For tonight’s post, I wanted to make my best attempt at illustrating what our drive from Mara West to Point of Grace was like this afternoon. The six hour drive involved a two hour trek through some of the toughest dirt road conditions we have ever seen and then another four hours on paved roads before making it back to Point of Grace.
On the dirt roads, we passed single seat motorcycles carrying four men to a bike (or even others with a man, child, and baby – no car seats or helmets here folks!) The red dirt roads were pockmarked with potholes, some looked like they could swallow a car. To add another layer of nerve wracking anxiety, large herds of cattle and goats blocked or ran into the road at varying intervals.
We went at this bumpy ride for two hours before arriving at paved road again – much to everyone’s relief!
Our adventure then took us through mountainous terrain with women carrying loads on their heads and others carrying bags or bundles of things on their backs. Many had bags of corn, tea, and bundles of sticks, but others had wheelbarrows full of bricks hurrying to their next destination.
From town to town we went. In each town, they had many little huts full of goods. In the market, they were selling avocados, tomatoes, cabbage, onions, corn, bananas, mangos, and citrus fruits. Others were selling furniture, clothing, or gates, or tending the many nibbling cows or goats that were roaming or staked throughout town. All of the signage is completely hand-painted which makes things appear a bit chaotic, but seems to work for them!
Can’t forget about the speed bumps! They have multiple speed bumps, completely at random on every road. They seem to perform the function of stop lights to help control the speed and flow of traffic. They also use spike strips to slow or stop traffic as well.
From town to town, we passed several fields lined with rows of tea, bananas, corn, sorghum, and various other plants. The hillsides are so lush and full of life in this country! It’s beautiful!
As we traveled, we eventually made it to Kisumu, which is a fairly well developed city in Kenya. They even have a golf course and a big giant advertisement with Barrack Obama (which, from what I can tell has nothing to do with Barrack Obama).
After passing through downtown Kisumu on our way to Point of Grace, we changed back to dirt road. A dirt road in Kenya means you better have a good set of tires and 4 wheel drive vehicle! As bad as the roads may be, the smiling, shouting children along the way make it a little better!
The incredible views of Lake Victoria mean you are getting closer to Point of Grace!
Point of Grace has brought not only security and education to the children who attend, but has also brought growth, development, and an increasing economy to the surrounding community. Even the small town market located just down the road received its first store light a few years ago due to the electrical lines put in place for the school. The government did not help fund the project, so the lines were constructed at Point of Grace’s expense. The people that live in the school’s vicinity have clearly benefited from its presence and are grateful to the Meeker’s for their assistance.
Finally, we arrived! Children in their dorms came out to greet us as we watched from our bedroom window. Their smiling faces are a wonderful reminder of why we are here!
Joyfully in Christ,