"And if you SPEND YOURSELVES on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday."

"The Lord will continually guide you. He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."- Isaiah 58:10-11

Friday, April 4, 2008

We made it to the Trans Mara!!!

Monday morning we hopped into the smallest plane any of us have been in and flew over the beautiful Rift Valley. We saw elephants, ostriches, and other herds of animals below us. The landscape was breathtaking. Sounds enticing eh? Well – It was beautiful but we were all feeling quite queasy by the end… I won’t continue with the details. We landed in the middle of no where – literally. There was a small wooden sign that said Kichewa Tembo Airstrip, a small rickety old gazebo, and a dirt runway – that was it except for miles and miles of grassy fields and a few gazelles. One of our drivers was a little late and the pilot had to leave for another flight. It was a strange feeling to be left there! Fortunately the driver was not far and we loaded up our things and began a 3 hour treck along a very dusty, bumpy, road – people in America go off roading on these types of roads – it was interesting to navigate it in a Safari van!

As we traveled along we were amazed to see elephant herds, zebras, strange large birds, unusual plants, and huge termite hills. The most amazing sites were the people. They live in mud huts with grass roofs. There many were very young children (4-6 yrs old) along the roads tending cattle – cows, sheep, and goats. There were mothers and grandmothers working in the yards, doing laundry, carrying heavy loads on their heads. Everyone was very interested in us and were very friendly – waving and yelling ‘Jambo’ or ‘Sopa.’ Our children had the windows wide open and were yelling and waving as well.

As we neared the town of Kilgouris which is at the bottom of ‘The Hill’ (our destination) throngs of people came to welcome us. All along the road the children were running to our vans and reaching out to slap the hand of our kids. Everyone was waving. It was very fun! We finally reached our destination and were amazed at the beauty of the landscape. It is very mountainous. Everything is covered in green grass and you can see for miles and miles the hills and valleys. We were surprised how spread out everything was. We walk half a mile to the school from Pastor Joseph’s house. Many children walk 2-3 miles to school each day – some of them up to 7 miles and it really is all uphill!

When we got to Joseph’s house there were about 20 Maasai women dressed in full Maasai garb singing to greet us. They slowly marched forward in two rows and gave each one of us a huge hug! We then went into Joseph’s living room which his wife, Anna, had filled with wooden benches and tables for us and were introduced to everyone. Then we filed outside again and the children from the orphanage came down and sang us their welcoming song and we did the whole thing again. We were welcomed for about 2 hours! What an honoring tradition!

It was so awesome to finally meet the orphans! We recognized so many of them from the pictures we have been looking at over the last several months! They were so excited to see our kids! They are such beautiful children – their smiles are remarkable – the sight of white teeth surrounded by soft black skin is strikingly beautiful!

We ate dinner very late that night and went to sleep in our small but very cosy beds! We can’t believe we are finally here!

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