No picture yet, but last night I arrived in Kijabe at about midnight. Not a soul was stirring, and I was wide awake. So after dropping my bags, I got a glass of filtered ice water, sat down on our sofas and thought about the previous 72 hours and all it takes to travel across the world in a day, and how incredible it is that we can do it so easily. My flight was easy. I managed to sleep around 5 hours on the second flight which is a record for me. I do not sleep sitting up very well. Then I cleared passport control without a hitch, grabbed my bags, met our friend Philip for the drive home. Being home before midnight is incredibly efficient for that flight. It has been good to be together again. The girls got me caught up on all the happenings. Peter planted some flowers. David went to hang with friends. Life is back to normal.
Today I fly to Kenya! Getting back home did not go as smoothly as hoped, but at last it is happening. Wednesday I went for my COVID test to be cleared to fly, and it came back inconclusive. What!!! That same day I got my second dose of the Moderna vaccine. And so yesterday I was up early to try and get another COVID test, but was also noticing that I felt a bit feverish and chilled. I knew this could be a side affect of the vaccine . . . I have heard that even some people get chills to the point of shakes. However, since I had an inconclusive test the day before, I was imagining that at last I was possibly coming down with COVID the day before I was scheduled to fly to Kenya. I will add that despite the fact that I felt a bit funky, I could have pushed through it without concern if not for the inconclusive test and the possible delay of my flight making me imagine worse outcomes. So I went back to the lab to get my test, and they told me their internet was down. Uh oh! Time to scramble to find another testing sight. Luckily there is an ER that will do the test for $450!! dollars with results in a couple hours. I drove over there quickly, and got my test. Negative! So I went to bed early last night after taking some Nyquil, and I feel better this morning, if not perfect. However, no fever or chills. I am off to the airport in an hour or so for the long flight and travel to Kijabe! I am glad to be going home, and I am glad to see my family soon. It has been too long!
Today, after multiple attempts, Allison and the kids flew out to Dallas toward Nairobi. Allison received her tourist visa this morning, and so we got up early and had the tickets changed and put everyone but me on a plane today at 3PM. I am so glad for them. It allows them to avoid sitting in a 2 week quarantine in Kijabe before they could attend school in person. So tomorrow around noon our time in Dallas, Allison and the kids should be landing in Nairobi. Yeah!
We went to the airport today so Allison and the kids could fly to Kenya. When we arrived with our 17 bags to check, 5 backpacks and 5 carry ons (whew!) we were informed that London had new entry requirements (COVID safe traveler forms). OK. No big deal. We rapidly filled that out as we stood in line the second time (we were sent to the back of the line to fill those forms out). At the counter again we were asked if we had the Kenya safe traveler forms done. No we hadn’t because we did not have the seat numbers for our flights into London. We could not get them electronically, and had to get them at the airport. The forms required seat numbers. She told us you could put in any made up seat number. Uhhh. OK will do. We did that quickly, but the bar codes that were supposed to be generated were not coming onto the iPhone despite trying several different browsers. Shoot! That is going to be a problem. Or maybe not since there is possibly a bigger issue at play. According to the ticket agent something looks wrong with Allison’s work permit. They don’t like the look of it. (Keep in mind that this is the same document that we have been using to travel in and out of Kenya for the last 3 years without issue.) Now what . . . maybe if we could get an electronic tourist visa quickly, we can still make it? Oh wait those need a formal invitation to Kenya as well as other documents we don’t have.
Eventually time ran out. We called for our rides to come pick us back up and drove somberly and disappointedly home.
Time to try again in a couple days, but that means repeating all of our COVID tests! Darn! This will be number four for Annie in the last 2 weeks. Forgot to mention that her name was misspelled on one that was done earlier this week, so it had to be repeated.
All tests came back normal in regards to COVID. Everyone is negative. So Allison and the kids fly out tomorrow for Kenya. Everyone is looking forward to arriving in Kenya if not the trip. I am staying for a little longer. I will try and work some, spend some time with friends, and then will fly out at the end of the month after I get another dose of vaccine. So things are looking up again in the Caire household, and life in Kenya will soon be back to normal.
