Photo by Tony Cece

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Friday 7/27

Today our team had a fun and relaxing day, leaving the countryside compound to explore the treasures within this region of Kenya. One group from our team ventured out to a national park in Naivasha; situated on a lake-locked island, the island contains a number of diverse species of animals. After taking a boat ride from the town to the island, our colleagues gazed upon impalas, zebras, hippos, wildebeests, and giraffes among 70 foot tall Acacia trees. All visitors received a photograph with a giraffe. One person from our team remarked, “Standing there next to that giraffe, I felt so thankful that God gave me this opportunity. I never thought I’d be taking a picture standing next to a giraffe.”
The rest of our team make the hour and a half venture into the capital city of Nairobi. Some left to go spend time with friends in town while many spent most of the day at the Village Market, where we explored specialty shops and had lunch in the international food court. On the top level of the mall stood the Masai Market, a weekly flee market with local vendors selling a variety of items that were uniquely Kenyan. We found souvenirs and (bargain but finely made) gifts for friends and loved ones back home that are uniquely Kenyan. Some of us left “base camp” at the market and ventured into downtown Nairobi, which felt similar to Times Square in New York City. We visited the National Museum, where we viewed archeological artifacts such as the 18 million year old skeleton discovered by Richard Leaky at Turkana Lake. The life of the city seemed a world apart from our modest dwelling in the Kenyan highlands.
Upon returning to the Into Abbas Arms (IAA) compound in the evening, we conversed about our differing experiences, each person sharing a unique story. As a part of our training in Trauma Studies we learned the importance of self-care. If we fail to take care of ourselves, then we will fail to care for others as the need arises. The most important thing about this day was that we got to take care of ourselves and unwind.  There was no strict schedule to keep and there was no one in need of council. Simply being able to enjoy the day helped recharge the team and prepare us for another week of intense service to the community.


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