Before going to Africa, I had met two of the fifteen team members. Emily and Ashley were part of the group who climbed Kings Peak last summer.
The other twelve I had never met until we got together to pack our humanitarian supplies. It was at that time that I met a stranger by the name of Marilyn Stewart. She was a nurse mid-wife and a case manager for the LDS Church.
There were so many differences between us. She has two masters degrees, I most definitely don't. She is LDS, I am not. She is sixty-five years old, I am fifty-five. She has six children, I have two. She is divorced, I am married. She had been to Africa before; I had not even really been out of the country. However, the first night in Kenya at the gross hotel, Shosho paired team members up. Marilyn and I became roommates from then on. As we sat on our beds we talked and giggled like a couple of young school girls. Marilyn told me all about her family, her job and why she wanted to return to Africa. I in return did the same. We both seemed to have so many differences, but yet so many similarities.
It was in the hotel in Nakuru, that we really became close, as there was one room for two people not a big deal, but there was also only one FULL sized bed for two people. It was a good thing we were both so tired that we were both glad to sleep closely on that full sized bed.
I will always have so many fond memories of the days and nights I spent with Marilyn in Africa. I got such a kick out of the faces she would pull at the thought of eating another PB&J sandwich. I cringed at the sound of her gasping when she was taking a cold and I mean cold shower. After being a mid-wife for forty years, she ran around naked a lot. She said she had seen enough women's parts, that it didn't bother her. ( I suppose she didn't think it bothered me either, after all if you have seen on butt, you've seen them all!) I will never forget her trying to ban-aid the window in the hotel shut so the mosquitoes didn't come in. There she stood on the bed in her garments with twenty ban-aids on the window. Needless to say it didn't work. So together we "Jimmy Rigged" it shut with my camera electrical cord.
Though Marilyn and I started out as strangers, ended up being roommates, and it two weeks, in a third world country we became really good friends.