Friday, December 31, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Read more about our trip

Go to the Hume International blog to read more from other members of our team, and to follow us more closely. We've been having at least one of us write every day, even though it only gets posted when we have internet access.

Pray for one of our team members. He's feeling a bit feverish and may have malaria.
He's going to a clinic tomorrow.

Kenya 2 (day next to the last)

We just got back into internet land.

It's been a long journey.

We've been out in the wild land of northern Kenya since camp ended at RVA.
We've been traveling in a huge blue four wheel drive people mover that PK dubbed The Hume-n-ator that looks like a really tall garbage truck with seats at the top and open sides. We used a hired company called ACTS that does this kind of thing in East Africa for missions trips like ours. They have tents and a portable kitchen, so they get us to wherever we need to go and provide food and lodging all along the way. They also provide a guide that travels up top with us to answer any questions about the land, the culture, the animals, or whatever, and he also serves as a translator.
We traveled north from RVA in Kijabe, near Nairobi, all the way up to Kurungu which is near South Horr, just east of Lake Turkana in Northern Africa. It was a 16 hour journey one way, mostly off-road. On the way up, we spent the first night at the Bomen Hotel where the paved roads end in a town called Isiolo.

Once we got to Kurungu we stayed with Rick and Kari Maples where they have been working with the Samburu tribe for 6 years. Rick is Mike Maples' brother. This is a Dik Dik. It's probably the animal that we saw the most along the road on our journey. One of the warriors caught one and brought it for us to hold while we were at the Maples' house.

We stayed in our tents in their front yard, but participated every day with cultural events that were happening while we were there. The 15 year-old son of one of the local believers was getting circumcised, the definitive coming-of-age ceremony in their culture. The ceremonies last for three days and include lots of Chai (boiled goat milk with tea leaves and a smokey flavor), bright colors, slaughtered goats, and dancing.
Andre, the boy's father, is a close friend of the Maples, and someone whom PK has gotten to know quite well. Andre had even named his new son after PK. He was born shortly after last year's trip.
Once at Kurungu, we traveled around locally on Rick's Land Rover Defender.

In afternoons we ran organized recreation for the young men (high school age) while some of us played with the little kids.
On the last afternoon PK told the story of the woman at the well and explained to them how Jesus is the true living water who satisfies so that we will never thirst again.

We got to each spend one night sleeping with a family in their little huts.

We also visited The Samburu National Park.
It's not a game park like we went to in Swaziland, but rather more like our national parks in the US. It's just a huge open area, the size of Sequoia National Park that you drive around in on gnarly dirt roads. There are rivers and streams and crazy places with wild animals that come right up to your vehicle. We camped next to the crocodile infested river. Some elephants crossed the river and walked through our camp last night, and this morning we had to fight off nearly 20 baboons who kept stealing our stuff and getting all aggressive.
The drive has been bumpy and dusty and uncomfortable, but for sure an adventure.

The Samburu are beautiful people, full of color, and they are very friendly and open to strangers. I've enjoyed every minute that we spent with them.

So far the highlight of the trip has been the night-church that we got to be a part of in the Samburu tribe. There were about 30 kids and adults who gathered together in the dark under the stars and started singing call and response type of worship songs, and then one of their story-tellers, probably one of the only believers in this particular small group, since it's fairly new, told a section of stories from the old testament. This is how they start new churches. Since it is an oral culture, and story telling is huge to them, they start at the beginning, and work their way through the bible, when they get to Jesus and the cross, the people are usually eager to choose to believe and follow Him!

Interesting fact: even in all the incredibly primitive places that we've been, some of which don't even have running water, there has been cell phone coverage over the entire way!