In preparation for this trip I felt something that told me I would fall in love with Africa. I felt so sure of this feeling that I was telling everyone I talked to about going to Kenya how I felt. We landed in Nairobi at night and there was no traffic because of the riots and violence there. Also we had to leave Whitney behind in Fayetteville and so I began wondering what was going to happen on this trip. The next morning Whitney caught up to us and we began our drive to the Marindi Children’s Home of Grace. On our way out of Nairobi the van carrying our luggage broke down and we had to leave it behind to be brought later. Then we got out of Nairobi and I saw the Kenyan country side. It was amazing. Even though the drive was long and dusty, everything I saw was something I had never seen before. Then we finally made it to Marindi and we where exhausted. The next day was the first day of the clinic and I still had no idea what to expect. We made our way to the clinic and upon arrival we found hundreds of people already waiting to see a doctor. Most of these people where children. This told us what our day would be like. The doctors and nurses worked in the clinic but those of us with no medical experience stayed outside with the children who were waiting. I was a little nervous about this because I am not one to just sit and play with kids. We went inside and prayed together and then went out into the yard. At first I didn’t know what I was going to do so I started to take pictures of everyone sitting outside. A few of the kids asked to see their picture and so more started to come up to me. I finally put my camera away but the kids didn’t leave. They seemed to be intrigued by us and anything we did with them was entertaining. Just us being there and spending time with the children seemed to be enough for the older people. We spent the whole day just playing with kids. I now realize that we were there just for our presence. I think us being there during all the turmoil in Kenya gave them comfort that they are not forgotten. Now that I am back in America I look back and realize that I miss sitting with those kids and being around people that show such kindness even though they have very little. This is why I now know that I love Africa.
Written By Justin Thweatt