Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I made it! I arrived here Saturday evening after a loooooong day of travelling. I had to be at the airport at 6:30 that a.m. and arrived here at 5:00 p.m.. I was so excited to see my parents and to actually be in Kenya.
Leaving the Nairobi Airport you pass a small game reserve. My parents told me to make sure and look out the window because sometimes you see giraffe. Well God was welcoming me to Kenya and arranged for NINE giraffes, including a baby giraffe, to be standing right by the road, and a herd of zebra. It was so cool!!! Giraffes, by the way, are my favorite animal in the world.
Flying in, Kenya just seems so vast with its expansive plains and mountain ranges. Nairobi is an old city but has areas of new development and modern buildings. Many things are very similar to Mozambique but there are also many differences. It's so interesting to see another African country.
Waiting for me at their house was a birthday cake, a beautiful bouquet of flowers, brand new CROCS (I've been wanting some and they are soooo expensive in S.A. where we shop. So my mom had ordered some from the U.S.), and a fantastic meal. The next day they took me out for the rest of my birthday present.....we visited this gorgeous tea farm up in the mountains in Limuru. The owner Fiona first sat and told us all about how the tea gets from the bush to your cup. Then one of the workers took us on a tour of the remaining forest on their property. One of the first things he told us was, "No, there are no snakes or wild animals in this forest!" I was very glad he said that because we were about to walk into a very dense, dark clump of trees. It was like being in another world. He had stories about the medicinal properties of certain plants or what animals lived in certain trees. It was fascinating.
After the walk we enjoyed lunch on the lawn. This was no picnic lunch either. You start with soup, then the main course of several tasty dishes, then dessert. (The lemon mousse was yummy!) As you sit on the lawn to eat you are looking across a mountain range and gorgeous tea fields as well as the gorgeous english gardens that border their property. We enjoyed seeing Colobus and Sykes monkeys in the trees and on the roof of the house and admired tiny chameleons that live on the bushes of the gardens. I bent down to smell a colorful flower only to realize the flower was really a HUGE green and red grasshopper!
I felt the layers of all my normal responsibilities just peel away as I sat in those gorgeous, peaceful surroundings! For two weeks I don't have to plan or cook meals, do laundry, referee fights, or get up at any certain time. This is truly a gift. I am enjoying every minute of it. I love my family and I love my life. But to be able to get away and truly relax is just amazing.
Many famous people have visited this tea farm, including Jimmy Carter and the owner of Celestial Seasons teas (don't know his name). And now me! HA HA
On the homefront, they are all doing fine without me. Luke started an antibiotic over the weekend and returned to school yesterday. Charlie is cooking and getting everything done. He is amazing! Thanks to our friends the Bowers who had them all over for dinner last night.
It's rainy and cool here today and I am still in my pajamas. I may stay in them all day.