I’m here… in Kenya… and I’m singing! I’m in Kenya blogging on my beddddd. That will only be funny to you if you’ve seen Elf. Which is hilarious. So you should. Anyways… onto the matter at hand. I’M FINALLY HERE! After 1.5 years of waiting and wondering and planning I’m here and just soaking it all in. The first night I was literally soaking. Let’s backtrack.
So I spent 3 days last week in Toronto doing orientation which involved a great deal of learning about culture shock, mentoring/discipling, practical things like where to buy what and more. It was a lot of information all at once and being the only one in orientation I felt very much like I was listening 150% with more focus than perhaps I would be in a group. Not that that’s a bad thing, just meant I was very mentally stimulated.
On Friday I caught the red-eye over to jolly old England, which thanks to a little friend named wind we ended up arriving quite a bit early but thanks to the world’s busiest airport could not land and thus circled London for some time. I didn’t mind though as I was sitting next to a Bruce Willis lookalike. Literally the flight attendant stopped to ask him whether he’s been told that a lot. This may or may not have been a factor in my decision to then watch Red 2 on the flight.
6 am Heathrow – took the connecting train to arrivals to go through the most efficient but also crazy busy security line (gotta love double security even on connecting flights) and subsequently spent the next 4 hours trying to convince myself there’d be no need for duty free in Kenya. Seriously, that airport lounge/mall/complex is bright and shiny and beautiful. I then treated myself to a sit down breakfast at a Japanese noodle place which served a weird fusion breakfast only to have my VISA debit unreadable and the bill converted to USD which made it the most expensive breaky I’ve ever had. Ever.
10:30 am Boeing 777 – at Heathrow they don’t tell you the connecting flight gates until about 1.5 hours before the flight. I’m not 100% sure why but I guess it’s due to the volume of flights and inevitable changes. I, however, trekked across this airport only to find out my plane was in the EXACT same gate I came out of. So I trekked back and even had the exact same seat (I know it was the same plane because of an old napkin someone has stuffed up into the light fixture).
The whole flight down I was a little bit worried about getting through customs and immigration just because I’d run into some trouble at Pearson because my return date on my flight is so far away and I don’t yet have my work permit because of the obligatory pace of government offices (anywhere… not just in Africa). This is standard operating procedure for a variety of organizations though where people come in on a tourist visa and then switch over. Anyways, it was nothing to worry about as the customs official didn’t ask me a single question.
Then I stepped off the plane and the rain started. I know we, as Vancouverites, like to almost pride ourselves in our rain but baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Tropical rain is dense and heavy and warm. It was actually a torrential downpour and my shoes were filled within seconds and my bags soaked. But it didn’t matter cause I was finally here complete with a driver with a placard with my name on it at the airport (definitely a bucket list event). I am now staying at a guest house while I await Hannah’s arrival late tonight and then we can move into our home together.
In the meantime, I’m just watching and trying to acclimatize and pick up Swahili where I can. I may still be in my honeymoon phase but I’m am so, so, so glad that I’m here.
Asante sana (who knew Rafiki was actually speaking Swahili) for all the encouragement.
P.S. I’m still so tired from jet lag. So tired I can’t sleep.
P.P.S. I really did see the monkeys. Life is good.