Arriving again to another summer in Africa and I’m so happy to be back! As I get off the plane I immediately feel a jolt of energy and excitement run through my body. In the last few months I have been so inundated with the hustle and bustle of SF life. Especially with the launch of Mama Hope’s new training institute, Nyla and I had been burning the midnight oil for months. I got on the plane worrying about what I had forgotten to pack, the fix it ticket left on my car the day before, and the craigslister who was subletting my apartment.
Travel, especially in Africa, has a way of putting things into perspective. After picking up our baggage (thankfully both of mine made it this year) we went outside to get a driver to transport us to Westlands, what the Mama Hope crew calls ex-pat land; cush and expensive. This is the first time we have stayed in Westlands, typically we would drive to the city center of Nairobi and stay at a cheap hotel called the Parkside located right next to the bus stop to Tanzania, bordered by a night club and bar. Needless to say it’s loud and hectic. This year we have been warned to stay out of the city center because there have been numerous bombings in the area over the past couple months.
This trip will be very different from all the others because of these random acts of violence. On our drive to Westlands I talked to the taxi driver, a Nairobi local, and asked him how he felt about the bombings. He said he did not understand it. “I don’t know why, if they have problems with the government, they are taking it out on innocents.” Now I don’t want to get into the politics of this conflict… you can read all about it in the news if you want. The point is, after this conversation I thought back to the feelings I had the previous day before boarding the plane and felt so silly for allowing such stress to build around them.
Nyla made a comment over dinner ” I know we shouldn’t be in city center for safety reasons, but I feel like we’ve sold out”, as we sit in a guesthouse in the suburbs of Westlands. Subsequently Bryce and I just laugh, knowing this is the calm before the storm and that bucket showers and eight hour bus rides lie in our near future
To all of our friends, family, and supporters we are all safe and sound and very excited to share all of our upcoming adventures with you! I will be blogging frequently, as will Nyla and Bryce, so keep an eye out.