Our time in Kenya is quickly coming to an end. The group is currently sitting in the Nairobi airport waiting to board a red-eye flight to Brussels before arriving in the states Monday night.
After our few days in Nairobi touring the city center and visiting the Kibera slum, we loaded up the vans and headed towards Lake Naivasha. On our way, we stopped at a tea plantation in the Kenyan highlands. While enjoying a cup of tea, we learned about the tea industry in Kenya. We learned about the different types of tea, the economic and environmental impact of tea, and the production process from field to cup.
We soon arrived at our destination and were warmly greeted by our hosts, Jason and Lisa Hovingh, with a cup of chai. After settling in the group enjoyed a night of praise and worship under the multitudes of stars next to the fire.
The next morning we toured a flower farm. Horticulture is Kenya's number three export. While walking up and down the greenhouses, we learned about the economic and environmental impact of the flower business. More specifically, we discussed the importance and issues regarding water for the flower businesses and surrounding community. After lunch, the group enjoyed relaxing at the Hovingh's, touring the property and learning more about their ministry in Naivasha. We also visited the river for a quick swim.
Some of the group experienced an early wake up call the next morning as the opportunity came to run in a half marathon in Naivasha. A few ambitious members of the group decided they couldn't pass up the opportunity to run a half marathon with Kenyan runners (despite the altitude and lack of training). After a two and a half hour delay, the race finally started. While we could not keep up with many of the native runners, we all put forth a solid effort. Some of us finished, some did not, but I think we all agree it was an experience we will not soon forget. Some of the other students came out to support the runners offering encouragement and even running alongside for portions of the race. Finally, other members stayed back at the Hovingh's to play with the kids that came to the community center. In the afternoon, the group again split up and experienced different sights Naivasha had to offer. One group went to Hell's Gate National Park. We witnessed some different animals, hiked though a gorge, learned about the geothermal power efforts taking place in the region, and visited some of the sights that inspired movies like "Lion King". Another group headed into town to experience the different culture and finish up some last minute shopping. Finally, one last group (comprised mainly of the runners) stayed back at the Hovingh's and relaxed after the long run earlier in the day. Later that night, the group gathered around the campfire for our last night in Kenya. Many of us shared observations we had throughout the trip or lessons we learned. We couldn't help but recognize God's presence with us on the trip. It was a powerful time as a group reflecting on our experiences the past 3 weeks.
|Some of the group at Hell's Gate National Park|