‘Your availability for God to use you will take you where He wants you to go to say what He wants you to say where He wants you to say it and how He wants you to say it’
After 12 long hours of travelling by bus along the bumpy Kenyan and Ugandan roads, we were woken up by the conductor and told that we had reached our destination; it was 5:30 in the morning and dawn had not yet broken. We were given our bags and left at a closed petrol station as we watched our bus disappear into the darkness. A tingle of fear mixed in with the excitement of being somewhere new and different after having spent too many days caught up in the hustle and bustle of Nairobi life. I prayed a silent prayer to God to keep us safe and help us reach our destination safely as I looked over to Amy and saw confusion written over her face.
Within moments, we were surrounded by 8 men on motorbikes, all harmlessly trying to find out where we wanted to go, each hoping to get some business in reward for being out of bed and available to taxi someone where they needed to be at that early hour. We repeatedly told them ‘Nile river camp’ as they discussed between themselves in the local language, Luganda, where exactly that could be. After some debating, one man, who appeared to be older than the others, said he knew the place and assured us that he’d take us there. He told me to jump on and instructed a friend to carry Amy.
We motor biked along, cutting through the cool fresh morning air and going deeper into the wild as the tarmac ran out and town turned into rural village. It felt like freedom to be away from everything modern and familiar and to enjoy simplicity; it felt like this is the real Africa, the Africa I had fallen in love with years ago. As we turned into the campsite, we found the place hushed and dark. The only noises that could be heard were those of morning birds and insects performing their best numbers to a sleeping world. From nowhere, a man appeared with a torch, as startled as we were to see someone walking around the campsite this early in the morning. It was now about 6am and the first signs of dawn were beginning to light the earth. The man turned out to be the watchman and asked us to wait as he fetched some keys. He came back quickly and pointed to a nearby room where he said we could rest a bit. We got into the dormitory where I was relieved at the idea of lying down on a comfortable bed after what had felt like hours of sleeping and waking up uncomfortably before re-adjusting myself to try and sleep some more on the uncomfortable bus seats. A bed seemed like heaven. As we turned on the lights, a couple of geckos were taken by surprise by our entry into their room and scuttled around; Amy in turn was surprised by them and mixed with exhaustion her emotions caught her off guard. Filled with terror at the sight of the creatures she froze in the middle of the room, unprepared to sleep under their watchful eyes. On the other hand, feeling at peace now that we’d safely arrived, I was overcome with tiredness and couldn’t wait to snuggle up on the comfortable bed and get some much anticipated sleep.
It felt like only minutes had gone by when I woke up feeling refreshed from the deep sleep I had found myself in but when I looked at my phone 4 hours had slipped by. I could hear Amy in the bunk bed below me begin to stir and awake from her sleep and noises of people chatting outside gave me the impression that the campsite was now alive. My mind was now awake and there was one thought on it; I have to explore! I stepped down from my bed and after a cold but refreshing shower we were ready for the day. We made our way down to the main reception which was also the restaurant, bar and anything else it needed to be, both of us were filled with excitement at every new thing we saw on our way. As we looked out across the river Nile, I felt in awe at the creation of God, so vast yet not a detail out of place. I took in a deep breath of the fresh country air and was filled with contentment; it was good to be here.
For three days we enjoyed out getaway. We basked under the warm Ugandan sun; we swam around and made up silly games in the pool; we kayaked on the biggest river in the world and we appreciated God for the life He’d given us. Every day, we enjoyed the delicious home-made food served at the restaurant knowing that the western style menu was something not to take for granted compared to our usual African diet. We shared stories, we laughed at each other and we made memories that we’ll never forget.
Time flew, and before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head onto part 2 of our adventure: Kampala. We got a motor bike back to the nearest town, Jinja, and Joseph our motor bike driver chatted and cracked jokes with us all the way; the friendliness of the people here never ceases to amaze me. We got on a minibus, locally known as a taxi and headed to Kampala to meet up with Lox and a bunch of friends from our Church. All along the way, our conductor played sardines with us and tried to squeeze as many passengers as possible onto the taxi. On arrival, we decided to stretch the ‘holiday mode’ for a little while longer and enjoyed a cup of coffee at a mall before joining the others who had travelled from Kenya.
The conference comprised of 3 influential African speakers who were successful not only in the world of Christianity but had also in their careers. For four days, we were encouraged by them to be a change in the world around us and to make a difference instead of accepting the status quo. They gave inspirational stories of standing up against corruption and of using their God given gifts to excel in their workplaces and in the business world. It was a very inspirational conference. The quote that stuck with me was ‘Your availability for God to use you will take you where He wants you to go to say what He wants you to say where He wants you to say it and how He wants you to say it’.
Welcome to my blog! In case you didn't already know, I'm Ruth. In 2010 I graduated from University and before I even had time to settle down and get a job I felt a tug on my heart to go to Kenya for a few years to help in any way I could. When I arrived it was love at first sight; I loved the more relaxed way of life, the way Kenyans would laugh at EVERYTHING and the way people would put people first. On my first day there I also met Lox, a tall, dark & handsome African man who had the same passions in life as me and the more we worked & laughed together the more we fell in love & after a couple of years of dating we tied the knot & got married. Now I live, work, eat & sleep Kenya. It's great to be able to help those who are in some ways less fortunate than me but amazingly I always feel that I'm the one who gets blessed and learns so much from the people I try to help and from everything I do. Enjoy my blogs which give you a taste of this crazy yet wonderful life I lead.