“The position was not, as I had been comfortably thinking all these months, merely a question of whether I was to accept the Messiah or not. It was a question of whether I was to accept Him—or reject. My God! There was gap behind me, too. Perhaps the leap to acceptance was a horrifying gamble—but what of the leap to rejection? There might be no certainty that Christ was God—but, by God, there was no certainty that He was not. If I were to accept, I might, and probably would, face the thought through the years: ‘Perhaps, after all, it’s a lie; I’ve been had!’ But, if I were to reject, I would certainly face the haunting, terrible thought: ‘Perhaps it’s true—and I have rejected my God!’ This was not to be borne. I could not reject Jesus. There was only one thing to do, once I had seen the gap behind me. I turned away from it and flung myself over the gap toward Jesus.”
Simmons III, Richard E. Reflections On The Existence Of God: A Series Of Essays (pp. 249-250). The Center for Executive Leadership. Kindle Edition.
We were supposed to fly to Kenya today. It did not happen. Kenya requires a negative COVID-PCR test just prior to flying to be allowed in the country. We did ours and one of our tests came back positive for COVID infection. The rest of us were negative. We all feel great! Not a symptom among us, including the one who tested positive. And so we are staying home for at least 10 more days while we try and sort out a 6 out of 6 negative for COVID series of tests. To say there is some frustration and disappointment in the house would be an understatement. However, I am interested in how the next couple weeks play out. I sent a message to my friend Tony telling him we had tested positive and he said “Wow…who knows what God will do with this little twist.” That is a great way to put it. A twist!
One nice part of it is that I got to get my first vaccine dose today. So that means I may fly back a little later than the family so that I can finish the vaccine before going back to Kenya. That sort of stinks to think about, but maybe that is the best plan. I am glad for the extra time to rest before going back strong at Kijabe (this is what I am telling myself).
Thanks for remembering us and for praying for us. We really are eager to go home.
I am reading “Reflections on the Existence of God: A Series of Essays” and came up on this name, A.N. Wilson. I decided to track him down and I found an article in The Statesman titled A.N. Wilson: Why I believe again. It is a good read if you have the inclination.
My departure from the Faith was like a conversion on the road to Damascus. My return was slow, hesitant, doubting. So it will always be; but I know I shall never make the same mistake again. Gilbert Ryle, with donnish absurdity, called God “a category mistake”. Yet the real category mistake made by atheists is not about God, but about human beings. Turn to the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge – “Read the first chapter of Genesis without prejudice and you will be convinced at once . . . ‘The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life’.” And then Coleridge adds: “‘And man became a living soul.’ Materialism will never explain those last words.”
When you have an atheist’s worldview, you are building your life upon a “firm foundation of unyielding despair.” —BERTRAND RUSSELL
Simmons III, Richard E. Reflections On The Existence Of God: A Series Of Essays (p. 101). The Center for Executive Leadership. Kindle Edition.
We leave on Monday for Kenya. Before then we have to move our household goods to storage, celebrate Christmas with two families, pack up around 18 checked bags plus a carry-on and a backpack for each of us. OUCH! Packing up to go home from our other home is very weird. Sarah, who has never really gone to school in the US is always eager to get back to Kenya or Peru. Peter who loves his garden and projects, is also glad to go home. Annie loves people and experiences, and so while glad to go home, her feelings are mixed as she leaves the people and experiences she is having here. David loves living in the US and he loves having the freedom of a car and a license. He is less glad to go to back to Kenya, but he is looking forward to seeing some of his friends again. Allison loves teaching in person. She will be glad to be back in the classroom at RVA with her students face to face. I am glad to be going back as well. I look forward to seeing our residents and medical officers that we teach in the hospital. I look forward to good weather with long hikes to unwind. I like the medical missionary life!
Please pray for us in these last three stressful days of packing and saying goodbye. Please pray that we will do good work in Kenya. Please pray that we will all adjust well to life again back at our other home. Please pray for our finances as well. Thank you for reading and being a part of it all! God bless you this Christmas and in the New Year!