We've arrived...and what a place Kenya is! Where to start....
Kensa met us at Kisumu airport, with Robert and Emo both from the Dreamland Mission to drive us to Kimilili and the guesthouse (for a much needed shower!).
The 3 hour minibus journey sounded daunting, but oh my, what an introduction to the country! The first thing that struck me was how beautifully green everything is, there's been a fair bit of rain of late as it is the rainy season, but we have arrived on a beautifully bright sunny day...lets hope it continues!
As it is Sunday, there are many people about, making their way to and from church. As vehicles are rare out here, most people are walking, with some on pushbikes and motorcycles...often more than one to a bike!
A typically African sight that I spot is the kenyan's walking whilst balancing items on their heads - it's amazing! From a small boy who looked about 6 years old with a churn of milk or water on his head to a woman with a huge bundle of really long branches! Amazing!
We pass a lot of buildings of all different shapes and sizes, from lean to type shacks to two story buildings - many painted in the most striking colours all with hand written signs. And to be on topic, we passed a number of paint and hardware stores advertising Crown and Basco :). All sorts of businesses, including fruit and veg, clothes, furniture and even quite randomly coffins, all being made and sold on the side of the road, as well as kilns for firing bricks of which there are piles on the side of the road.
Goats and cows are a common sight along the way, providing a source of milk and income for locals.
We stop en route as we passed the equator! Curiously there is a hotel and a car wash there and the car wash guy showed us a neat little trick of the water spinning clockwise in the north and anticlockwise in the south!
As we start to ascend up to the 6,000ft where Kimilili is situated, we pass the Zoya river (which flows in to Lake Victoria) and also powers the local sugar factory...producing enough hydro power to sell some back to the national grid. The Sugar Factory is quite a contrast to the rest of the buildings we have seen and even has a football pitch for its employees!
Passing through Bungoma town where the factory is located, we noticed that it became really rather busy, a market was in full swing and we will be visitng something similar later in the week where we can pick up any local wares!
As we climb the hillside there are many large bolders amongst the greenery and fields of sugar canes and other farmland with the odd goats and cows.
Something Gary definitely wanted mentioned was that he spotted a woman in her sunday best carrying a chicken, backwards under his arm! Quite a funny sight to behold!!
We arrive at the compound where we're staying, all built behind security gates. The boys (sorry Gary and Colin!) are in the guesthouse however due to the number of people staying (all the doctors, nurses and anethatists from Smile Train, the charity who are carrying out the operations) the girls are instead staying in Becky's house next door - all in the same compound and surrounded by the most beautiful garden.
While we sit and discuss our plan for the week, we can hear beautiful birdsong, and the hubub of children in the distance many of whom we encounter on a little walk of the area. There's also the noises of the jeep being fixed...turns out its gonig to cost all of £4 to fix!
As we walk about, the kids are soooo cute, and love to say "Hello how are you?" in their super cute voices with a wave and a smile! What with us and the doctors, there have never been so many Mazungus (white/european foreigners) in the village and so we're quite a sight for them as we wander down the road!
The 'road' is a dirt track, peppered with pot holes! Made for an interesting drive in and as we walk we have to dodge the bikes who are weave around them!
Anyway...must dash, I'm typing this at the hospital and need to crack on with the project! More updates from us tomorrow :)
Nicky (Debra, Colin and Gary too!)