"MY MISSION TRIP TO KENYA" Top 5 Page for this destination Nairobi by greekcypriot

Nairobi Travel Guide: 635 reviews and 1,493 photos

OUR FIRST DAY OF ARRIVAL

1st July 2010

We reach Nairobi Airport at 19.05 sharp. We are anxious to see if our suitcases have arrived safely. The funny thing is that from the same place where we are supposed to get our luggage, there are two other flights from other destinations and people are piled around the scales to find their belongings.

My anxiety is great, and every now and then I go near the window to see if I can see a piece of paper with my name written on. All I see is unknown faces of black people holding papers with names but I don't see my name anywhere from this distance.

We spend more than an hour waiting for our luggage to come.

YESss! I see the people who are expecting us. Nicholas holding a paper with my name written in Capitals on !!!..At first they did not recognize me - Nicholas said, because he expected me to be much fatter than what I look in the photos I have on Travelpod.

There is another lady from the Church Society who has come to greet us, and also Jack – Nicholas brother who will be our driver starting from this moment.

Nicholas, the person who has invited us was telling me that the house we are going to stay at, is in the city centre. I am confused seeing that we take the highway to go to the house, and to our bad luck it is jammed. There are so many cars in the streets and we decide to take a by-pass instead.

I don’t know what to expect, but we feel secure in the jeep Jack is driving. My happiness however did not last long.

The indicator showing the petrol is not working, and suddenly our car stops. Me and Yianni don’t know what is happening, but we soon find out. We are out of petrol! We are not to get out of the car we are informed, and I see that Jack –the driver, is holding a big empty bottle and runs off to buy some petrol. It is late at night, and we are stuck in the middle of a very busy street. There are some guards by the side of the car, and I do feel scared and a disappointment. The people in Kenya drive like crazy, and we are only a few minutes here, and we have come up with this incident !!!! I cannot believe in what I see happening from the first few minutes of our arrival.

While we are waiting in the car, Jack is out looking for petrol. He is back after about 15 minutes which for us seems like hours, but soon we are off again.

It is very different from how I expected it. First because of the distance, and secondly because I have never been in such heavy traffic where drivers drive like crazy in my whole life! And the roads are terrible!


ARRIVING HOME

We come home. Yes the house looks nice and huge. We meet the other brother whose name is Patrick and his wife Catherine, who are welcoming us. They seem to be very open hearted and kind people.

Patrick is the eldest brother and he has 5 children. Two of the children are in a boarding school, but the other three are already in bed. So, we don’t see them this first evening. We are given the guest room which is quite comfortable.

I do not demand and I don’t expect any extreme amenities, besides a bed and a bathroom.

The room is spacious, but opposite the bed there is the bathroom without a door in between. There is no dressing table or a wardrobe to place our clothes in, but instead there are nails on the wall where clothes are to be hanged. There is no mirror, and this does not make me very happy, but for this reason I am here, for this different way of living. APPRECIATE what you have and what you are given, is the first lesson I get !

I feel as if I am lost the first minutes I am in the room, and I have no intention of getting things out of the suitcase. Where should I hang everything??? ! I see a line of nails but I cannot imagine myself thinking on hanging clothes on nails.

Anyway, the bed is fine, we try to get accustomed to what we are given, and try to get some sleep. It is the first night, and we feel very out of our depth at this moment.

I am anxiously waiting to wake up tomorrow and see what is coming up next……

What a compelling Experience at the Orphanage!

It is the 3rd day here and today we are driving to Kiteangela village to visit a school and many orphans.
It is quite far from where we stay, and the roads are unbelievably bad. They are actually the worst we have ever seen.

Kitenagela has 4 Cement factories and the whole area is polluted.
There is so much dust scattered in the air, and the fumes coming out of every car makes the whole place look like hell.
I remember seeing a policeman standing in the middle of the road next to a paper bag, and as we were approaching we saw the leg of a dead child hanging out from it.

VISITING THE ORPHAN SCHOOL

A whole school is waiting for us out in a dirt road with their parents. The moment they see our car they start moving towards us, dancing and singing. There are about 200 to 230 people. Little by little they move towards us. We get off the jeep and walk towards them to greet them. They are very near us. We are almost face to face. They greet us with welcoming songs and movements. All of them seem happy and excited, and without stopping dancing even for a second we join them and all together we move towards their school ….it is not a school, but actually temporary hutments.

