August 18, 2011

Off on Safari!

These are the posts that people in Australia have waited (twelve months) for! For the next stage of my african adventure I headed off on my trip to Kenya and Tanzania where I’d take in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater, hopefully see a bit of wildlife and experience another part of Africa – as well as meet some different people.

To begin with, we had scheduled in the early Sunday morning service at Life Ark Prayer Center for me to preach at. Again we got treated like royalty, I’m not used to that at all, just because I come from a different country and have a title of “pastor” doesn’t mean I should get priority seating and treatment. But anyway, that’s how it is, or how they choose to honour us I should say. This place had a great presence of God and an enthusiastic and hungry congregation. Up until now I wouldn’t commit to coming back to Uganda, but somehow this place made me almost say “when I’m here next time”! Uganda is a nation that has great potential, but like I said to this church, they need to stand up and pray for their community, their church/friends/family/neighborhood and country. Allow themselves to dream and to see the potential that could come out of anyone of them in this room – the potential to change things for the better. This was also the first place that I’d preached at and got a monetary offering (ever!) of some sort (most churches in Uganda brought us sodas after preaching). That was pretty cool.

I had a mid afternoon flight to Nairobi, so pretty much as soon as we got back from church, I gathered my stuff and headed off for the airport. The drive to the Entebbe airport can be a bit hit and miss – you can get stuck in traffic pretty badly sometimes, so we left with plenty of time (we thought) and hopefully would find a place to grab some lunch as we went. Anyway, two highlights of the trip to the airport today. The first we had to stop for a train!! Well ok, just the engine. But nevertheless, I didn’t think anything would go along those tracks, so to actually see a moving engine, I got pretty excited! (My Dad is train-mad, so that’s where it comes from). I got the best photos I could, I don’t think Mike was too keen on stopping right there so I could actually take a better look! He would argue that there was nowhere to stop, but I would say that’s because he wasn’t trying hard enough!

We were nearly at the airport where highlight number 2 took place. We found a pizza shop. No big deal you say. But when we tasted this pizza, cooked in a wood fired oven, it was a big deal! Anyway, we grabbed take away pizza because that’s all we had time for, thanks Kampala traffic, and I made a mental note to make sure I visited there on the way back – especially when we saw the SALMON pizza on the menu!!! In our haste we hadn’t even read that far, but anyway, had to save something for next time! (Update: The place is Nicky’s Pizza.)

Got to the airport, checked in, spent three minutes looking around at all the shops (it didn’t take long) then boarded my flight to Kenya. Was really looking forward to this, getting to see different things, praying I’d get to see some animals and that I’d be rooming with somebody decent! Only an hour flight, but got served a snack – a MEAT PIE… delightful – yummy pizza and pie in one day! I hadn’t seen anything that looked like a pie as we know it since I’d been there, so it was special, stop laughing! And sorry, no photos of the food, I think I was in too much of a hurry to eat it all.

So arrived in Nairobi, changed some money and grabbed my transfer. All that went smoothly, the driver had a nice car, was a nice guy to chat to and he suggested that I come to Kenya to be a missionary because Kenya needed some missionaries there – so next time, forget Uganda he said, come to Kenya. I would definitely recommend this guy to get a transfer from Nairobi airport to where ever you need to go, but I can’t remember who it was or what company. Someone I found and booked on the internet. My first mistake I made though was paying in Kenyan shillings rather than USD. Worked out it cost me more, but you get that. So, got to the Kivi Milimani hotel, found I had a room on my own that night and hung out til our group meeting later that night. We decided to head out to the Carnivore restaurant for tea that night. Carnivore restaurant is not a place to go if you’re a vegetarian! All kinds of meat are cooked over open coals then served off the skewer right in front of you. Not so sure that I like an incredibly sharp knife less than 8 inches away from me being used at awkward angles… but all good. Ostrich, pork, beef, lamb, crocodile, chicken. Apparently it was meant to be a good place for tourists to visit and speaking to people after I got back they all recommended it. Unfortunately for us, by the time we could get a table, it was 9pm, then it turned out heaps more expensive than we were told it would be and they didn’t bring us the exotic meats until they’d served us far too much of the “normal” meat. It was good to have some nice meat, but it was an expensive meal even when comparing it to a night out in Aus. By the time the taxis came back for us, we were well and truly ready to go coz we had a pretty early start next day. So ended day one in Kenya.


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