by Robyn Batts
We officially made it to our third and final destination on Wednesday. I keep thinking there is no way each place will compare to the last, but I have loved each country we've visited in a new and unique way.
Due to a recent fire in the Nairobi airport, we had to go through an interesting series of tents to claim our bags and obtain our visas. Instead of the usual baggage carousel, all bags were lined up under one tent, and we were let loose to find our things. With speed, agility, and teamwork, Marco, Lizzie, and I gathered them all in record time...or something close to that.
We were greeted by the wonderful Matlacks, a missionary family who are hosting us here in Kenya. They made our first stop count with the sampling of some traditional Kenyan foods. A stretchy, fried, delicious tortilla called chapati is my favorite! I’ve already had it several times.
In the last few days, we’ve met with two of the incredible groups we partner with in Nairobi. Thursday, we visited Amani Ya Juu. Amani is an organization that not only equips refugee women with the skills to make incredible products, but also provides them with a supportive community for fellowship and spiritual growth. We were greeted by Maggie, who might just be the most joyful person I have ever met. She continually told us, “This is your home!” throughout the day, and it really did feel that way. We were able to meet and speak with several women, and see the impact that Amani is making in their lives. We love our partnership with this group of highly skilled women.
Yesterday started off with a trip to a baby elephant orphanage. I'm not kidding! It was so fun to get close and interact with these sweet babies who were rescued from the wild after their families had been killed. We even got to see some warthogs and gazelles in the distance. It was a very "Lion King moment" for all of us.
Afterward, we visited with Beacon of Hope, an organization that trains and provides work for men and women with HIV/AIDS. We were given a full tour of their facility, which includes a hospital and HIV testing center, school for children of the craftsmen, and production center, where all the beautiful products are made. It was amazing to see the great work being done by these dedicated individuals.
It has been such a blessing for me to meet these people firsthand and hear their stories. I am getting more and more re-energized for the vision of Market Colors and the future of these partnerships. God is doing incredible things and I am honored to play a small part in what He has planned. We have officially placed our Christmas orders at Amani and Beacon of Hope, so be on the lookout for new and exciting products in the next few months!