SAFE AND SOUND

Trip Start Oct 20, 2007
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Trip End Dec 24, 2007


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Flag of Kenya  ,
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

HI EVERYONE!!

I'M IN AFRICA! AHH!! I SERIOUSLY CAN'T BELIEVE IT. IT WAS QUITE A JOURNEY TO GET HERE....

I MET 2 OF THE GIRLS I WILL BE WITH THE WHOLE TIME AND WE  TOOK OFF FROM CHICAGO SATURDAY AROUND 6 PM. WE LANDED IN LONDON 8 HOURS LATER AND HAD A 3 HOUR LAY-OVER. FROM THERE WE TOOK OUR SECOND 8 HOUR FLIGHT TO NAIROBI. WE WERE PICKED UP FROM THE AIRPORT BY A COMPANY CALLED PRIMETIME. A BUNCH OF GUYS STARTED HELPING US WITH OUR LUGGAGE. WE WERE ALL SORT OF CONFUSED AND JUST LET THEM. WHEN IT CAME TIME T O TIP THEM, WE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! WE HAD EXCHANGED SOME OF OUR MONEY, BUT NONE OF US WERE FAMILIAR ENOUGH WITH THE CURRENCY EXCHANGE TO KNOW WHAT A REASONABLE TIP WAS. AFTER WE ALL TIPPED THEM, THEY ASKED FOR MORE! AFTER WE DROVE AWAY, WE REALIZED WE HAD TOTALLY OVER-TIPPED. ONE U.S. DOLLAR EQUALS ABOUT 67 KENYAN SHILLINGS.... AND HAD PROBABLY GIVEN THEM A TOTAL OF LIKE $10.... SO THAT WAS A PRETTY NICE TIP! HAHA! BUT NOW WE KNOW A LITTLE BIT MORE!

THAT NIGHT WE STAYED AT A PLACE CALLED UPPERHILL CAMPSITE IN NAIROBI. IT WAS BASICALLY LIKE A DORM WITH BUNK BEDS. THE NEXT MORNING WE WERE PICKED UP BY PRIMETIME AGAIN AND TAKEN TO THE ATM AND THEN TO THEIR OFFICE WHERE WE GOT ON OUR SAFARI BUS. THAT BUS IS WHAT DROVE US TO THE VILLAGE. IT TOOK 8 LONG HOURS IN THE BUS FROM NAIROBI TO KABULA-WHERE WE LIVE. ON THE WAY, OUR DRIVER WAS GREAT! HE STOPPED A FEW TIMES FOR US TO TAKE PICTURES OF THINGS.... LIKE ZEBRAS JUST HANGING OUT ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD! HOW COOL IS THAT?? THEN WE SAW SOME BABOONS TOO... PRETTY FUNNY... IT WAS THE MOST BUMPY CAR RIDE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. IT FELT LIKE THE TIRES WERE GOING TO JUST POP. 

ONCE E GOT TO THE VILLAGE, WE TOOK OUR STUFF TO OUR HUTS. RIGHT NOW WE ARE IN WHAT THEY HAVE NAMED THE MANSION.... IT HOLDS LIKE 12 PEOPLE. ITS A BUNCH OF BUNK BEDS. IT WAS ALREADY GETTING DARK WHEN WE GOT THERE AND THAT'S WHEN IT HIT ME!! IT WAS QUITE A REALITY CHECK. WE DECIDED TO JUST GET OUR BEDS SITUTATED AND ORGANIZE TODAY WHEN WE COULD SEE. WE JOINED THE FAMILY FOR OUR FIRST MEAL. IT WAS PRETTY GOOD. RICE, VEGETABLE STEW... SOME FRUIT. AFTER THAT WE HUNG OUT WITH EVERYONE FOR A WHILE. THERE ARE A LOT OF VOLUNTEERS THERE... NOT INCLUDING THE 12 IU STUDENTS PLUS THE FAMILY. SO EVERYONE JUST STARTED TO GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER.

OH WAIT.... DID I MENTION IT WAS POURING?!?!??! I NEED A RAINCOAT!

AFTER A LITTLE WHILE WE WENT BACK TO OUR HUTS WHERE WE SET UP OUR MOSQUITO NETS IN THE DARK! IT WAS INTERESTING, BUT WE MANAGED. WE WERE ASLEEP PRETTY EARLY. AND WE WERE UP EARLY TOO.... WE ORGANIZED OUR HUT A LITTLE AND ATE SOME BREAKFAST. ITS PRETTY HOT.... AS EXPECTED I GUESS. RIGHT NOW I CAME INTO TOWN WITH SOME OF THE OTHERS TO GET WATER AND USE THE COMPUTER. LATER TODAY OR TOMMORROW, I WILL GET TO SEE THE SCHOOL.

I KNOW THIS NEXT WEEK WILL BE A LITTLE BIT DIFFICULT. THERE IS A LOT OF ADJUSTING. I HAVEN'T ATTEMPTED THE SHOWERING SITUATION YET. I'M SURE THAT WILL BE INTERESTING! I CAN ALREADY SEE HOW YOU JUST ADAPT AND GO WITH IT..... HOPEFULLY BY THE END OF THIS WEEK I FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE WITH EVERYTHING. IT'S HARD NOT TO BE ABLE TO PICK UP THE PHONE!

REUBAN AND BETTY, THE FAMILY WE STAY WITH ON THE FARM ARE GREAT. THEY ARE BOTH VERY KIND AND INVITING.

HAPPY 30TH RY!!!! CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU TO BE HERE!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRI... YOU OLD MAN!

