Reaching our Destination

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It took us about 30 hours of travel to get here. We left the home at 9:00 am on January 5, 2021. We arrived at our hotel in Nairobi about midnight on January 6th. Kenya is 10 hours ahead of Utah. So about 2:00 p.m. Utah time.

We flew from SLC to LA to Amsterdam to Nairobi. Spent the night in Nairobi.

Our flight from LAX to Amsterdam had only 58 people on the plane with a capacity of about 320. I had my own row of 10 seats and was able to get some decent sleep on the plane.

airline tickets
Jason Sucher asleep on the plane
Jason Sucher in front of the plane
View from the plane -plane wing tip and clouds

Sunrise on January 7th from the hotel in Nairobi overlooking the wildlife refuge near the airport. I saw two giraffes with my binoculars in the distance. I was not able to get photos of the animals with my phone.

Sunrise from the hotel in Nairobi.

On the morning of January 7th, we flew from Nairobi to Mombasa. We have 6 suitcases with us to take supplies / treats for the village kids and baby blankets for the clinics. Many village women have their babies at home in less-than-ideal conditions. To encourage them to come to a medical clinic we donated baby blankets to local med clinics which will give them to mothers who will come to the clinics to have medical help and better conditions for their births. We flew past Mount Kilimanjaro. At about 18, 900 feet it is the tallest mountain on the African Continent.

The flight to Mombasa was about 90 minutes. Bret Van Leeuwen, founder of Koins for Kenya, said I was in a sleep coma for the flight – Ha Ha. Mombasa has a population of about 2 million. The traffic was insane. Too much to see in a quick trip through town.

Driving through the city of Mombasa
Driving through the city of Mombasa

Our hosts took us to lunch at Yul’s on the beach, North of the Mombasa marine park. Bella (Bret’s daughter) and I road a camel on the beach. They wanted $20 but we talked them down to $5. Bella was petrified but it was her idea and she toughed it out.

Jason Sucher and Bella Van Leeuwen riding a camel on the beach.
Jason Sucher and Bella Van Leeuwen riding a camel on the beach.

After lunch we went to the bank and purchased Kenyan Schillings. The exchange rate is about 108 shillings per American dollar. We then went grocery shopping, dropped off Bella with her mom and nanny, then headed to the village where we are staying. We are staying in a Village maybe 7 to 8 Km outside of Mazeras. We are staying in the family home of a member of the Kenyan Parliament. The family has welcomed us with gracious hospitality.

Private Room in the family home of a member of Kenyan Parliament.

The photo above is of my private room. They rolled out the red carpet for me. I do not think anyone else got a bug net and fan in their room.

The home has electricity and running water which is more than many of the homes in the village. But the water delivery system was not working so we have been using water in buckets to wash up and flush the toilet. They have two water pits in the village – both dug my hand – where they get their water according to Baba Bret. Baba means Father. The people in the village call Bret “Baba Bret”. They say he is the Baba of Rabai. Rabai is the province where Bret has built 120 schools since 2001.

Scenic View of Mombasa
Water pit in the village


They grow the crops relying on rain to water them. Corn is the main crop. The main meal in the villages in “Ugaly” which is a corn meal cake like concoction.  I had some for dinner.   Miriam, the second wife of the Member of Parliament, cooked for us with the food we purchased in Mombasa. The family did not eat with us. They ate their own food. I am not sure how many people / how many generations live in the home. But there are lots of people here with us in the home. I worry that we displaced many family
members so Bret and I can each have our own room. Bret said I do not snore in my sleep – he said I strangle and gag and clock all night and he did not sleep at all on the flights to Kenya and only slept about two hours at the hotel room we shared in Nairobi. The plan apparently was for us to share a room but after hearing me “nearly choke to do death in my sleep” Bret called the village and told them we needed separate rooms. Ha ha ha!

This is in the village where we are staying. This school was completed about a year ago.

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