Jambo friends and family, we arrived safely in Mobasa and will be traveling to the Rabai area and to our temporary home at Mama Kamoti’s home. As you can imagine most of us have not slept well not had access to a shower so we as so thankful for the ability to catch our breath and clean up. Before we leave in the morning I wanted to share my personal experience getting through customs. As we gathered our luggage some of us noticed there were chalked X’s on some of our checked suitcases. (Both of my checked bags were marked) so I approached the counter and was asked to open my suitcases, so my first one has pencils with DunDum suckers attached to the ends of them and various other supplies for the schools. As I explained what and who these were for the lady examining my baggage said “oh these would be so good for my Sunday school class”. Then I opened my second bag which holds all of the Footballs and pumps, I suddenly found myself being told I would need to be paying a large sum in custom fees to bring the supplies any further. After a brief discussion that involved some serious charm from Burt and myself we were through customs and on our way, minus two bags of pencils with DumDum’s and one football and pump. I love just imagining the faces on the children in her Sunday schools class tomorrow when they get their surprise… As you can guess we are all very tired as some haven’t slept at all and most of us have slept very little so far. Tomorrow morning we travel to Rabai… (Write more later)
Today started with a trip to church which was quite interesting as we met Elder Montgomery from Medin Utah who was just finishing his two year mission and was returning home in just a couple of days. To think we traveled around the world and were able to hear a farewell talk from fellow Utahn. I suggested those of on this trip go to his home coming talk in Mendin.
After church we traveled to the wood Carver’s compound/business park. For those of you that haven’t been this is an amazing experience as you get to meet local Craftsmen and Craftwomen that have learned their craft from their fathers and their father’s father. Everyone one of these people are always so welcoming, always happy to show you what they have just finished or are currently working on. This is where Grant Victor purchase the animal carvings that are sent out to customers and partners around Christmas time. Personally, I am always in awe of the skill and scope of these artisans.
We are now in route to Mama Kamoti’s home where we will be graciously housed for nearly the remainder of our trip. As we are traveling there we are in two separate vans driven by Oscar and Jackson. Jackson was a driver during my previous trip, I was so delighted to see him again. We had some minor issues with Oscars van on the way to the Kamoti home. Oscar pulled into the nearest petrol station and determined what the issue was and resolved it in under ten minutes. One thing you notice right away is there is no giving up in the Kenyan heart. The lack of opportunities is what is the biggest challenge here. This is why education is essential, so that not only the current members of the community provided more opportunity but so are future generations.
We arrived at the Kamoti home and were greeted by Mama Kamoti and her household but also most of the children from the surrounding area. (They have come to know that the Grant Victor teams always bring some suprises for them) Once we unloaded ourselves as well as our carry on luggage we entered the home to find all of our check baggage there to greet us as well. As former team members know the check baggage is where we pack the supplies we bring over for the various schools and clinics we will visit during our stay. Mama Kamoti and Miriam had made dinner for us so we grabbed a quick bite to eat then began organizing the supplies in order to make everything more efficient. Shortly after that was completed it was suggested that we take a drive to nearby “watering hole” ( this watering hole was dug entirely by hand and is believed to be sacred blessed by God and no one is allowed to touch the water by hand the only scoop it out with buckets and large ladles) so new travel team members could see first hand how far the water supply is as well as how the water is transpoted home ( carried in a container often a five gallon bucket on the head traditionally by the mothers and young ladies of the family) Of course, a few people were encouraged to try carrying a bucket of water on their head and out of Matt Jensen, Jen Matthews and Becca Banks, Becca was declared water carrying champion. Because this watering hole is fed not only by rain water but also a natural high water table it was explained to me that it’s never gone dry, very low but never completely dry. It should also be explained that this is an area that Grant Victor Cares has previously visited so we were soon met but many children from the surrounding area. They were very entertained with watching Levi Whitney fly the photography drone. After taking the trip to the local water hole we all climbed back in the vans and headed back to Mama Kamoti’s home. Thank all of you for making this possible!! Asante Sana!!
Nyali, Nyali, Coast, Kenya