I haven't posted since before we left, so I have to acknowledge the unbelievable send-off we received from our friends in Nyack. What a powerful and strong evening it was - it will be in our memory forever. Thanks so much to Tom and Lisa for organizing and for all who made it so special. When we come back in a year or two or three, we hope we can reciprocate.
That was the Friday night before we left. The next 48 hours were a blur, as so many things were going through our minds. We did get to enjoy Stu's performance and last minute goodbyes to Nana and Papa and Oma and Opa. One of the most memorable things was packing a suitcase full of just random toys... My dad must have thought we lost it (mentally) ... Most of the things in there were just small random objects, but the kids have such an imagination that I am pretty sure they have used every single knick knack we brought (highlighter pens as hockey sticks, etc).
|playing birthday party pinata with |
all the random objects we brought
Thanks to Oma and Opa for bringing us all the way to JFK. We had to caravan in two cars since we had so many suitcases! Flight was great - it was quite memorable to fly over the Alps, down the Adriatic just west of Greece, and then many hours over the vast brown expanse of the Sahara. Finally, right before dark, we spotted the Nile and I think Khartoum. Then it got dark, and about an hour later at 8pm local time we landed. We collected our luggage and visas and got scooped up by drivers from Rhonda's work and whisked to our temporary apartment here in Nairobi.
We like our temporary home. It's fairly basic, but we are all comfortable. The maid comes every day to clean (I keep telling Rhonda - you don't have to do the dishes!). We get to the pool most days, and Matthew has become an unbelievable swimmer. Despite the pool water being maybe 60 degrees, he just jumps right in!
Our first week was fairly straight forward. We laid low the first day - just venturing to the local shopping center to get some key supplies. The rest of the week we visited some schools and made lots of local taxi drivers happy with our frequent trips all around. As mentioned on an earlier post, we had Shabbat dinner that first Friday with an American family who has made us feel very welcome. Then Saturday night we went to a get-together with some of Rhonda's work colleagues, which was also great to make us feel even more welcome. Sunday we got to feed monkeys in a local park - the kids loved it and we even saw a mommy monkey carrying a baby monkey. Thanks to Rhonda's Director for showing us that.
|mommy and baby|
|playing -- replicating Nairobi's traffic|
|first day of school|
On Monday, Matthew will start the local American school. He CAN NOT WAIT! Got the call yesterday that it is a go, and he didn't understand why he couldn't start today!
|crossing the highway|
That might have to wait though -- the other big news this week is that Rhonda got access to a car (actually a totally tank size pick-up truck that could swallow our old Subaru in one bite). She was amazing on the first day she got the vehicle, darting in and out of traffic to get us to a cub scout meeting... remember the driving is on the other side of the road and it is a stick shift, so since the driver’s side is on the other side she also had to shift with her left hand... Safari here we come!