WE HAVE ARRIVED!! Although weary and zombie-like, we have arrived safe and sound! Its past 3 am when I finally could sit down and take a second to write down the first leg of our adventure. Our first flight from Sioux Falls was delayed enough time to start making us all nervous. I was literally picturing us all doing a movie-like sprint from gate to gate because of the short layover time that was projected. They said our flight was a half hour late, but it was closer to an hour when we finally had our wheels up to Chicago. The Sioux Falls to Chicago trip was oh-so familiar to me, I’ve taken it so many times with basketball I nearly know the airports like the back of my hand. The plane we took was so tiny I couldn’t even stand up straight in it and I may be clumsy, but not enough to hit and trip over everything possible whenever I tried to move. How lucky was it that we arrived in Chicago and our next gate was two gates down from the one we arrived on? So all our nerves were relieved when we could get off our plane and right on to the next one with no problem. On our first long flight I watched three movies, took a nap and still had time to read almost 100 pages in my book, that’s how long it was! Then we had a four-hour layover in Frankfurt, where I thankfully could stretch out across the benches and try to catch some real sleep. We were all so hungry, but all the cafes were in euros, so we had to resort to scrounging in our bags for granola bars and wait anxiously for the next chance to eat the lovely airplane food. We met up with the other group in Frankfurt and we listened to their stories from their time in Germany. (A majority of the group left about three days earlier to add on a little extra sight seeing.) Thennn on to round 2! The next 6 hour flight wasn’t as bad; I think I was so tired and exhausted, that it just flew by. Normally sleeping sitting straight up in a seat is pretty tough, but I was out like a light, I even missed when they came by with food… shoot (sarcasm). After a short stop in Sudan and Ethiopia, we finally found ourselves in Mombasa, with huge sighs on our breath and big smiles on our faces. Driving to the complex I couldn’t even contain my excitement to see what this city looks like in the light!! After the gate was opened for us to the Elective Africa complex, we unpacked our bags and were shown to which rooms we were going to stay in for the next three weeks. In each room there are bunk beds draped with mosquito netting, and there was a main house where there’s a common room and a kitchen. There are other buildings where there are more bedrooms clustered around the main building where our group was spread out into. Our roommates were still up and we chatted a bit with them about their experiences. They raved about all the different procedures they’ve done, they said the doctors actually throw you right into everything! They were talking about performing sutures, putting in IVs, bandaging wounds, reading x-rays, and scrubbing into major surgeries. I’m kinda nervous, will I be able to do this??
Good morning!! I woke up to the sun shining through our windows, and my feet tangled in my mosquito netting. I walked out of our room and was greeted by some of the people that help us out while we are here. Vivian and Dollas are our housekeepers, Dollas does the cooking for us, I’m super excited to see what Kenyan food is like! For breakfast she made us maandazi, which was a sweetened deep fried dough. They were shaped like triangles and were just like donuts! SO GOOD, I’m in love with the food already! 🙂 Today we are going to have our basic orientation where Isaac, the main director at our complex will take us into town to convert our money and show us the shopping mall and eventually the beach! He said that this weekend is for us to relax and refuel after our long travels, so beach here we come!!! Monday is when we start in the hospital, and from what we’ve heard from the students already here they basically show you where everything is, then let you get your hands dirty!
Hey everyone I finally got Internet!! So so happy I can let everyone know I’m here and safe! And lets be honest I’ve been dying to go onto Facebook for a little bit!! This afternoon we had our orientation and first we went to exchange our money into schillings. (I think the conversion is around 83 schillings per dollar) Then we walked to the nearest supermarket and got our minutes for our phones and our wireless Internet, as well as a few basic things that we maybe forgot or needed. Lastly Isaac showed us where the beach was. When we turned that last corner and saw the white sand and the endless blue water….. wow. That’s really all I can say! Speechless! It was later in the afternoon so the sun wasn’t high enough above the trees for the beach to be sunny, so tomorrow we are all planning a trip to soak up some sun! What’s really interesting about Kenya is that the Sun rises at around 6 in the morning and sets at around 6 at night, so when its 7 at night it feels like much much later!! We sat on the beach until the sun was nearly set, taking in the sea breeze and enjoying the beautiful weather. On the beach there were vendors that started small talk and followed you all the way down the beach, laying on every line in the book to try and get you to buy what they were selling, it started as small talk, then they tried flirting, then they pulled the sympathy card… it was tough to try and escape! Also on the beach there were guys with camels offering rides up and down the beach! Ummm yesss! Tomorrow hopefully I’ll get the chance! When it was close to dark out we started our trek home, and with our stomachs growling Dollas had a meal ready for us. It was a highly seasoned rice dish with beef and potatoes, and she had like a tomato salad that you put on top, it was delicious! After washing the sand off our feet and spraying on some bug spray, I find myself here in this café with everyone in the house, its such a beautiful night here in Mombasa! Every day I’m here I feel more and more blessed to have this opportunity!