My parents arrived in Kenya on a late Sunday night and while it was great to see them, I was also happy to learn that they brought me greetings from my siblings and friends. The only let down about their arrival, was that the bag they had checked on the flight had not arrived with them and it just so happened to be the bag that contained all the stuff they had brought me from the States. But, all the same I was happy to see them.
After a late breakfast on the following day I took my parents to the Kazuri Beads in the area of Nairobi called Karen. It was a great experience arriving there and learning the process that the beads go through. We also got to see the many women and men working at each station. Towards the end of the tour we got to see the room where they store the extra beads they make. It was by far the most beads I had seen in my entire life. They were sorted by color and resting in large jars on the numerous shelves on the walls of the room. At the end of the tour we visited the gift shop and saw the final products that were being sold; there were lots of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings…but mostly bead necklaces…I realized that all the stuff there was jewelry, very beautiful jewelry, but jewelry… and well, let’s just say shopping for jewelry is not my thing, so I got some help.
One of the more exciting adventures I had with my parents was when we visited the Hell’s Gate National Park next to Lake Naivasha. I believe it is the only National Park in Kenya where you can bike around in. The main reason for this is that there are no big game predators in the area and its mostly just zebras, giraffes, warthogs, and buffalo. The best time to arrive is in the morning because most of the animals are out and about before the heat of the mid day sets in.
The hour hike down into the canyons was amazing. We had a guide who showed us the hot springs and walked with us to the different areas in the canyon. I was amazed to see how high the walls of the canyon really got and too see how smooth their surfaces where.
Our guide told us that a few years ago, a group of school children and their teachers died because of flash flooding. There were 50 of them in total and none of them were not able to get out of the canyon in time. Looking at the height of the walls and a few tree trunks, you can see how strong the water must have been moving to carry entire trees down the canyon.
Later that day, we took a boat tour of Lake Naivashaand were fortunate enough to see some hippos either in the water or sunbathing on the edge of the water. Its one thing to see animals in a zoo, but seeing them out in the wild is just something that can’t be matched or adequately described. It was also great to walk and bike around this area and not having to see the animals from the window of a car or van. Lucky for us we had a nice sunny day and the rains only hit when we were headed back to Nairobi.
A few days later we had a nice meal dinner with the Kenya YAVs and Oluniyi (a collogue from work). We went to a Brazilian Stake House that happens to be right next to where I live. However, on a YAV stipend, one can’t afford to eat there many times. I was glad that my parents got a chance to meet the other YAVs in Kenya and also some friends that we have made here.
We also had a great Easter lunch at Phyllis’s house (site coordinator) after a great Easter service at Nairobi Chapel. It was a definitely a different Easter feeling, celebrating it a ways from home, but it was nice to have my parents there. We also got a basket of candy so that sweet!
All-in-all it was a great week. It was a little sad to see my parents go but it came with a plus. In just a few days we would be flying to South Africa for the Presbyterian Church’s Africa mission retreat with my dad.
Watch for the next post!