One of the most memorable moments of our 600-mile, 2-week bicycle excursion through Kenya in May was the afternoon we arrived at the Free Methodist children's academy on the top of a hill in Kericho.
Our team had ridden the week in sunshine up until our arrival in Kericho. On the outskirts of town, a thunderstorm moved in and the clouds opened up with heavy rain. Our cycling gear soaked, we wearily rode through the city's slippery streets. We descended steep hills and climbed even steeper ones in the rain on our way to the academy, which was our destination for the evening. The last street we turned onto was a sharp uphill climb that was nearly a waterfall of mud and debris flowing toward us. Broken and rutted, it was impassable on our bikes (only one of us, Kevin, an expert cyclist, managed to make it up the treacherous hill). Drenched and tired, slipping and sliding and shivering, we trudged up the hill with our bikes to the gate of the academy. Most of us were grumbling on the inside if not on the outside.
But when we guided our bikes the through academy gates, we were met with a surprise. Shouts of jubilant welcome from more than 300 children who had been waiting for us with anticipation erupted uproariously. They cheered. They yelled. They called out. They chanted. They sang. Completely surprised and overwhelmed, we soaked it in, forgetting both the pouring rain and our weariness. We were speechless. Our grumbling turned to joy. All we could do was to laugh and cry. It is an experience I will never forget.