The Journey Begins

March 1- 2, 2012

Jef Foss, ASAH board member and architect, and I began our journey to Duk Payuel on March 1st, leaving Fargo on Delta airlines at one pm. Once again, Delta’s service proved both charitable and helpful, allowing us to check 15 bags of supplies for the ASAH Home and School for Girls including the panties and washable sanitary pads donated to us at our recent “Get Your Panties in a Bunch” lunch in Fargo. These panties and pads will be distribute through the school in Duk Payuel and to neighboring communities as well.

We flew Fargo to Minneapolis; Minneapolis to Amsterdam; Amsterdam to Nairobi. Nearly 24 hours later with an eight-hour shift in time we arrived at Jomo Kenyatta. At 9 pm local time, we proceeded to immigration for our transit visas—available instantly at the airport, retrieved all 15 bags and headed toward customs at the exit. The agents asked a few questions about the contents and destination of the bags and waived us through.

The driver took us to Mayfield Guest House run by Africa Inland Missions, a mission organization that flies religious and humanitarian groups into remote areas with inadequate or unsafe roads like Duk Payuel, South Sudan. Jef was to share a room with another guest, who was already in bed for the night. We stay at Mayfield on most of our trips through Nairobi, and they are often bustling with missionaries and their families and others working on projects in South Sudan and Kenya. When they are full, they ask if we are willing to share rooms.

At Mayfield I saw Samuel, one of the drivers I met on an earlier trip. Samuel procured Moringa (Olifera) seeds for us to plant at the ASAH Home and School for Girls. The plant has tremendous nutritional and medicinal value.

From Mayfield, the driver drove me down the street to the Fairview, where Andrew and Miriam Mara, NDSU professors in Nairobi on sabbatical, are staying. Andrew and Miriam sponsor two of our Sudanese students in boarding school in Kenya. They had invited me to stay in the guest bedroom in their apartment. We all rose before dawn to travel to Wilson Airport by 6:30 am for our flight to Duk Payuel.

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