We leave for Kenya, Africa in 5 days. FIVE.
Our bags are packed, okay stuffed. Neighbors will house/pet/yard sit. We are thisclose to being ready.
Since you will be coming with us, I thought I’d answer some of the questions I’ve been getting via email and twitter.
- Who is traveling with you? Our family of five (me, hubby, kids) and my mom.
- Where are you staying? We will be staying in the maternity home since there’s plenty of room and it’s in a safe location.
- How long will you be there? just over 3 weeks
- Will you be blogging from the trip? Yes! As much as I can, but don’t expect 5 posts a week. I will have Internet access, but it’s the rainy season in Nairobi, which means there are a lot of power outages. The weather: highs of 80, lows of 60. We call that perfection!
- How will you get around? The maternity home is now the proud owner of a beautiful van. We needed a reliable way to get laboring girls back and forth to the private hospital. There will be a hired driver until Maureen feels comfortable using her new license.
- How will you get 1000 pounds to Africa? We are flying with “missionary status” through the British Airlines and they are allowing our party of six, three fifty pound bags each. We have been able to pack about 2/3 of all the donations that have come in. . . and little extras like these precious dolls created/donated by Baby Be Blessed (with a Bible Verse in Swahili sewn on their tummies!)
- Who is funding this trip? Our family/mom paid for each of our plane tickets (who needs a savings account, right?) We will also provide our spending money while in-country. We don’t have lodging expenses, except for our 2 days in Kitale to visit Mattaw Children’s Village.
- Will it be safe for your children? Nothing is 100% safe, including the street in front of our house or riding in our minivan. We are taking precautions and won’t take unnecessary risks.
- Will you be taking medicine? We will all begin taking malaria pills in a couple of days, and we were all vaccinated. Mosquito nets will cover our beds and we have some potent bug spray.
- What will you eat? One of our Compassion friends has helped us hire a cook for the time we are there. Our board of directors decided this would keep us healthy and since processed, easy-to-fix meals aren’t available in Africa, we thought we could use this time to accomplish things on our agenda. While the prepared food will be safe for us, it will still be African. Since my 4 year old is a little picky, I have a lot of peanut butter and jelly planned for her.
- Will you visit the slums? We will not be taking our children into the worst slums. But there are many slums in Nairobi and we (my hubby and I) plan to visit a maternal clinic we are working with in one of these areas. Also, our family will be visiting one of our Compassion kids who lives in a slum.
- Will you see your Compassion children? Yes! We have 4 sponsored children in Kenya. We will be spending a day with Makenna and Ephantus (whom I met last year) and two others who will be traveling quite a distance, Mwaka and Millicent. My mom and dad also have two sponsored children who will be visiting-so six in all! We will be spending a whole day with them and we will also visit Ephantus’ home. (Our family is paying for this expense).
- What exactly will you be doing? We have a packed itinerary of unpacking/organizing 1000 pounds of donations, 2 intense days of staff development, setting up a homeschool area, teaching an accounting program, visiting partnering ministries (more on that later). We will have a dedication ceremony of the home and a board meeting. We also have many intense days of teaching practical skills in hopes they will produce products to sell fair trade for sustainability, as well as visiting with many, many friends of Compassion and Rehema House who will be stopping by to volunteer and fellowship.
- Will you do anything fun? Yes! We have two days planned during our trip-we are really excited about the Giraffe Orphanage!
- Are you afraid? The right answer is no. But the honest answer…a little. I’m anxious about getting 20 bags thru Kenya’s corrupt customs department. I’m nervous about how my little family will do. But above all, I have a peace that doesn’t make sense and I’m trusting God for everything I won’t have control of-which is a lot.
- Does Mercy House have enough money? God has miraculously gotten us this far: giving us a beautiful home and staff. Unbelievable fuel prices are causing cost of living expenses to soar and threaten our budget. We are believing God to continue to meet each need. We can guarantee that every dollar given is used wisely and makes a difference in Africa. 100% of the work done in USA is done on a volunteer-basis.
- Do you need anything? Simply put: yes. We need you to pray for us. I will be sharing a very specific prayer calendar later this week that I’d love for you to print out and hang on your refrigerator. So many of you are invested in this trip–if it weren’t for your donations of money and goods, we wouldn’t be going. But that’s just part of this journey, can I be so bold to ask you to commit to praying for us?
Any more burning questions? Leave them in the comments. Thank you so much for your support!!