Wow! Ngaoundéré is not really a big town! Coming to Douala (the largest city in Cameroon) was one thing; a place where they had at least three different brands of bottled water, a big variety of spreads and cheeses and even freshly baked pizza in ONE place.
No matter how big Douala seemed, there are no words that could express my amazement over Nairobi at our arrival. With big eyes and my mouth wide open, I saw giraffes, streets without potholes, well-organized traffic, wonderful buildings, street signs and no dirty ditches when we drove from the airport to the Norwegian school.
As we were the first ones to arrive, Idunn and I spent a relaxing Sunday at the Norwegian school, before our teachers and fellow students who are in Kenya, Uganda and Madagascar came. It was a happy reunion, with lots of laughter and experiences to share.
During the Infield Course, we have had teaching, counselling, safari, time to talk, laugh, play and relax. Apart from this, we spent Tuesday in the slums, which was a very special experience. On one side, Nairobi is so developed and organized, a town greater than anything I have seen in Norway. Still more than half of the city's population does not have the opportunity to appreciate this, or even get to see it. More than half of Nairobi's population live in slums, in extreme poverty.
First we visited the slum of Mathare and saw the project that the Kenya team from Hald has been working in for almost three months now. After this we drove to Kibera, Kenya's biggest slum, to get introduced to the Church Army's project there. I am really impressed by the work of the churches there. They really live out God's Word by feeding the poor, sharing the Gospel, loving the loveless, caring for the sick and helping people to get an education and possibilities to get a better life. The churches in Norway really have something to learn about being a holistic church and reaching out to those who need it! If they can in one of the poorest places in the world, how much more should not we be able to make a difference in our society?
Returning to the richest area of Nairobi (where the Norwegian School is situated) was hard for me. The contrasts are so vast, and it felt terrible to just leave the people like that. I am grateful to have everything I need, but the fact that I have so much more tears me apart.
Nevertheless, this is an experience I highly recommend to everyone. Feeling the unjustice of the world so closely changes something in you, and that change is something everyone in the rich parts of the world should go through. Finding words that could describe is too difficult, it has to be seen, smelled, touched and felt.