Travel Diary 3: A Little Tourism

Hello Everyone,

 Chris and I pretty much had a day off today before heading to Burundi to meet with two more country coordinators. So, I used the free time to show him around but the day still had some strategic moments.

LATE ARRIVING COORDINATOR

Joseph Ngwani, from Cameroon got to the guest house last night, Wednesday, after the meetings had taken place. His require covid test results showed up late and he missed his original flight so he rescheduled. Later he found out he had to be vaccinated to get into Kenya. Then he found out he has to be negative regarding yellow fever. All that to say, he arrived late. His first words to me were that he now knows how difficult it is to travel around Africa during the lingering pandemic and better knows how to pray for me.

 Joseph has spent time with both Chris and I today getting caught up on what he missed.

YAYA CENTER

YaYa Center was THE place I went to shop during my early years of coming and teaching in Nairobi at Nairobi International School of Theology (NIST, now International Leadership University, ILU). It was a middle class place to shop. Things have changed like so much of the surrounding area. But we needed a place to go to get in some walking so YaYa was one stop. It is now an upper middle to upper class mall. Do you remember “Woolworths”? That is one of the stores inside the YaYa Mall and probably the “anchor” store.  I’ll include a picture in the album.

 ILU

As most of you know, I got started as an African missionary in January 1998 teaching a course at NIST (now ILU). Many of the students I taught played key roles in the development of ITEM in their native countries.

 I am donating most of my library to them. I brought about 45 pounds of books to them last year and 80 pounds on this trip.

 So, after Chris and I had lunch at YaYa we set out for ILU. Any time I visit the campus I experience fond memories and it was no different today. We had a chance to sit with Dr Tim Kihuri, the Vice Chancellor, who now leads the school. I think it is fair to say the school is thriving offering undergrad and grad level degrees including PhD. And they have purchased 50 acres in another part of Nairobi to add to the relatively small facility now.

 I cannot thank the Lord enough for my experience at ILU (was NIST). I had NO CLUE when I went there to teach as an adjunct in 1998 that there was a pastor-training organization (ITEM) right around the corner.

 BURUNDI FRIDAY

Chris and I have a 7:30AM flight to Bujumbura, Burundi Friday morning, which means up at 4AM and leave for the airport around 4:45. We want to get there early enough to get breakfast in the lounge.

 Agenda

We were supposed to make this trip today, Thursday, but Kenya Airways cancelled today’s flight and put us on Friday’s.

 Covid testing

We have to have a negative covid test report in hand when we board the plan and then be tested again before we leave the airport. Yes, true. And we are not even sure that either will get us back to Kenya on Sunday so there is a chance we will need to be tested again in Bujumbura after leaving the airport in order to get a report Saturday so we can depart early Sunday morning.  Welcome to the Brave New World of travel.

 Pray with us that the test at the airport will be PCR so it will qualify.

Pray with us that the meeting with the coordinators will be a fruitful time.

Pray with us that we don’t slip up and get infected with the Omicron variant before departing for home next Tuesday.

 Thanks for your friendship and partnership.

 By His grace,
Steve (with Chris)

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