Dear family and friends
Our training with the Branch Presidents went great. The mission president said it was ok to give unindowed members temple recommends as long as they are worthy. We will do as directed. Last Sat. we went to Nairobi. We drove the Mombasa highway and what an experience. It was full of trucks we bet dated back to the l940's. They have a hard time getting up hills and will sometimes break down which results in traffic jams. We didn't have much trouble and just took it easy. It is quite an experience to drive to Nairobi and it took about 8 hours. We stayed with the office couple Elder and Sister Olsen and found we had alot in common and it was great communicating with other Sr. missionaries. The first night we went out to dinner with the other Sr. couples in that area. We didn't realize how we have missed talking with other Sr. couples. We went to a Chinese restaurant and was surprised at the many places they have to choose from. On Sunday we went to one of the wards there with the Olsen's and it was nice we were able to go into a nice chapel where in Mombasa they are all just rented buildings. After the meeting they took us out to the Rift Valley, it's a big fault line that stretches a long way. It has a big volcano hole in the hills and they say it's quite deep. We found that Nairobi was alot cooler than here in Mombasa. I was actually glad to have a sweater to put on. Nairobi is going into their rainy season where Mombasa is headed for their hot summer. We also slept with blankets on which seemed so different where we barely even use a sheet here in Mombasa.
We got back to their apartment and Sister Olsen cooked us a great meal. The Olsen's go home the first part of Dec. and we will miss them greatly.
The Next morning we went to the mission offices. They took us down to the immigration department where we were finger printed for our work permits. We are now officially Kenyan's . That took a few hours to do. We were also able to see Elder Lyons who is now an AP in the office and also got to see Elder Misibi from a previous transfer. We also seen Elder Harris who was transferred last and we found them all working hard and doing their share. Elder Palmer went and met with President Hicken and Sister Olsen took me to Yaya where there is a salon and I got a great haircut. It was actually nice to see it done right for a change. We spent the rest of the evening with Olsen's. For myself (sister Palmer) I would love to be serving in Nairobi just to have relationships with other Sr. Missionaries. Most all the office couples are in this really nice complex and they have alot of inter action with one another. I guess you could say I miss that. While there we received calls from our Elder's back in Mombasa who called to ck up on us and wanted to know when we were coming home. Elder Palmer told them not till January but we'd take lots pictures. They really didn't think that was very funny. We found that we really missed them .
We then went to the airport with the Harris's and their friends from New York, Blair and Sue Garff. We boarded a small plane and headed to the Masi Mara national reserve. It was amazing to leave the 21st century and arrive in the 18th century. As we were flying you could see many animals all over the place. We were met by our escorts, Choula and Issac who are both members of the church. They were great guys and lots of fun.
They had a van with a raised roof top so you could stand and view all the animals. We were told to never get out of the van for safety purposes.
The Masi Mara is named after the Masi tribe. The Mara river flows through the center of it. It's there that the wilda beasts and zebra's migrate up from Tanzania and have to cross the crock infested Mara River. It is incredible to see this and we got the privilege to see it happen. We were taken to the Serna Hotel which was right in the middle of this area and were treated to great accommodations and great food. We spent the next three days and two nights traveling in the van and looking at all the animals. We seen so many and we will be posting them on our blog as soon as possible. We will include in this e-mail a few pictures but most you can follow us on our Safari in the next few days on our blog. We had a great time and returned back to Nairobi late Thursday night. We then seen some sights in Nairobi and did a little shopping. The next morning Sat. we felt like we should go back to Mombasa for we had members wondering where we were at. The trip back was great till we hit Changamwe here in Mombasa and was stuck in a truck jam for over an hour. We would recommend this trip to all who would like to come. We love and appreciate you all. Love mom & dad, friends, grandma and grandpa and Elder & Sister Palmer P.S. - Just a sample