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, 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!
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.
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.
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!
Last week there was a golf tournament at RVA. One of the staff at the kid’s school put together a small par three course around the upper field. So now this spring instead of rugby cheers on the paddock, you hear cries of “Fore!” Small groups moved around the course, with a closest to the pin contest and free cokes for each hole in one. The low scorer won two free pizzas from the local Pizza Inn. Its a tiny course, but it is a lot of fun for a quick nine holes. Tennis courts are water hazards. Soccer goals are tall trees in the fairway. The wind blows across the pitch toward Mt. Longonot in the valley. You are considered in the hole when your ball is within a club length of the flag. There are no greens and the fairways are deep as rough. David and Peter have picked up clubs for almost the first time, and progress is being made by all of us in our nine iron game.
I mentioned a few days ago about the rain. Here are some pictures from the flooded out bridge and abandoned train station. We took a pretty long hike (appx 8 miles round trip) to get up to the area of the mud slides. Wow! It was impressive, and I think with more rain we can expect more damage unfortunately.
All is well in Kijabe. Staffing is a bit tight in the hospital as the usual volunteers that make our lives a little easier have not come this time around. Even if they had wanted to, Kenya would not let them in. So we have fewer doctors to cover the hospital responsibilities, meaning time off is precious when you can get it. I am trying to make sure everyone takes a break before it possibly gets busy. We are in the middle of our second 21 day quarantine of Nairobi. For us in Kijabe, it does not change things much, except that we do not have access to Nairobi. However, food delivery is considered essential service, and so we can order groceries from Nairobi and have them delivered. The RVA cafeteria has connections with suppliers which allow us to get good fruits and vegetables. The German butcher still delivers, and so meat and sausage gives us the protein we need. Our local duka keeps us supplied with the cooking essentials, which can be interpreted as tortilla chips. Our houseworker brings milk, the cheese and butter comes from the local processor, and onions and potatoes are always available. Otherwise, we have lots of people come to the door. I sometimes feel like I am the main employer or customer for about a dozen local small-time businesses. I buy as much as I think is reasonable, and it is always “keep the change”. Slowly people we know are trickling home on emergency flights back to the US. It is weird to be left behind, even when you are choosing to stay. However, I think life is a bit better here compared to what I read is going on in the US. I do not think I would want to go back until things are open and society is functioning normally, and I guess in truth we do not really have much of a choice. And there is so much less panic here in Kijabe . . . how does anyone handle a 24 hour news cycle where bad news sells? With all of that, receive our blessing from Kijabe. God is good! Have a great Tuesday!