We are the people of honour for them this day. As we are approaching, and move towards the school playground (fields) I see that they have some pieces of furniture –couch and arm chairs covered in white sheets for us to sit.

We all take our seats, and immediately the principal of the school places a string of gold colour around our necks – a sign of honour, while the mothers and children are still singing. To my surprise I am given a programme by the chairman of the community where in detail I see what is going to take place very soon.

I give a short speech, tell them who I am and the purpose of this trip of mine, and it is so touchy to see all these orphans - many of whom lost their parents some years ago fighting for liberation. It is obvious that we have given them some hope today, and you can see this drawn on their little smiling faces.

I cannot understand where all these people out here draw strength from. They are so satisfied and pleased with very little things. They remind me of the people in Cuba, but I think things are even worse here.

The children recite for us, and also sing in groups. They even perform a small sketch for us. After breakfast, something like porridge is given to the children, and the programme goes on with more and more singing. Singing, that lasts for more than 2 hours.

Entering the Classes one by one....

Later on in the afternoon I am shown around…..their supposed to be classrooms! Till that very moment I am ignorant of how the classes look like. With the principal of the school and the teachers we go round the (so called classes) … and we are also shown where the orphans sleep.

I am shocked. There is NOTHING in these shabby rooms. In one of these rooms I see two or three wheels from cars, and I am told that these are used by students to write on. The children sit on the earth, and use the wheels like desks.

I am even more shocked when we open a door and I am shown where the boarding house is….Just pieces of cloths on the earth, and a very small room or about 3 X 2 sq. metres where here more than 20 people sleep. There are clothes on the ground, sheets and shoes. I cannot believe what we see today out here! Indescribable.

I tell the men in charge that I really don’t want to go anywhere else but concentrate on this particular school. I am supposed to visit other schools in the next days, but after seeing this situation here I just know that it is here that most attention should be given.

It is lunch time even though it is so late in the afternoon, because of the celebration today, and every child is brought his plate with food from the women who help.
I want to see the children eating and with my camera I enter a room where I find them all sitting on the ground I am told that there are days that these children have nothing to eat, or they have just one meal the whole day and this is the reason why they are given so much when they have it.

I spend some time with them talking and getting acquainted and I tell them that I am coming back to give them books and copy books, pens and pencils, and that I have brought them cds with cartoons to watch, and over 100 English songs for kids to listen to and learn. They ask for my name, and I also ask why some of the kids are using their hands to eat while some use spoons. They tell me that they lack spoons. There are not enough spoons for everyone.
In reality these kids lack EVERYTHING!!!!

Before leaving we treated kids, parents and teachers with candies who were patiently waiting for this warm welcoming party to be over.
FIND MORE IN THE GUIDE BELOW
MY MISSION TRIP

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:People who strive for education and a better life.
  • Cons:Poverty, smog, Pollution and exhaust fumes everywhere. Really bad roads that are unbelievably bad.
  • In a nutshell:Very religious happy people who are pleased with very little.
  • Last visit to Nairobi: Jul 2010
  • Intro Updated Mar 30, 2013
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Reviews (81)

Comments (26)

  • aadil's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2013 at 3:48 AM

    Great to see your page here and I am sure you had a great time doing things that you wanted to do out there.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Hi, Popi! ~ You have created a great detailed page! Thanks for sharing your experiences!~

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2011 at 4:18 AM

    Lovely page Popi! Your tips are practical and insightful, and it's a pleasure to be reminded of simple things such as the type of plugs used (I was lying in bed last night trying to remember!) Regards Cathy

  • Marisola's Profile Photo
    Apr 2, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    Interesting safety tips about Nairobi! Are there many side effects to the malaria medication?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Me again, coming back to read the rest of your very useful and practical tips about travelling in Kenya. Good that there are passenger trains between Nairobi and Mombasa. It was interesting to read your tips on the wedding customs of the different tribes.

  • Jan 5, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    Wow! A really nice guide and very helpful to those travelling to this destination.Good work Popi.

  • Dec 21, 2010 at 4:12 AM

    This is indeed a great guide.

  • Oct 2, 2010 at 7:15 AM

    Great info Popi. Beautiful photos and much work on your tips.

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Sep 24, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    I guess Nairobi must have changed a lot since 1989 when I visited.

  • Sep 7, 2010 at 7:51 AM

    What a useful guide. Excellent work again Popi.

greekcypriot

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