Monday, August 31, 2009

Goodbye Comrades!

In the van---again! Today, Mark, Steve, Chris and Lisa are heading home to the states.

We have had a standing joke throughout our stay in Uganda and Kenya. We have become known as "Patty Hall and team." As we speak at each school, the H2O speaker tends to change the jargon a bit. On occasion the speaker has referred to the team as his or her own team. When Chris Ripkin introduced the team, he gave each of us a promotion --in title only. I like being a member of his team. I became the "Chief Executive Director." We have had fun refering to the seven of us as Patty Hall and Team. Our last school referred to us as Patty Hall and Comrades. It sounds like a bad singing group from the late 70's.

Early this morning we loaded all of the suitcases and Comrades into the van for a trip from Kathungu to Nairobi. Many of us, except Patty and Val bid a final farewell to Chris' family and we started our journey to Nairobi. Chris guaranteed that we would be in Nairobi in an hour. We all found this curious since it took us 2.5 hours to get here. It is Sunday and maybe he knows something that we don't know. We took bets on the arrival time. We weren't counting on car troubles or construction or added truck traffic but it was all there. It was not an hour drive and Steve captured the crown for winning the bet.

Upon arrival in Nairobi we sent the gang out to buy last minute souviners and to check out the city while Patty and I repacked suitcases to send as much home as possible. It is surprising how much you can fit into a cardboard box!

We treated our team to a final farewell dinner at a wonderful restaurant called the Carnivore. It is not a place for vegetarians. We feasted on lamb, ostrich, beef, chicken, turkey, crocidile, pork and many delicious sauces. We then headed straight to the airport and sent them off on a long plane ride home.

On a very special note, we have to tell you how much we enjoyed their company. We all had talents and personalities that complimented each other. We worked hard but had fun. We laughed together and cried together. They all represented H2O for Life and our schools with class and compassion. We are very proud of all of our "Comrades."

Patty and I are on our own for the next three weeks. It seems a bit lonely now but we have lots of work to do and places to be. Everyday is an adventure. We promise to represent the team as well as Steve, Mark, Chris and Lisa did with us over the last couple of weeks.

Thanks Team! Safe travels!

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