June 12, 2014
#2 The Trip
OK, the plan was that Judy would fly into SFO early Sunday morning and would meet me at the Emirates desk. I was there early—a good thing because it gave Mark (my son) time to drive all the way back to Menlo Park to get the box I left behind. ARGH!!! Not a propitious beginning. He was a good sport about it, but I had to assure him it has important contents—mostly books, a few articles of clothing for the children at Mji Wa Neema, children’s home, where we stay and of greatest importance, the giant portion of the chocolate stash I’d collected for the summer, which was already a meager daily ration.
I looked all around for Judy without success, so got in the line, thinking she would find me, got up to the front of the line, no Judy, so I asked whether she had checked in already. Yes, I was told. I thought that was odd, since we’d agreed to meet at Emirates, but I proceeded, telling the attendant that I had another box coming and would I have to wait in line again. No, just come right to me. Went outside to wait for Mark, who was only a bit grumpy for having to use his whole Sunday afternoon schlepping for his negligent mom. Great son!
Still no Judy, down to security, where I drank most of the water in my bottle and was never stopped for what was still in it, and off to the gate. No Judy anywhere. Well, she must be at the gate—nope, not there either. Wait a bit, then a brilliant idea—the white telephone! So I page her, “Judy Murphy, please proceed to gate A2.” Some 15 minutes later here comes a very tired Judy, who had waited in the Portland airport for her 1-hour delayed plane. Blood pressure drop of about 50 points.
There is nothing to say about the 15 hours to Dubai, except that we survived it, spent the night in a hotel and were off the next day t 10:30 to Nairobi. To all whom I told that leg was 5 hours, I must now confess it’s only 4—forgot the 1 hour time difference.
Last year the Nairobi airport burned and is now being rebuilt. Things are pretty good, considering. He luggage came very fast, but of course there is always 1 suitcase that is the next-to-last-one off the carousel. Mine this time. Next is customs, where I have to somehow convince them that my 2 huge suitcases, 1 small one, 1 backpack and the box should be allowed. What’s in them? Mostly used (gently) jackets and children’s books for the poor, unfortunate orphans in the children’s home where we stay. Sometimes it’s good to pour it on a bit!
Finally we are out and there is Fr. Kiriti, huge smile as always, and a big bear hug for us. That was before he saw how much luggage we had brought. Judy had as much as I did and all we had to carry us and it was a Toyota 4 X 4. Fortunately I had warned him to bring a rope. The car was so weighed down, it was almost scraping bottom.
Nairobi traffic is a nightmare, but Fr. Kiriti knows all the back roads, which are jammed, but at least it moves, in contrast to the direct route, which does not. Taking 2 ½ hours for a 1 hour trip, we arrived in Naivasha, and up to the home, even through the gate so the various suitcases and boxes didn’t have to be carried far.
It was truly a tearful greeting with Julia (matron) and Agnes (assistant) and the 5 kids who are still not in high school or more. Two of the older girls are here, waiting to be taken to interviews for university.
It was so good to be back!
Sorry there are no pix. Will get out the camera tomorrow.