GUESS WHAT JOY SCHOOL FIRST GRADERS!??!?!? I WILL BE TEACHING FIRST GRADE HERE TOO!!!! :)

I MISS EVERYONE ALREADY... I LOVE YOU ALL A TON! EMAIL ME!!!!!!!

ALWAYS,
ERIN

PS. IF SOMEONE ISN'T GETTING THIS, LET ME KNOW OR HAVE THEM SEARCH FOR ME AT TRAVELPOD.COM.....

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE... FOR EVERYTHING YOU ALL DID TO HELP :)
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Comments

juliewojcik
juliewojcik on

Back home in Indiana
Erin,
Your Mary Kay friends are so proud of you and your ability to adapt...but it doesn't really suprise us... you did with the skirts for business too!
What an experience you are having. I am sure you are keeping a journal along with lots of pictures. We can't wait to hear more. Keep blogging when you can!
J

stephdfk
stephdfk on

OMG!
My mind is so blown! How cool that you're in Africa! I'm praying for you, and I miss you tons. Good job, lil sis!

Love you bunches!
Steph

ryana
ryana on

wow
Erin, how unbelievable, I had no idea you were going to Africa. Nobody tells me nothing. I wish I would have known I would have called or something.

ryana
ryana on

Chosen
Put this in perspective... Although it may seem that you chose to go to Africa and do what your doing, the reality is that you yourself were chosen according to his will... think about it... any discomfort or unassurdness you experienced is due to the fact that you are no longer in control... watch how comforting it becomes over the next few weeks as you really experience that you can trust the one who is.

ethan218
ethan218 on

I miss you
Dear Erin, how are you doing? Are you having fun? I hope you are having fun. I am celebrating my dad's birthday and we are going to get pumpkins on thursday.
Love,
Ethan

rachel17z
rachel17z on

MY LOVE!
hi ersy! so glad you made it safe and sound. I've been thinking about you everyday hoping i'd hear from you! I hope you have a good time and I look forward to following your trip!
i suppose we're sending emails to your IU account?
LOVE AND MISS YOU GIRLIE!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

kagbreen
kagbreen on

I admire you!
Erin,
I admire you so much for what you are doing. Please know that I will be thinking of you and praying for you every day.

I love reading about all that you are doing. Thanks for doing this TravelPod.

I am sorry that I didn't say goodbye to you - I didn't know that you where leaving when you did. I have had some trouble with e-mail and I am just now trying to catch up.

Please know that when you return, I will do something to help with your expenses.

Take care and I Love You!
Aunt Karen (Gallagher)

kcwhite
kcwhite on

Hey Erin,
This is soooo cool! I can't wait to read about everything you are doing. I am so proud of you. (And
a little jealous) I think it would be great to do what you are doing. You have no idea how many kids you will touch, and what a difference you will make in their lives. God Bless you. I know this was not a cheap thing to do and when you come home I want to help you out. You are doing the hard part, my part will be easy. I love you, Aunt Karen

datboy504
datboy504 on

Yellow and Pink Polka Dots
I wish i could travel like that breen..your really lucky.This is such a great thing for your future..it will have a huge effect on your life..i go to chicago i think i been somewhere..Africa for two months...classic

calabrese
calabrese on

Very Cool Erin
Erin I think what you are doing is truly amazing and brave. You will remember this time for the rest of your life. The impact you will have on those you meet will be remembered by them forever as well. Get the most out of this experience and live it to the fullest over the next few months. Can't wait to follow you on your journey in Kenya. Love, Cara

meagan7
meagan7 on

A hee
Hi Er!! I love getting your messages! It makes me smile everyday when I see that you've written a new blog! It sounds like you're having an amazing time and learning so much, I'm so happy and excited for you. The best part of your traveling is that you not only get to learn so much, but you're also teaching as well. That is priceless. Love and miss you tons!!

vercruca
vercruca on

get ready for us!
Yes...I am so excited to be a small part of what you are doing...I am writing a letter home to my parents about you. Another first grade teacher and I are teaming up and are going to be 'pen pals' with your kids. I know they can't write us back but it should be fun for our kids to write and mail letters to you. I need addresses as to where I send the box. You have already gone through 2 weeks...that is soooo hard to believe. I am sure you are already getting attached. Keep treasuring every single moment b/c it will be over before you know it. I will let you know when we mail out our letters! Hang in there girlie! I love ya!!! Aunt Candi

kidsrpeople2
kidsrpeople2 on

good4uErin
hello Erin..I was checking information regarding Bungoma,Kenya. My son, husband and I are hoping to make this journey as Christian volunteers, through 'Anchor Academy Christian School for International Homeschooled students and D.L. students', here in British Columbia, Canada. We will be there for about three weeks to one month this upcoming 2008,summer,as part of a team involved in a development and building project called Chemwa Children's Home in Bungoma, Kenya. Funds have been raised in Canada to secure land and begin building this vital project. We will be working alongside the Kenyan people to assist them in making a better life for themselves. Due to the shortage of lodging space, any extra adults, that being my husband and self, will be looking for our own lodgings elsewhere. We are just in the prep stage, doing the research on Bungoma,and came across your writings.
God Bless you for taking on this heart and soul touching journey; thereby offering your students back home, an even more loving and nurturing gift; 'You!' I'm sure you are just about to head back home soon, probably in time for Christmas. We just wanted to hear more of your experiences, if possible, and ask you about your own lodgings. We have heard differenct stories, some great, others not so bad; others, very frightening. We realize this is a missionary journey and do expect more than drastic culture differences. It is not a five star, not even a one star holiday; We know this much.
Anyway Erin, May God continue to bless you and keep you, and may your young children always be a part of your life. May you bring this adventure to your students at home, and may all be richly blessed because of your journey. Sincerely, Carol-Ann

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