Throughout our time in Kenya, we have had the pleasure of staying in a variety of accommodations. Our travels took us north to Marsabit, west to the Maasai Mara, and east to Zanzibar, Tanzania, but our home base was the Partners for Care headquarters in Nairobi. Initially compared to the White House in terms of security and luxury (ahem, Kurt), the PFC house has become our home away from home as we made our way around Kenya. But getting in is not easy….
Off the main road from the village is 2nd Mugumo-ini Drive in the Thome Estate. This bumpy road is the first step to reaching the PFC house. For safety reasons, we must be with PFC staff whenever we are outside of this first gate.
Gate 1 has two guards and is very well travelled as it serves the whole neighborhood.
Gate 2 is the first private gate. Passing through this barrier requires a signature (going both in and out), and the security guards take it very seriously. After a long bus ride home, filling out the paper work to get through this gate is very unwelcome.
This driveway is about .05 miles long. I know this because it is our running path – back and forth, back and forth is the only way to get any exercise. Ryan and I ran this path for 30 minutes to get some exercise one day and were joined by the guard. We were definitely outrun, despite the fact that he was in heavy boots, long wool pants, and a Michael Jordan jersey.
The last and final gate allows access to the house. The same guard from the second gate runs alongside the car and opens this third gate for us (which probably explains why he was much faster during our run).
At any given point, there are between two and six cars parked in this driveway. They are washed everyday (even if we do not drive them), and are often shuffled around to make room.
This house became our home; we lived upstairs in two rooms (four girls in one, eight guys in the other) and slept in bunkbeds cloaked in mosquito nets. Two of the Partners for Care staff live at the house, while others freely come in and out to do work, or sleep on the couch for early morning wake up calls. We feel so fortunate to be welcomed into their home with open arms and tried our best not to be a nuisance. While I’m happy to return to Columbus and sleep in a house I do not share with 15 other people, I will miss my Kenyan home……and my new GAP family.