Pope picks small car for ride into the city

By: EUNICE KILONZO

Pope Francis on Wednesday rode in a Honda Ballade into the city, moments after landing on his first three-nation visit to Africa.

Unlike other VIPs, who would normally ride in top-of-the-range vehicles, the Pope selected a car normally used by ordinary motorists.

He sat at the back left of the untinted car, registered SCV1, with the windows wound down as he waved to people lined up to welcome him at the airport as he headed to State House for talks with President Kenyatta.

As the car disappeared behind escort cars and riders, an elderly man at the terraces remarked: “I would not have spotted him in that car, I was peeping inside the big black cars. I saw his white robe in the grey small car and I couldn’t believe it was him. Very humble.”

There were more cheers and songs as the grey car slowly left for the airport exit.

Emotions ran high for a group of children from St Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Kitisuru, who broke down into tears.

CHEERING CROWDS

“We are too happy to see him. But we would have loved to see him up close,” said Sister Anne Maina.

The plane carrying Pope Francis touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, around 4.30pm.

About 20 minutes later, President Kenyatta, alongside First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, received the Pontiff.

Cheering crowds, choirs and dance troupes welcomed the Pope at the airport, where he also met leaders of the Catholic Church in Kenya.

At one point, while walking hand in hand with his host, President Kenyatta on the red carpet, the Pope walked to a dancing crowd.

He raised his hands, waved and appeared to join in the dance as he broke into a smile while clutching the metal barriers separating him from the cheering crowd.

He later waved goodbye and joined his waiting entourage of foreign press, bishops and other Kenyan government officials.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION