The missionary team from our church arrived in Nairobi on Saturday night, Kenya time.  Right before they arrived, the Kenya rugby team landed, and members of the Masaai tribe (who had members on the team) were there to sing and dance to welcome them. Drums, dancing, tribal clothing.  I pictured them trying to get into Sky Harbor Airport to do that.  And Homeland Security dragging them away, confiscating their instruments and tribal accessories.  
After they finished, and boy, were they good, I thought about getting Coney to go over with me, to the arrival entrance, and do some kind of dance in honor of our visitors, but then I remembered how I dance like Forrest Gump, and that ended that.

The next morning, we visited a church in the Kibera Slums of Nairobi, which is the largest slum in Northern Africa.  We had to park the van outside of the area and walk in.  Some of the paths between the buildings are not even wide enough for you to extend your arms sideways.  It's like a maze, with right turns and left turns going everywhere, and without a guide, I know I would have been totally lost. A narrow river of most likely, human waste and rain, winds down the middle of the paths, next to houses and businesses.  The living conditions allow a small cubby-hole of room for a family. Blankets and sheets provide a door for most of them.  Walls are made of tin, floors are dirt.                
The vendor's stalls had people cooking and barbeque-ing food to sell.  Cow's legs (with the skin still on), entrails, body parts that I didn't recognize and hideous looking items.  I realized this is all they can afford. The parts no one else wants. And this is probably financially unavailable to most of the people.
There are millions of people trying to live in there, and honestly, I don't know how they survive.  To call the conditions deplorable is an understatement. 

We had a church service in the morning, and in the afternoon, an outdoor street meeting.  Of course, we took lunch after the morning service, a contradiction to what happened to most of the people living in the area.  There are a lot of differences between the lifestyles of muzungus and Africans, but more so in the slum area.  We drove up in a van, most of them will never own a car.  We were staying for just hours, where most of them were born there and will die there, without ever escaping the conditions.  We had lunch at a KFC in a nice part of Nairobi.  They ate the cow's legs and entrails, if even that.  We have a church somewhere else, where we have restrooms, drinking water, and a bit of comfort.  They have plastic chairs in a corrigated tin building with toilets being almost impossible to find for a woman.  And when we go home, we have a nice house to enjoy.  They prefer not to go home because it's not a nice house.

This kind of poverty is almost unbelievable.  Most of us in America find it difficult to truly understand.  I even have a hard time, and I am seeing it.  My mind can't transfer what I see to what I know, and this is still foreign to my thinking.  All I do know is that I am incredibly blessed.  I hope I will never forget what I have seen, and I hope I will never forget the compassion I felt. 
It was a good pain in my heart. 

Kwarheri in Kenya,
Lani