Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hello from Nairobi!

Dear friends,

I arrived in Nairobi last night, and Rev Steph's prodding reminded me to keep all y'all updated on my travels here in Kenya.

Last May, at a Memorial Day barbeque at EDS, I met Elphas Wambani. Elphas is a professor at St Philip's Theological College in Maseno, where Marie and I will be based for our time in Kenya. When I met him, he was wrapping up some time at EDS, where he was writing on how indigenous communities use their own traditions to discern the working of the Holy Spirit. As we talked, I found he was a friend of Marie and had been to The Crossing a couple of times-- and that he was thrilled to help welcome me to Kenya, a trip I was then only beginning to plan.

Well, last night, he met me at the airport in Nairobi. His brother drove us through insane developing-world traffic jams to his house in the Ngong Hills southwest of the city. I've spent the day in the hills resting up and adjusting to local time, seven hours ahead of Boston.

In fact, Ngong features a surprising Boston connection. Many marathon runners train in these hills. The dirt road that leads to Elphas' brother's door is a favorite spot of theirs in the early morning. His next-door neighbor is a runner himself. Elphas tells me that you can drive around the northern hills, where the runners mostly hail from originally, and point to many schools and hospitals built with prize money from Boston Marathons past.

Everything you may have heard about African hospitality is true. The family here has not only let me into their home, but fed me to bursting with tea, cornbread, bean stew, and a chicken from their backyard. I will stay here at least one day more, as they have another EDS student to host on her way back from Rwanda. The plan then is to head off cross country to Maseno.

As you pray, please pray for rain in Kenya. It has been a dangerously dry winter. The maize crop, on which many of the poorest farmers depend, is already a disaster: My Illinois-trained eyes could see that much from my hosts' back garden, where the corn has attained less than half the height it should by now. Water shortages are terrible in central Nairobi. Even the electric grid is in trouble: Kenya depends heavily on hydroelectricity, but most of the dams have shut down for lack of water behind them. We have no power out here during the day, and some places are worse off still.

For all that, I have been very comfortable so far, and I am thankful for the many prayers that have made my presence here possible. Please keep them up, and if you are so moved, consider contributing to Marie's and my trip. And don't hesitate to write: I should have regular internet access in the evenings.

Blessings to everyone. Peace, love, and waking with the hens,



Blogger James said...

My name is James Musukuya. I worked with Elphas at St. Philips Theological College, Maseno (Kenya). I left for Nairobi, Kenya's Capital as Elphas left for EDS. After his studies at EDS, Elphas invited me to work with him on his community development initiatives. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

3:34 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home