"Do you have all of your shots and is your passport current?" is what spit out of my cell phone late that afternoon. Rodney Rascona had just asked me, two day before the scheduled departure, if I wanted to accompany him on a humanitarian project to Kenya, Africa.
I was hot and tired and was a little taken aback when the large Kenyan in a suit with the obvious bulge under his jacket asked me if I was a soldier and what was I was doing in Africa. I told him I wasn't a soldier (come on, that's not lying, I'm a Marine) and he put his hand on my shoulder and laughed and said "I bet the little Iraqi children were scared of you". Two more pleasant encounters with some local security, one two hour visa line, two lost equipment cases, 10 seconds through an empty customs area, and I was met by Rodney and his driver.
We arrived at the Fairview Hotel late in the evening and Rod said that I shouldn't worry because the Israeli embassy was across the street and the security was exceptionally tight and that they had these cool thing two keep truck bombs from making their way down the street. Oh good I thought, now I can get some restful sleep. The fairview is a great hotel with a wonderful and gracious staff that went to every length to make us feel comfortable. That comfort was short lived. Two days later we were on the road and off to our first location, the town of Meru. Two things I learned right away were that I like African beer and the power only shuts off when you need it.