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Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Big City

Nairobi should not be a surprise to us, but somehow it always is.  When we can order a mocha milkshake and have five choices of salad dressings, when we wander down the gleaming aisles in Nakumatt overwhelmed by the housewares and food, when we go for immunizations to the modern Nairobi Hospital and note Kenyan couples arriving in SUV's wearing jeans and mini-skirts, when five people in the restaurant are surfing the wireless internet on i-phones . . . well, we know we're in Africa but it is hard to believe it.  

This time we stayed at the Mayfield Guesthouse, as Luke put it the epicenter of the AIM universe.  Scott first stayed there in 1983, and I remember keeping Luke entertained in the toy room there in 1994.  It is a safe place with wonderful showers and comfortable rooms and an atmosphere of missionary history.  As members of a relatively small mission, we are thankful for the resources the larger agencies allow to be shared.

After long days on the roads, we appreciated the breather, washing clothes and shopping for notebooks and snacks and other essential school supplies.  And there were some moments, or rather long hours of grace as a family:  stumbling upon a showing of the movie "UP" which our kids had long wanted to see, and being the only people in the whole theatre.  Amazing chicken and naan at an outdoor food court. Escaping a cold rainy morning in a cafe with hot chocolate.

Nairobi would be a challenging place to live, with its snarls of traffic, hordes of thieves, tragic slums, scattering of garbage.  Perhaps even more challenging would be the constant bombardment of the reality of disparity, even walking through the sprawling Village Market Mall and seeing the tasteful interior decorating shops and beautiful clothing made me feel disoriented and shabby.  But is a nice place to visit, a taste of luxury for the road-weary.

1 comment:

Katy Lin said...

hi! i just found your blog thru missionary-blogs.com :) i'm glad i did! i'll definitely be back! :)

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