Monday, August 16, 2010

From muddy streets to TRAFFIC!

I am sitting on a comfortable couch (something I miss in Sudan)  listening to horns honking and cars whizzing by on the busy streets of Nairobi.  We arrived in Nairobi last Wednesday and I am still trying to decide if I like the smog filled streets of Nairobi or the dirt (mud) filled streets of Torit better.  As I try to cook in our tiny closet of a kitchen in our temporary apartment,  I tell Kevin, “There is no place like home”.  I think I like my bush kitchen better, even though I like having running water! 

We are in Nairobi for a little while in hopes to accomplish much.  Kevin is continuing his work to shop for supplies and technologies to build Hope for Sudan and our house, he and Romano will be visiting a farm in Ethiopia for a two week training on drip irrigation to be implemented on our compound, he is also looking for a class to maintain his civil engineering licensure, we will be visiting Drs. for routine check-ups, and we will take time out for fun and rest as a family.

Preparing for our trip to Nairobi posed its challenges.  A few days before we left, the tractor would not start.  The battery was dead; the alternator was out and was not charging the battery.   Some of the guys brought the generator to it to charge the battery.  It started.   The next day, the day before we left for Nairobi, Kevin rushed into town in hopes of finding an alternator for a land cruiser.  When he returned, he saw Garang, the guy who had driven the tractor out to get sand 45 minutes from the compound, and no tractor.  Concerned, he asked him where the tractor was.  The battery was dead and they couldn’t start it to bring it back.  Kevin breathed a sigh and shifted his plans to finalize last minute details before leaving for Nairobi and started trouble shooting.  He received the news that the tractor was stuck while standing next to a truck that had been left on the compound by another mission agency.  The light bulb went off!  He “borrowed” the battery from the truck and he and Garang balanced all 150 lbs of it on the motorcycle.  Did I mention it is the rainy season?!  This was all happening in the middle of a rain storm complete with big thunder and lightning.    As I watched them drive down the road trying to hold on to the battery, I began to pray.   A few hours and much rain later, I heard the motorcycle return.  Kevin informed me the tractor was on its way behind him!  Whew!  I told Kevin I had been praying and was thankful to see him AND the tractor.  He said, “I was praying, too, that we wouldn’t get struck by lighting”.    When they returned, Kevin sat down for a quick dinner and then, by headlamp, began to change the alternator at 9:00pm.  The alternator fit but he didn’t know if  it would work until the battery had time to charge the next day.  Praise the Lord, He has given Kevin the technical AND mechanical skills needed to trouble shoot so many problems here. 

While Kevin was being mechanic, I was doing laundry and cleaning out our storage boxes that had gotten wet from the rain and letting them dry in the few hours of sun we had.  When we go away, we pack up our outdoor kitchen and storage boxes and put them inside our tent.

The day of our flight, the tractor started!  Praise the Lord!  We loaded our bags into the trailer.  We made our way down the road to Torit to meet our plane.  It had been raining hard all evening and morning.  We had to cross about 100 yards of water that was probably up to our waist.  A 4 wheel drive vehicle would not have made it through.  The tractor and trailer were our only means to make it to catch our plane.  We were very thankful the tractor started that day!

Another one of Kevin's mechanical "projects"

This was our first time meeting Tito's wife Edwina and son, our partner with Hope for Sudan.   Edwina is attending a University in Kampala, Kenya.  She will finish in December and join Tito in Torit.  Romano is in the middle.

Edwina taught me some Sudanese dishes and I taught her how to make "smashed" potatoes.  She said she had always wanted to learn. . .not hard!  We cooked a big meal for Tito, Romano, and Kevin as they met and planned for Hope for Sudan.  It was nice to share my kitchen with her!

I caught Mango and Moti sleeping on the job!  Can you see Mango by the basket?  They were sleeping in the same position.

Hope For Sudan is coming up!

All of the steel is ready to simply bolt together when it arrives on sight.  It allows the construction to go quickly.

Here is the frame for the first dormitory!


Remember my blog post about the symbolism of giraffes?  Go back and read about their significance.  They are my favorite African animal.  We decided to take Abigail to meet this amazing animal.  

She enjoyed feeding them.

Visit our You Tube page to view some videos,   I am uploading a back log of videos now that we are in Nairobi with a faster internet connection.

There is much buzz around Sudan about the upcoming referendum.  This is a vote that will decide whether the South will succeed from the North and form their own country and government.   This is a critical time for the people of Sudan.  This vote is supposed to happen in January.  But, we never know if votes will happen on time.  Please stand with the people of Sudan in prayer as they approach the referendum.