After an early morning drive from Guildford through South London area traffic, we got to Heathrow around 8 am for our 10:15 flight to Nairobi – Wednesday morning. The Boeing 777 was about half full, so it was a comfortable daytime flight. (As an aside, I picked up an ObusForme inflatable neck pillow and will never travel without it. No more head-falling-over syndrome on airplanes.) I was asleep in a matter of minutes – and slept most of the first four hours of the flight.
The eight hour flight arrived in Nairobi around 9 pm local time and we were through immigration, picked up our bags and experienced no customs hassles. (My first Daystar trip in 2001 saw me spend 2 hoursÊ resisting customs folk who wanted to charge me a ridiculous sum of money for the equipment I was bringing Daystar. I ended up paying about 6% of what they originally asked.)
We arrived at the Lancaster flats (on the Nairobi campus of Daystar) just after ten and were greated by Bill and Julissa Rowe who were here when I came in 2001. Imbi met them for the first time. They have just returned to Kenya from Portland, Oregon. Julissa’s Dad was the founder of Daystar, which began in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) where Julissa was born. Julissa has her PhD in EthnoDramaturgy and Bill has a Master’s in Music. They are here with their two kids (5 and 2) for at least three years.
In the six degrees of Kevin Bacon department, the Gordon Conwell prof we rode in to town with is a good friend of my buddy, George’s, brother-in-law David. And the Canadian couple we are briefly sharing a flat with (they head home to Canada on Saturday) know the couple who are our kids’ guardians (who live in Vancouver.)
We managed to sleep through all the Nairobi noise Thursday morning – not managing to roll out of bed until 9 am. After a great cup of coffee from Bill Rowe and time spent catching up, we met with our Department Head Margaritte and our friend Hellen Malleche to discuss our course. It turns out that they thought we were here for two months to do both the script writing and production blocks of this 9 week program. As much as we’d love to be, we leave Nairobi three weeks tonight (after teaching 8 hours a day, five days a week for three weeks.)
We caught up with our good friend, Rahab, later in the day and were treated to dinner by Julissa. The rest of our time has been spent preparing for the course (and Imbi managed to do a bit of food shopping.)
Nairobi has not changed dramatically since we were last here – although my favourite hang out, Nairobi Java House has apparently opened a new larger establishment, while renovating their original place. We’ve yet to experience the joys.
Today we were awoken at 5 am, by the call to prayer of the Muslim mosque a few hundred yards from our flats. The rooster(s) began crowing shortly thereafter and we finally got up around 6 am. I’ve been doing a bit more course work, while Imbi has been getting us ready for the trip we are taking this weekend with friends.
I have no phone in the flat we are staying in, so dialup access is not an option. I’m having to write my posts in Qumana, save them as an html file, store them on my USB Drive and then upload them on a Daystar computer (if I can get on one.) Bill Rowe has also told me that there’s an internet cafe with wireless nearby – so I may get there occasionally.
I will attempt to post daily during the week.