Anybody who has read or seen The Lord of the Rings will know the emotional feeling that Rivendell conveys. After following Frodo and his Hobbit friends on their desperate flight from the Ringwraiths and other perils, their exhausting and very difficult trek beyond the edges of the world they know, fearing for their lives, surviving everything the enemy has thrown at them (but only just), we see them wake up in Rivendell, a city of the noble Elves, and they are surrounded by love and care, beautiful skies, soft mattresses, gorgeous rooms, lots of food and, most of all, safety. Rivendell is, for the Hobbits, a sanctuary removed from their world where they can relax and recover from their arduous journey. A place of rest and refreshment, and one that turns out to be only a stopping point on a much longer journey that becomes ever more harrowing. The gifts they receive from the Elves at this stop will sustain them through future difficulties. The rest that Rivendell affords them provides the Hobbits with the strength they need to go on.
And in that spirit, I’ve come to my Rivendell right here in Nairobi at the Fairview. Like the Hobbits, every place I’ve been in the past month has been unknown and foreign territory to me. I have been exposed to cultures and ways of life that are completely new to me. While such variety is good, it is also surprisingly exhausting.
As I looked for a place to stay in Kenya, I found this one and couldn’t believe that a competitively-priced hotel could be so much superior to all the others. This is a jewel, promoted as “the country hotel in town.” I arrived after dark last night, and when I woke up this morning (after seven hours of sleep!) and looked out my window, I thought I was in Shangri-La! The 5 acres of grounds are gorgeous, with several waterfalls, century-old buildings, and lots of walkways and interesting nooks. The staff are superb in delivering over-the-top service and are all very friendly.
The last four weeks have been full of activity. I’ve enjoyed every place I’ve stayed, except for the joint in Sydney that did not at all live up to what was advertised! I was trying my best to go low budget on this trip, but this squalid hotel is not worth staying at even if it were free! But at least I can say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every person I’ve met so far. At the Fairview, I feel like I’ve woken up in Rivendell for a few days of rest before carrying on my journey. I’m enjoying some downtime (spent writing posts, but in such a location, who cares what I’m doing). Right now, there is a children’s choir singing somewhere in the hotel.
I have no expectation of future international travel, but if I ever come back to Nairobi, the Fairview is where I’ll stay.
Now, if only I could decide what to do with this ring I found. It seems so……precious!
PS: There is a one-man play coming to the Sydney Opera House. It is the complete Ring trilogy and the actor plays every part!
- Sabbatical anyone?
- My sabbatical plans
- Thoughts on my last day at work
- Speaking with authority! A tale of an ambassador and a receptionist
- Thoughts as I leave
- New Zealand: There’s no place like it
- There’s life on the third planet!
- The journey is the destination
- Down under with the Aussies
- It does a father’s heart proud…
- Give confidently, give generously
- A taste of Thailand
- Celebrations in India
- “We followed Jesus, and he led us to you”
- Charity and discipleship
- Karibu! Welcome to Kenya
- I’m in Rivendell!
- A sermon on the fly
- Rwanda: A miracle of renewal and reconciliation
- Effective ministry in Malawi
- The promise of South Africa
- The cost of fear and ignorance
- Saturday in London
- Easter in London
- Edinburgh: Castles, churches and cellars
- Ancestral roots in Paisley, Scotland
- Old buildings and modern people
- Curiouser and curiouser
- My last ministry visits of the sabbatical
- Mon weekend à Paris
- Lest we forget…
- Among friends in Zurich
- The strategy of intentional accidents
- A retreat to close the sabbatical
- Backpacks, spas and other traveller’s tips
- My wife, my COO, and a director: Perspectives on my sabbatical