Saturday afternoon we said goodbye to family and left Memphis to move to Africa. There were hugs and tears and excitement and nervousness mixed with anticipation and an eagerness to finally get to the place God called us to almost a year ago. We flew out of Memphis around 2:30pm and went west to Dallas. Going west to go east would not have been my first choice but the flight was way cheaper and cut down on the possibility of being delayed by weather in cities like Philadelphia or Chicago. Plus the Dallas airport gave us an opportunity to eat Mexican food one last time. Although we have been told there a few new “Mexican” places here in Nairobi now.
After Dallas we flew to London, it was a pretty uneventful flight, Bronwyn slept and I watched movies. I’ll give my quick movie review here:
- Justice League – not good
- Thor, Fraggle Rock – is still excellent the second viewing
- American Made – I liked it better the first time when starred Johnny Depp and was called Blow.
Other than that the trip was pretty uneventful. Once in London we had just enough time to find our gate, grab a few snacks and board our flight to Nairobi. I will give you my Airport reviews here:
- Memphis – I liked it better when you could actually fly to places and not hubs.
- Dallas – Modern, clean, easy to navigate, and did I mention Mexican food?
- Heathrow – not great. Bizarre set up but you do get in a pretty good walk which is needed after a 9 hour flight
- Nairobi – I’ll just tell this story in the next paragraph.
We land in Nairobi after about an hour delay in London because one of the cargo doors wouldn’t close. There was a part of me that was worried it might have something to do with all our huge heavy tubs. We arrived in Nairobi around 10:30pm Kenya time which is 2:30pm Memphis time. So we had flown about 24 hours and were 8 hours ahead. I don’t sleep much anyway, I mean it’s 4am as I’m typing this, but I was a little jet lagged. At the airport here you still have take the stairs from the plane onto the tarmac and then a bus picks you up and takes you to the main building. Because, I was traveling with a guitar that the very kind airlines allowed me to put in the coat closet we didn’t make the first bus because they had to retrieve it for me. So we waited a few minutes on the stair case and I know several of my friends just immediately thought of the Bluth Family, and waited for our bus. We loaded on and then headed in to have passports stamped and then collect all our luggage. I will say that lines work differently in Africa, and even in London than they do back in the states. For one people don’t line up as much as they kind of bunch and you just move forward with the mob. It actually sounds awful but the reality is it went fine. You just have to move forward and it all seems to work out and no one gets mad.
So we got through that line and then came the part I worried about, we had been told customs had been really strict lately and we were told to say “we are missionaries with BlueSky moving to Kenya, we have work permits waiting for us”. I also was concerned about negotiating about 400lbs of stuff through the airport. So here is what happened, we walked in and I almost immediately saw some of our tubs, we grabbed the suitcase from one carousel and 4 of the tubs from the other. When it was clear how much stuff we had assistance was immediately offered and then it was just a matter of waiting on the last tub. Finally there it was, all our luggage had arrived and with the exception of the wheels being off two of them they were relatively unscathed. The zip ties hadn’t even been undone. So with help we started to move towards the last hurtle and I walked through looking confident and just said, “We are moving to Kenya…” and that was it, they just waved us through. We didn’t have to cut the zip ties until we got to our house.
So we get outside the airport and immediately welcomed by the smiling faces of Jennifer, Nick, and Karlie who helped us grab luggage and take it to their cars. We loaded up and left the airport. With the exception of the delay in London and American Airlines charging us $200 more than we were told over the phone for our extra luggage it was an amazingly easy trip. However, when we left the airport Bronwyn and I rode with Jennifer while Nick and Karlie were in the other car with our tubs. We passed the two of them and they had been pulled over. The Kenyan police officer claimed Nick’s tire was low (probably from our heavy tubs) and essentially was looking for a bribe to let him go. So yes there is some corruption, but Nick essentially refused and finally after lots of run around he let him go.
We finally got to see our beautiful amazing house which is a God story all it’s own and essentially why if anyone who is reading this would like to visit they can. Now what we should have done is gone straight to sleep but we were too excited. We said we were unpacking but really we just wandered around inside and outside till about 3am. We did play a fun game of guess which key because every door, closet and other kinds of openings has it own key half of which are skeleton keys.
Anyway, we are here!! Thank you so much for all your prayers and love and support. We have a busy day today doing lots of camp planning. I should try to sleep a little so this won’t get posted until Bronwyn has a chance to proof read it so you don’t have to suffer through my terrible spelling.
Can you believe it! We are finally here!