After about seven hours on the bus, I arrived in Kisumu, called my friends, Steve and Dianne Warn to let them know they could pick me up, and then waited on the corner of a busy intersection in the sun for them to get there.
Fortunately, a girl selling oranges and mangoes on the roadside had compassion and invited me to sit under her umbrella. A Mzungu sitting on a street corner under an umbrella like an African drew some puzzled looks, but I ignored them as I chatted with my newfound friend.
Once Steve and Dianne had come, I went back to their compound where I was introduced to some of the street boys with whom they work.
They've lived in Kenya for the past three years running a ministry that reaches out to boys who mostly have either run away from their homes or been kicked out by families who could no longer care for them or no longer wanted them. Understandably, some of the boys are quite rough, but the Warns invite them to come on various days to bathe, wash clothes, eat a meal or two, receive a bit of academic instruction, play games, and learn about the Bible. In the whirlwind of activity I experienced with the boys during my four day visit, I got to do art projects, mend a couple of articles of clothing, eat a few meals, put together puzzles, visit a clinic set up by a visiting team from Georgia (the state, not the country) and just chat with boys who simply need to be loved.
One of them who is a bit older than the rest adamantly insisted that my homework is become engaged, as it's quite an anomaly for someone of my age to be unmarried in Africa!
In addition to having the privilege of meeting the boys, I was also treated to two trips to Nakumatt (a European or American style grocery store); an hour long chat on Skype with my brother, Lowell, and his wife/Steve and Dianne's daughter, Elizabeth; lunch of fresh fish eaten with our hands at a restaurant on the bank of Lake Victoria; and dinner with a breathtaking sunset behind the lake as the backdrop.
There was no time for a safari or trip to the rainforest during this trip, but perhaps before I return to the U.S. another trip will be possible now that I know I can indeed make it to Kenya on my own if need be.
The portion of the road trip during which I traveled on my own to Kenya began somewhat dubiously as the buses all left Kampala sometime between 6:00 and 7:00 the morning after my party had arrived in Uganda, and at 5:45AM I still didn't have a ticket. Fortunately, some of Melli's friends drove me a bit crazily around town until we found a bus company that still had a seat available on a vehicle leaving in approximately 15 minutes. The particular bus we managed to book had no storage compartment for luggage, which meant that the narrow aisle was completely blocked by passengers' belongings and was navigable only by hiking over mountains of boxes and suitcases. I did fortunately have a little girl for a seatmate and so thankfully didn't have to share legroom with someone needing more personal space than I.