The Quest of the Power Strip
So yesterday, we had planned to exchange money into Kenyan Shillings and then go shopping for our groceries. Despite only having had about 6 hours of sleep in the past 3 days, I could not simply wait until I had gotten sleep.
I sleep much better with a CPAP, so I needed to get a power strip that I could plug into before I could get any sleep. Otherwise, I may disturb the foundations of the building with low frequency sounds causing the concrete to fail and drawing this trip to an abrupt end.
As usual, things did not go according to plan. We are partnered with a local minister named Samson Otieno and while his English is great, sometimes we lose sight of the difference between the literal meaning of something spoken and the implied communication.
We had said that following the exchange, we would like to go to Nakumatt (the Kenyan Wal-mart) in order to get our shopping done.
Samson told us that the Nakumatt at City Centre has “collapsed” so we must go to the one on the outskirts of town. I was thinking, “Wow, the building codes are just not up the standard that I had thought.”
When we arrived at the Nakumatt outside of town, the building was half empty, or half full; it all depends on your perspective.
We walked around bewildered at how this place used to be the bustling center of trade and now it resembled a ghost town. Samson once again said this Nakumatt has almost collapsed too. In my sleep deprived state, I finally realized that collapsed meant “gone out of business.”
Then Samson says, “Perhaps we could go somewhere else? I may know of a store that has what you are looking for.”
He then explained that he would have taken us to Tuskies, but we had specifically said we wanted to go Nakumatt. So, with that, we left Nakumatt and drove to Tuskies.
Upon our arrival at Tuskies, it was clear that Tuskies is now the place to shop. They have just about everything.
I entered Tuskies and surveyed the area. There was a sign for electronics on the second floor, so I reasoned that I may be able to find my power strip up there.
It was so cool in the store, it had to be only about 90 degrees in there, but luckily the air was stagnant an uncirculated. As I ascended the ramp to the second floor, I was welcomed by the familiar temperature increase one would feel had they climbed into their attic.
The electronics section had TVs, tea kettles, microwaves and much more, but there was no sign of Power strips.
I spoke to an employee, but we were having issues communicating. Granted, her English is better than my Swahili, but that is not saying much.
Finally, after losing at a game of schrades, I pointed to a power strip that had 10 TVs connected to it, luckily this is not a fire hazard in Kenya, it is just normal.
Once the girl understood what I was looking for, she told me to go downstairs to where their books located. I guess in someone’s logic power strips are not in the electronics section, they are on the book aisle.
I descended the ramp back to the ground floor and once again passed through the thermocline guarding that cool stagnant air that I love so much.
I made my way to the books section and found a series of Joel Osteen’s books. I thought to myself, “I said Power Strip, not Power Trip.”
Anyway, I once again had struck out. There were several screwdrivers and tools next to the books, but no power accessories.
I asked another employee where I could find a power strip and she said I should look in the ice cream aisle.
At that point, I started to feel as if Nicholas Cage and his father were needed to decipher the clues that I had been given. Apparently, the Masons had taken these power strips hundreds of years ago and hid them, but had left a series of clues of where they may be found.
What choice did I have but to follow the guidance I had been given by going to the ice cream aisle.
Would you believe that I found a power strip next to the ice cream?
When I am sitting at home enjoying a scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla, I know that very often my first thought is about power strips and other wired accessories. This made so much sense to me.
For those who read this and have not been to foreign places where there are language and cultural barriers, this will seem all too familiar. It is part of the fun and adventure of these kinds of trips.
Ministry at the Dump
As many of you already know, John Rushing and Dave Grumme entered the city dump in 2005 to share the gospel. There are people that live among the garbage and while other missionaries had stopped to bring the people food, sadly nobody had actually talked to them. According to the people living in the dump, other visitors would take their pictures and leave. I should also mention that the dump used to be a very dangerous place. A ministry was birthed that day in 2005 and John Rushing has continued to go back to the dump for years. John Rushing led a boy named Kevin to Christ during that first visit in 2005. Since then, John has stayed in touch with Kevin and has helped him along the way. Kevin went to university and is now a minister that works with the people who still live in the dump. Tonight was very special because John got to see Kevin and to know how far this young man has come in life is just humbling.