we headed for Terminal 4.  Although we were an hour ahead of our 5pm rendezvous time, Len was already standing near the Kenya Airlines' automatic check-in machines.  Then Janet rang.  There'd been a mix-up with coaches from Birmingham, and she wouldn't arrive until 6.30pm.  The desks closed at 6.45pm for departure.

As we sipped our coffees, hoping for better news of her progress, Len offered, "There had to be something to make us pray."  He wandered off to the Airline desk seeking advice if we could get on and check in.  As we got to the last bag, Janet burst into view. 

A few more delays, and we boarded.  The air hostess looked Viv and me up and down, and suggested we swapped for long-leg seats.  Bonus.  Another steward gave us his phone number so we could give him details of the conference. 

We descended into Nairobi late, but not before I'd nodded to Viv to notice the sunrise.  It always gets me.  We lost more time faffing about trying to get through Immigration in the new terminal.

Gregory, Bishop Joseph and Pastor Daniel were grinning across the crowd, and did us a full-on reception line greeting.  Hilary and Janet went off to Sister Anne's house with Daniel, and the rest of us piled into the legendary minibus.  We headed round a new partly-completed ring road, hardly slowing down along the sections that were just substrate.  Kabira slum passed on the right, a glaring contrast with the smart condos sprouting up on the city's rapidly-expanding suburbs. 

We paused at the Sundowner Apartments just long enough to drop off our cases and pick up Rukundo, who'd stayed overnight.  Then we grabbed some breakfast at JMB's Bar and Restaurant.  This is all familiar territory, matching my stay here in March last year.

The priorities of the day included changing some currency, getting local SIM cards, stocking up with provisions for our self-catering challenge at Sundowner, and planning out the conference sessions and preparation work.  We started with a visit to the recently reopened Westlands Mall, where Daniel and the ladies joined us from the other side of the city. 

When all was done, and Viv had had his first gurgle of Stoney, we headed for Bishop Joseph's church for a planning meeting and preview of the sewing project.  It was very useful, but inevitably meant more work - revising some of the presentations and getting handouts copied.  Phibian, the project champion will join us tomorrow morning.  By now it was 3pm and Anne was keen to avoid the evening traffic build up, but we needed time for a late lunch.  Gregory guided us to a Cafe near his church.  Most of us tried something adventurous, but Len was disappointed that goat stew wasn't on the menu.  An hour later the radiation from the corrugated sheet roof and heat from the charcoal cooker suggested we moved on.

Back at Sundowner we unpacked and spread out.  Viv slept for an hour, I had a shower and Rukundo caught up with emails.  I got out the red crosses, scissors and string and invited everyone in the lounge.  Len found out how to make the gas cooker grill work, and we rounded off the evening with toasted currant rolls, local green tea and phone calls home. 

Rukundo's promised me a draft of the 'Discipleship' session on Thursday that he'd really like to do, and Viv's working out how to set up local WiFi.  A great start.  We feel settled.   

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