Wednesday, February 14, 2007

There and back again...

Sunday afternoon we travelled back to Kigali and had a brief meeting with the World Youth Alliance committee members there. We then went to Eric Kacou's house for supper, he works for On the Frontier and helped us arrange transportation and lodging for while we were in Rwanda. We discovered upon arrival that it was his birthday and he'd invited another friend over. We had a lovely mix of Indian and West African food; fish and fried bananas actually taste really good together! He asked a number of questions about World Youth Alliance and proposed a number of ideas of activites and new areas for us to reach out to more people. His ideas were so great and so numerous, I didn't want to take notes in the middle of dinner so I instead concentrated on each idea he gave so I could remember it afterwards. Apparently Winnie and Ann felt the same, the minute we got back to the hotel we had a brainstorming session to be sure we wrote down all the ideas he'd given to us so we could use them for the future.

Monday we flew back to Nairobi arriving in the evening. Mr. Beauttah had arranged for a transportation minister to meet us. He helped us get through the visa qeues much faster and we also learned a lesson; when travelling through Kenya en route to somewhere else we will from now on be Transit, it is less than half the cost of a tourist visa!

I arrived to Nick and Caroline's the earliest i have yet, around 6pm. Caroline and I walked along a dirt road to Strathmore University so I could access internet. She has an office here, which I have faithfully visited the past three mornings. The road at one point dips somewhat so that it is always full of dirty, muddy water. There are two ways to cross, you can either jump from rock to rock through the puddle if the water level is not too high, or you can balance along a little concrete railing that crosses over sewage water. Caroline prefers to stone hop, while I prefer to balance since I am generally in sandals. Last night though there was a downpour and today we both had to cross over the sewage water since all the stones were drowned.

Yesterday we met with a member from Uganda, Saidi. He became a member of the WYA just over a year ago after he discovered us online. He then attended an international leadership conference here in Nairobi along with representatives of the WYA from a number of different African countries. Since returning to Uganda he has recruited 600 WYA members! He has recruited politicians, VIP's, friends of the WYA, and of course, members. He has taken so much initiative! This coming November the Commonwealth meeting is happening in Uganda, and Saidi has already registered the WYA as one of the official youth organisations to participate in the Commonwealth youth meeting just before. He is very respectful in his speech, and has great respect for Winnie and Esther. He refers to them both as Mama Esther and Mama Winnie. He was then excited to see once again Mama Ann, I however am called "my president." When he speaks to me or to another about me or in front of me he acknowledges "my president." We had lunch at Strathmore university hosted by Mrs. Beauttah.

We then went to the Bomas, which is Swahili for the homesteads, where they show traditional Kenyan dances. The dances were beautiful, and I must run now so will continue later...

1 comment:

tamara said...

Mary! Aww. I think I want to call you "My President" too. Very excited for you to come here - just two more sleeps before you hit the Philippine Islands. Mwah!