Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday - Driving Across Kenya

Today Cliff drove Al and I and Mike (New Life Mission’s excellent worship leader) from Nairobi to Eldoret – 180 miles – 5 ½ hours.

Highlights include:

• A man leading his camel next to the highway

• Monkees

• Storks

• Extreme poverty (60% of Kenyans live below the poverty line)

• Driving in elevations over 9000 feet!

• A man wearing an MSU Spartan jacket in a gas station (probably the highlight of the trip so far)

• Good dialogue with Cliff, Mike, and Al

• A beautiful shiny iridescent blue bird I’d never seen before

• Pelicans

• A stretch of highway that’s got to be as bad as any paved road can get – because until recently in Kenya trucks had no load limit. So, gigantic grooves are worn into the highway in places.

• The phenomenal Rift Valley. It almost took my breath away. It’s the Kenyan equivalent of the Grand Canyon (not sculpturally), except the Rift dwarfs the Grand Canyon in size.

• Arrival in Eldoret. We eat in the dining room. It’s a buffet. Fried Embu rice; Cream of Caroline soup (if your name is Caroline, don’t go there…); Ugali (a corn thing – I liked it); Lyannoaise potatoes (really, round French fries, but since we’re in lion country why not?); roast rack of lamb (the lyon and the lamb); and Cajun-fried tilapia. When Al and I got to the Cajun fried tilapia all we saw were Cajun fried tilapia heads. I thought Cajun-friend tilapia heads might be a delicacy. At least that’s what I told Al. When Cliff sat down to eat with us I asked if, in Kenya, cajun-friend tilapia heads are a delicacy. If he said “yes” then I’d feel good, and I needed to feel good about this tilapia head since it had precious little to eat on it and was always staring back at me. Cliff said, “No. Didn’t you see the fish bodies and the fish tails? I insisted there were only heads. Cliff then pointed to a nearby table, and there was a tilapia body on someone’s plate. Whoops. Or, maybe other people took all the tilapia bodies and tails and left the heads for Al and I?

I don’t have the best internet setup here at our Eldoret hotel.

70 pastors from Uganda and Kenya will be with me tomorrow. Some of them have driven all day and overnight to get here. Most of them… no, probably all of them…, are economically very poor. I am so grateful to God for the next 3-4 days with these real Jesus-followers!