Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mistake #1 of MANY (Jan 9)

We left at 6am for the first 8 hour leg of our journey for Nairobi, Kenya. The kicker was that it took 13 hours to do the first 8 hours. Traffic can be slow at times when you get behind big trucks, but that wasn’t the only issue.

Karis really needed to go to the bathroom. We stopped at a gas station. It had a squatty potty in the back. We got her down and situated, but with so many people helping, she couldn’t go. Kylie didn’t even try.

Stop #2: side of the road. Too many people helping and blocking the view of traffic. Still couldn’t go. Anyway, she held it until the town of Eldoret where we ate lunch at 3pm (our 9th hour of the journey).

Lunch was good, but different. Doug, Caleb and I had hamburgers, but as you can imagine, the meat tasted a little different. The girls had fried eggs, and we all shared 2 milkshakes, which apparently are a rarity.

When we got to the Uganda/Kenya border there are apparently 6 steps to go through. Our team leader didn’t realize until later that we forgot the last step – registration with the Kenaya police – I don’t know what that means. The first stop went pretty quickly (Uganda immigration). The third and fourth stops (visas and insurance) were really crowded to get to, so Doug and Stan (Mr. Wafler) got out and walked across the Kenyan border to start paperwork, while the rest of us drove the 2 vehicles across. They were so proud to say the “walked from Uganda to Kenya.”

Doug and Stan had to get Kenya insurance for our vehicles, and Pam (Mrs. Wafler), Sandra (the Wafler’s homeschool teacher), and I had to get Visas for everyone except Doug and Stan.

I know it’s confusing, but you don’t have to understand that part of the story. The part to get is this: when you come into Kenya for visas and insurance, we have to pay in American dollars.

Before I left the States, I took “great care” in getting $1500 worth of clean, crisp, new $100 bills so that we would have money for times like this.

I went to a couple of banks in town, and Yoakum National Bank said they could get me $100’s newer than 2006 that were clean and crisp. When they brought them out of the vault, I was so excited at how new they were (never used), that I never looked at the date.

My fault completely, I know.

Long story short: Kenya would not take our money. They were dated 1996.

This was a good strengthening time for Doug’s and my relationship as I apologized profusely, and he smiled. He really was very kind about it, and thankfully, Sandra had some money we could borrow. We still don’t know about the way back.

The problem now is finding NEW American $100’s to replace the ones I have. Certain people are coming to Africa this Spring that could bring us some, but we are going to exhaust our efforts here first. We are going to try to trade volunteers from the States because other missionaries won’t trade us either. These bills are dated 1996, and they are useless here.

You can be praying that God will work this situation out soon because there are certain times when we will have to have dollars.

I am fully aware that I will make many mistakes in Africa. I just didn’t know the first one would come so soon.

I’m sorry, Doug.

1 comment:

Nurse Bevo said...

((((((((HUGS))))))))) I am praying right now for the $100 bills to get worked out! That is so scary and I'm so sorry you're having to deal with it! Love you, friend!