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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Road Trip to Kenya

Suzanne here.....
We started our trip to Kenya thinking that we were going to die.  These people drive like CRAZY people!!!!  in and out, up and down, red dirt flying EVERYWHERE.....goats, cows, chickens and CHILDREN all over the roads ( I'm talking 2 yr olds people!)  motorcycles and bicycles swerving in and out of the traffic....TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL.  i must say though, there is no road rage here.  You are expected to drive this way, and if not, you never get where you are going.  All that said, the countryside is GORGEOUS... mountains, greenery, and  the red dirt just offsets all the different colors.  breathtaking......not to mention the baboons that were walking down the road,( I'm hoping the pics will upload.)
Crossing the border was an experience for Grace and Michael, they stood in amazement.  When I got to the counter they called the BIG man from the back up to talk to me.  He asked me how I entered the country of Uganda and I said " through the Entebbe airport" and he said that I had no stamp in  my passport to show it.  i must have looked REALLY confused as he flipped through my passport to show me how there was no proof.  LUCKILY, my husband had the receipt from our payment of the visa in his bag and pulled it out for proof. (Oh how I love that man!) The big man went through several more technicalities, then looked back at me,, winked, and sent me on my way.  it wasn't until Ivan (our driver) explained to me that they could have locked me up and beat me with a stick for being in their country without a visa that I got scared)  sooooo GOD.
We arrived at the Compassion Project and laid eyes on our sweet Calvin for the first time. We have received pictures of him for 8 years now.  We started with him in the 1st grade, and now he is 15 years old.  I had to look up to him, he is so tall......but has a very shy demeaner.  Kenyans do not hug culturally....I couldn't stop touching him, his skin was gorgeous,, I probably rocked his world.  I hugged him every few minutes and he would just grin.  His father killed last year.   Since then, Calvin has taken on the "father role" of his home.  You can tell by the pain in his eyes that his heart has been broken.
 After some "african praise and worship"(WOW) with his classmates, they took us through the project showing us where he sits(and the little book) when he writes us letters, medical area, kitchen,  etc......It was really neat to see "in person" all of the things that I had wondered about for all of these years.
He then took us to his home. It was a mud hut with two rooms.  the first one was divided by some sheets hanging from the side a few places to sit, the other side Calvin's bed.  The second little room had his moms bed in it and pots to cook with with a fire going on the ground......I'm not real sure how there was not smoke filling the room?!  They served us drinks, boiled bananas, boiled sweet potatoes and mangos.  We felt like royalty.  I have never felt so appreciated.  All of the neighbors kept coming to the door to see us.  The children had never seen white people before.  They kept looking at mine and Graces blue eyes (I think they thought we were  We gave them some lollipops and they warmed up to us. ( every time!)  Calvin gets water from the stream behind his house.  He was dressed in his school uniform.....his finest.
I learned more in this one day than I have in a LONG time.  Every time I looked into that sweet childs eyes, I felt the Lords presence.  His goal is to become a teacher.  He has a few more years of school and then the University.  The money that we have invested in his life has without a doubt been one of the biggest and more significant  investments of all.  Thank you Lord for opening our hearts to him 8 years ago!  I could write forever about the feelings that I felt today but am going to stop so Mallory can have a turn.
I  wept A LOT today.  I kept telling Calvin that they were tears of joy....he kept looking perplexed....hahahaha.  So, we have decided  to buy him a cow to show him how much we enjoyed our day with him!!!!


Anonymous said...

Your stories have captivated me. I can't wait each day to log on and read about your new adventures, and yes of course, I have wept each time, Kev thinks I'm nuts!! We are praying for you all, come home safe. We can't wait to hear more and see your pics. I love you, Beck

Jenn in GA said...

great story of our awesome God, Who would prompt someone all those many years ago to start Compassion Intl so that this moment could occur for you and yours today. i LOVE how He orchestrates life.

keep writing somewhere, even if it's not here. you'll want to capture and preserve all those emotions, thoughts, and memories. don't trust your brain--you're too old!

can't wait to hear Mallory's perspective. any word on the luggage? sleep well tonight!

Oatsvall Team said...

I can't stop crying .. It must be because we are soul sisters, that I can actually see Calvin and you hugging ... I can see his sweet home and all that he showed you ... I know this was a priceless moment for you all ... I am sure Mike was very proud of his African Son !!! It was great to hear yours, Anna, and Katie's voice today ... I cried a bit after just feeling so blessed to have you all in my life ... You are 3 amazing women and I love how God is working in your hearts right now to glorify HIM !!!

Love YA !!!!! Can't wait to hear about the orphanage visit ... going to buy a calling card tonight so I can call you !!!

emily said...

Love reading your words on this. Have loved praying for you all.

Brian and Mandy Harvey said...

Wow....I am amazed at the depth communicated through you all's blogs. It is bizarre how much I can almost feel like I am there. This is an experience you all will feast on for years to come. God will continue to draw from these times and teach you things long after you are home again. What a well of Himself He is pouring into you!! I am so glad you are there. Love you all. Be safe.


Brian and Mandy Harvey said...

p.s. I am really glad they didn't beat you with a stick, Suzy.

redeemedintohope said...

how do i get there witih you right now?!? the Lord is absolutely AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! can we say that anymore? gosh i miss you. saw the kids yesterday and everyone was great. thanking the lord for his amazing grace and lavishing love alongside you. miss you sister

Tara said...

Can't imagine what it was like, getting to meet Calvin after all this time of loving him from so far away. I'm sure you will never know how much you have blessed him. I honestly have lived for your emails or blogs everyday since you left! Miss you terribly and eagerly wait to hear more about a place that I am realizing I have to visit for myself one day....hopefully soon. Love ya sister

Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

Okay I am laughing with you about the stamp thing because that is SO something that would happen in Russia, in fact, I did see someone "detained" for not having a stamp from their hotel. Anyway,I am loving that you are having so many encounters with God Himself. And I am really enjoying all the different "guest bloggers." Also, thanks for the laugh, that's something you don't hear enough of... "we bought him a cow to show our gratitude." :)

courtney said...

checking throughout the day for updates from yall, i love hearing what the Lord is doing!!
cant wait to hear all the details when yall get home!
give all those "lil sugars" some love from me!!
love you sister!!

Ruthie said...

Your meeting with Calvin was wonderful I'm sure. After all these years to actually get to hug him is wonderful.

Renee said...

I am laughing AND crying as I read your post, Suzanne! I can hear your voice so clearly in your writing! What a blessing to meet Calvin...I really HAVE to do this. Love you and am thanking God for keeping you all safe, blessing you with His presence and allowing you to experience all you did! I cannot wait to hear more!!


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I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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