Dear mum…. letter describing trip to RUSH

RUSH - Kakamega - Water pump

A fabulous “stream of consciousness” letter sent by Joan, one of the trustees of RUSH and accompanying us out to Kenya,  to her mum about our trip.

Dear Mum,

This is to inform you of what I am doing…..

Saturday 12th pm I will come and see you. I will need to leave at 4pm.

Gill will drive me to Will Cookson’s house. He is the vicar of Springfield Church, Wallington and is coming on the trip. Three or four vehicles will drive in convoy to Heathrow Terminal 3 ready to book in for the 21.20 Virgin VS671 to Nairobi.

We arrive there on Sunday morning at 9.05am. That will then be their time and it will still only be 6.05am for you.

We will meet Lucy and Andrew who have been up applying for their visas at the Embassy in Nairobi.

Lucy will then fly on with Rosie and Harvey and their two young children with Ben from Ghana to Kisumu and then travel on to Kakamega with them. The rest of us that is Paul the ex lecturer in mechanics, Will the vicar who was a high flyer in business and IT before going into the church, Jacqueline the ex physiotherapist, Caryl the ex primary teacher and Maggie the ex nursery teacher and me will travel by minibus up to Lake Nakuru where we will stay two nights at Gracelands Hotel. That is after cramming about 21 large holdalls in somewhere on the bus!!!! It will take about 4 hours. …driving along out of Nairobi town and beginning to see a little bit of Africa in the shacks and then mud huts along the way and looking down into the Rift valley to our left….breathtaking if the air is clear. Maybe a chance to get out and be mobbed by Masai trying to sell carved animals and jewellery, wooden masks, colourful blankets etc….So on arrival we will relax Sunday afternoon and I will swim in the pool forever!!! Then on Monday morning a day safari will start. To be honest I might just stay by the pool and relax all day as ‘been there and done it’….you know.

Isaac one of the ex orphans who trained for three years in business anad accounting through Rush will bring his wife Cynthia and young son Josiah for a meal at one point as he lives in Nakuru.

So we eat there Monday night and then Tuesday morning we go on a minibus to Kakamega. Trouble is Andrew has to go back to Nairobi to hopefully get the visas and travel back on the coach on Wednesday. We will arrive in Kakamega after about 5 hours up through the tea and coffee area of Kericho picking up some real coffee for Will and past Lake Victoria at Kisumu and then for an hour on the worst stretch of road you ever came across….the main road from Kisumu over the Equator to Kakamega……hang on to your seat!!!

We’ll probably leave quite early and get there by lunch time although it will be more like getting up time for you!!!

Then Wednesday we do things. Paul will service all the vehicles….ho ho …well, take a look at them anyway, Jacqueline wants to visit the ladies in their homes….mud huts….I know she will absolutely so enjoy this and has been looking forward to it, Caryl has made loads of teaching materials for the little ones and likes to captivate them by reading stories, Rosie and Harvey will go into the school with a guitar and also give the children their things that Sally and Joel’s classes have made for them. Some of us might paint the inside of some classrooms, run activities with the children, teach or generally fit in where needed. I’m sure we will all get opportunity to visit homes and especially where there are sick people in need of encouragement and food or medicines, must remember to carry some small cash…..

Friday we may might meet with the women for singing and a small service and then feeding them. This happens Tuesday but we won’t be there the first week. While we are there at the works canteen site we will have a look and see how the tailoring students, woodwork boys and the IT group are doing.

At some point I expect Lucy will take some to buy some material and then to get fitted by the fundi…….to bring back some African clothes.

Saturday….who knows….Sunday….on the bus to Butere, Andrew’s home up in the interior and sugar cane country where church will be interesting…singing, dancing, probably a conga outside and round the church….and Will will preach. He said they should be very afraid when he gets back as Lucy expects him to preach for at least 45mins and they don’t like it that long at Springfield…..blimey I thought they haven’t been to Whyteleafe !! Not to forget the other person who spends another extended time teaching. In between this loads of singing, dancing, praying and the Sunday school performing for us and then us doing a quick introduction of ourselves and giving greetings from England…..Then several hours later back down the mud road rocking all over the place as the rain softens the mud and wheels make big grooves all over the place….which the sun quickly dries into a rocky assault course…and perhaps helping ourselves to sugar cane to chew as we go because you are allowed to take sufficient for yourselves but not bulk to sell. Then another week ahead of us. We must take some balloons, sweets and small airplanes to give the children along the road if we get opportunity to walk back from town or ride taxi on the back of a bike, a boda-boda hanging on for dear life and wondering why Lucy and the locals manage to ride side saddle. Might see the choir sing or the football team play? Who knows, I’ve forgotten all the instructions I learned to shout anyway!!

On Saturday morning early we will set off down the dreaded Kisumu road minus all those bags and probably carrying little more than what we stand up in…..Into the new International airport there to catch the rubber band plane to Nairobi ….no it’s quite big KQ 653……then on to Heathrow on a Virgin VS672. We arrive at 7.05 in terminal 3 and lifts have been arranged. Who knows I might get to see you that evening. I will definately phone and we’ll see what the time is. Must go to bed soon it’s gone half past two!!!!

Joan x

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