Today is the first full day I’m spending in my new place…wow!!! Quite a lot has transpired since I landed in Nairobi on the 19th. My first order of business was to locate housing, which was not an especially easy task. I called everyone I could think of, and even before I left the US I had been sending facebook messages to all my friends who lived in neighborhoods that I was considering. That led to a few houses I looked at, but no really good options so I then tried the obvious way to get housing: wandering around the neighborhoods I had identified and asking random people. This led to way more houses, and one particular security guard in Ngummo I struck up a conversation with provided to be invaluable, connecting me with three different house agents and probably about 10 or so apartments within the price range and basic parameters I had specified. But several of the really good places I saw were not really available, and involved someone else who was at some stage of paying for the same place. I almost paid for one place but couldn’t finalize the deal due to someone else who had already put something down on it…about which they had not been very forthcoming at the beginning of the process.
My two weeks I had dedicated to finding a place ran out and I had nothing…so I had to postpone my start date at Carlile, and was becoming increasingly desperate. I kept praying for the perfect place to materialize, but things had not been working out. Friday was the day I almost paid for one place, but left feeling rather discouraged, and thinking rather apprehensively about the fact that I was supposed to begin work on Mon… Saturday was the end of the month, and I had been promised that several people were moving out of this one apartment building which I really liked. I showed up Saturday morning…nothing, no movement. The caretaker promised me that he would call the instant the first box emerged from an apartment, but I was concerned that they would all change their minds, which as it turned out they did. But I met with one of the house agents I had been working with, and he showed me a couple of new places, and after seeing two, I felt I had to make a decision and less than an hour after seeing it for the first time, I was at the landlord’s office in town paying for the apartment.
The next week I was waiting for the place to be painted, cleaned, have the toilet hooked up, faucet working, so on…so that took several days! So far have called the office 42 times (my phone keeps track)…trying to keep on their case so the painter would actually show up, etc. As I’ve been waiting, it’s been great to hang out with friends at NEGST! I have felt so welcomed, great to have that feeling of having difficulty walking from building to building because I run into so many people who greet me, ask how my family is doing, have a brief catch-up of the last 8 months, so on. I generally allocate about 30 minutes to travel 30 meters or so on campus after being away for a while.
For Easter I did a road trip up to Eldoret with BG and 15 of her friends. Oh yeah, it’s been really great to see her again. 🙂 It was some of the same terrain I had explored on the young adult road trip last year, and was fun to see it again and meet so many of her University of Nairobi friends. Also had some time to reflect on the resurrection and the incredible power that it contains for our lives today. Such an amazing event… I had hoped to include some pictures from moving in, and from my balcony, but my Orange modem which has been serving me so faithfully all day seems to be losing steam. I really like having a balcony by the way! Spent a good part of today there. Yesterday heard a guy playing Blessed Assurance on his saxophone, today heard Britney Spears and Usher from the high school athletic competition and rally or something like that just across the street…Well tomorrow is my first day at Carlile, so I hope that goes well! Should sleep soon. More to come!