Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mombasa Beach Trip

During the week of April 16th to the 23rd all of us took a 45 minute flight to the beach at Mombasa. We stayed at a cute little cottage at Diani Beach about 50 steps from the water. This place was unreal; the weather was amazing and the beach was absolutely beautiful at all times of day. At dusk and nighttime the white sand beach was glowing from the light of the moon. It felt like we were in an alternative universe or at the same beach from the movie Contact. (Just look it up if you’ve never seen the film, it is pretttty cool). We spent a lot of our time relaxing, reading, and swimming in the 80 degree ocean water. Everyday around 5:00pm we would eat delicious dinners made by our cook Hassani, giving Sandra a much needed break from the kitchen. Ali and Myles would get up every morning and go for a run down the beach like weirdos, but good for them. Towards the end of the week we took a van to old town Mombasa and spent the day there. It was one of the more interesting cities I have ever been to. The roads and alley ways were extremely random so the layout of the city made no sense at all. Mombasa’s architecture is a mixture between Kenyan, Indian, and Arabic styles. According to our guide the city was constructed for around 40,000 inhabitants when in reality there are around 1 million people living there. Needless to say, it seemed rather crowded there.
We left Mombasa and had a few days left to relax on the beach. We left on Saturday the 23rd to go back to Kijabe. The beach was wonderful, but we were all pretty glad to get back to Kijabe and wash off all the salt.


It has been a while and much has happened. We are back in Kijabe now after a wonderful week at the beach and some time in Nairobi. Two weeks ago Katie and I had the opportunity to spend some time in Nairobi with a friend who is a missionary living there. She works in a school in Kibera, one of the largest slums in the world, where she runs a literacy program. It was an incredible thing to see and be a part of and we both felt so grateful to be there. We met quite a few other missionaries in the area and were welcomed into their homes with open arms and delicious food. Kibera was the most condensed, chaotic poverty that I have witnessed thus far. There was very little open space, save a dirt field where children could play soccer. We were walked in by two men who lived in the slum and also worked at the school. It was about a 20 minute walk in through twisting narrow streets with a network of huts and make-shift shops on either side. The streets were treacherous enough, with the manholes and questionable substances and such, that it was difficult to keep from watching our feet the entire time. When we did manage to glance up though there was much to be seen; fish heads and cow hooves ready for sale, blaring music from sources unknown, people and animals everywhere... We spent the day in the school meeting the other staff and doing some reading tutoring. Lunch was a pot of beans and corn which was a welcome alternative to the fish we had seen and smelled on our way in. We were tired by the end to say the least and were grateful for a hot shower and warm bed. I am grateful to have seen Kibera and had the opportunity to see how so many people have to live. Our next week was spent very differently on the coast, it could not have been more beautiful and relaxing. Ali.