I’m giving thanks for the opportunity to share Thanksgiving dinner with my husband and about half my children and grandchildren at our son Adrian’s house last Thursday, since I left the following day for Nairobi–about 23 hours of traveling. Once again, Delta came through for us, letting me check seven bags of underwear, sanitary napkins, clothing and other supplies for the ASAH Home and School for girls at no charge.
Two weeks earlier, I went with Board member Ron Saeger to see if they would allow him the same. When we arrived at the counter, the two agents said, “oh, we know you. It’s no problem.” Their support of our program allows us to take needed suppliies to South Sudan, along with thousands of pairs of donated underwear and washable sanitary pads to Kenya, and Kenya customs lets me through because the bags are on their way to South Sudan.
The Mayfield Guest House driver was waiting for me after I collected my bags. I expected the guard at the gate to give me the key, but instead I was met by Ron. He came with the kids a day earlier than I expected. Moses, John, Joseph, Michael, Simon, Agot, and Sarah all greeted me. Only James was missing. He is spending the beginning of his school break on a trip with his Scout troop.
Mayfield is owned by AIM International (Africa Inland Missions). Guests here are missionaries and their families and other humanitarian workers working in Kenya and South Sudan and other places. It is very inexpensive with simply furnished rooms with a sink, toilets, bathtubs, and shower rooms are along the halls. It is a cozy house with a living room and large dining room, with many dormitory additions up, down, and across, nice outdoor garden seating, and a friendly staff. Meals are simple, too, served family style, with Sunday lunch the best meal of the week. We had fried chicken, potatoes, gravy, mixed vegetables, Chai, and ice cream for dessert. Sunday dinner is a little simpler–tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches–and the ever-present ice cream. Ron wasn’t able to get the large group of boys to understand that they needed to let us know if they would be present for meals, so they missed lunch, which is a problem for the Mayfield staff as they prepare the food based on expected number of guests, and this is a budget operation which doesn’t waste food unnecessarily.
This is the first trip to Nairobi for all but Moses, so there are delightful things to see. They’d gone to a small amusement park nearby. After lunch, Ron, and Moses, and Agot and I walked about a mile to the Nakumatt, a large department store, to buy more supplies for our compound in the village. Three hoes (actually just the hoe part, they’ll fashion their own handles), rugs for the inside of the tukuls, batteries, biscuits, nuts, dates, powdered juice, sweater jackets for the girls on cool evenings (Agot snared one for herself), and mascara for me. I don’t know how I missed packing mascara. Believe me, the Nakumatt makeup selection is limited. Tomorrow morning, Sammy, the purchaser for AIM who has acquired our plumbing and electrical supplies, will come to pick up my bags and the new purchases to take to Wilson Airport, the airport where AIM and other small airlines are based. I’ve known Sammy since my first trip in 2007, as he was the technical guy at the Lost Boys Clinic in Duk Payuel. It’s nice to see familiar faces here at Mayfield and in Nairobi. I expect to see a few more this week before heading to Duk witty Mos on Friday.
About a year ago, Moses learned he has two living siblings he hasn’t seen since he was a small boy. We’ve got word they are In a village near Duk Payuel, and Dau, the head teacher will arrange for him to reunite with them.