It's always fun to visit a new county whether on business, for pleasure or in this case on a mission trip. On the surface, a visit to Kenya can be many things. Our first three days on safari were as expected ... exciting, unlike anything I've ever done ... seeing wild animals in their natural habitat ... but the most lasting impression will be from the second phase of our adventure ... seeing a small slice of this country through the eyes of our new friend, Fredrick Gituku.
On the surface I would say that we are observing extreme poverty, but once inside the world Fredrick knows and loves, I can only see riches that anyone would envy.
The Kenyan people are warm and friendly and make us feel welcome. I find myself wishing that I could do more to help where there is so much need, but to be a part of Fredrick's effort to help those who nurtured him along the way ... from the local shoemaker to people we meet on the street ... I find it's enough.
Kenya is an emerging country where their institutions are behind the developed world. There is no social safety net here. The people we are visiting don't have running water, paved streets or even addresses. I'm impressed however that the people always have a smile ... especially the kids who are everywhere ... and clean clothes to wear even when they are a bit worn.
I will come away wishing all Americans could visit a third world county. I think many opinions about our own circumstances would be changed.