Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The boarding pass is printed...

- so it looks as if I have a flight. My cousin told me that volcanic dust has shut down Irish airports again. Even though the dust won't reach Kenya, it could delay my departure and my return if British airspace gets shut down again. I don't want to even think about it.

Just visited my 104 year old aunt (my mother's older sister) and she is ready to go with me to Kenya, but that isn't going to happen. She doesn't look a day older than she did last June when I last saw her, and she was only 103.

This morning I picked up the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya, and I was able to find on the map not only Nakuru, site of the first of three meetings, but also Bungoma, way over in the west near the border with Uganda.

Hard to imagine as I sit in an airy food court close to East Midlands Airport in the middle of England (on my way to dropping off the rental car at Heathrow) that this time tomorrow I should be in Nairobi, resting at a guest house.

On Thursday morning we will all be on the road to Kabarak University in Nakuru, which the Lonely Planet describes as "a pleasant town." There we will not only work out a schedule for the entire time of the conference, we will discuss on excursions and perhaps decide in which rooms activities will happen. We will be there for six days so expect the planning to be detailed and meticulous!

Among the things we will be considering are the balance between:
-being together as 1,000 Friends and the need to be in smaller groups.
-being challenged by unfamiliar worship and beliefs and ensuring there are points of familiarity and retreat.
- concentrating on the theme, the worship and "the serious stuff" and opportunities for relaxation and fun, which can also build relationships across cultures.
-allowing for flexibility and also having anchors.

I have no idea what access there will be to the internet but whenever I get the chance, I will post again. Please beam prayers for safe travels who all of us who are headed to the International Planning Committee - from Australia, Cuba, Jamaica, Nepal, South Africa, the US, the UK, and of course our Kenyan hosts who will be busy beyond belief for the next couple of years.

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