Eastern Iowa families await stranded students' return - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa families await stranded students' return from Africa

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MAQUOKETA (KWWL) -

Members of Club Hope, a school-affiliated group from Maquoketa, are trying to find a way home after a Wednesday fire closed the Nairobi, Kenya airport.

Families back in Iowa are eager to see their loved ones return.

Brian Tober heard the news Wednesday morning.

"I turned the news on and scrolling across the bottom of the screen was there was a big fire at the Nairobi airport, and I was a little concerned,"  Tober said.

Tober's 16-year-old daughter Jacqueline was supposed to be at that airport when news broke it was on fire.

Soon after, Tabor received an email, and later a call.  Jacqueline and the 25 others with Club Hope hadn't reached the airport yet and were safe.

"She was very reassuring and said not to be upset.  'Don't let mom get upset,'  they were fine," Tabor said.

The group was in the remote part of Kenya as part of a scheduled 9-day trip helping to build a boarding school for girls.

"This is not our first trip to Kenya, but they knew what they were getting into, but this was obviously a variable they weren't expecting," said Maquoketa Schools superintendent Kim Huckstadt.

As the airport gets back up and running, the group of 26 is now looking to get on a flight home.

The students and their chaperones have been moved to a hotel and are hopeful to catch a flight out Friday night.

Their return can't come soon enough for many eager family members.

"As great of an experience it has been, it will be nice to get them on American soil," Tabor said.

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