We arrived in Nanyuki Saturday evening. The trip from Nairobi took about half an hour longer than the usual 3 hours due to holiday traffic, but I was kept satisfied by my bacon quiche and cheese and onion flatbread made by a pleasant French lady.
Nanyuki was founded in 1907 by British settlers, and the region still shows much of its colonial influence. The urban population was estimated at 31,577 in 1999 (that was the most recent stat I found), but the missionaries estimate that today there are around 100,000 people in the town and surrounding farms. It is one of the fastest growing areas in Kenya. There is a Kenyan air force base in Nanyuki and the British also have a military base (The British use to use the base only part-time for training, but the past couple years they have kept people there all year).
Nanyuki is situated just .01 degrees North of the equator (basically on the equator). It sits to the Northwest of snowcapped Mount Kenya on the Laikipia plateau. The elevation of the plateau keeps the weather comfortable year round, ranging from an average 80°F in the summer to 76°F in the winter from what we’re told. At night the temperature drops to the upper 40’s lower 50’s (Needless to say, as a Florida boy, I needed a warmer blanket…). For those of you who are worried, the elevation and cooler temperatures keeps the mosquito population down, lowering the risk of malaria and other diseases 🙂
Our home is on the property of Mt. Kenya Baptist School a 25 minute walk from the center of town. The school has a nursery and grades 1 through 8 (known as primary school in Kenya). Across the street are dorms for the boarding students and the church. Jerry and Sherry Daniels, the missionaries we are here to work with, live on the back side of the school across the street and another missionary Tracey Williams lives just down the road.
Nanyuki is a beautiful place and for now it is home. Karibu (Welcome to) Nanyuki!