Eastern Iowa group back home after being stranded in Africa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa group back home after being stranded in Africa

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MAQUOKETA (KWWL) -

A group of eastern Iowa students, teachers and parents returned back home in Maquoketa Sunday evening after being stranded in Africa. The group was forced to stay in Nairobi, Kenya for four extra days after the airport was shut down due to a large fire. 26 members of Club Hope, a school-affiliated group through Maquoketa High School, couldn't fly out due to the shut down. The group has spent the last few days waiting to find a flight back to the United States. The group finally returned back to Iowa Sunday evening after flying into Chicago and taking a bus back to Maquoketa. The students, teachers and parents were all greeted with open arms by family members and friends anxiously waiting for their arrival.

Jeff Rummel was waiting for his daughter to arrive home from the trip. He said it was her first time being out of the country.

"We just wanted to get them home safely and sound, and as quick as we could get her back." Rummel said.

It was Rummel's daughter, Madi's first year with the organization Club Hope. Madi says the trip was something she enjoyed.

"It was great," she said. "It was really rewarding just knowing that we helped those kids because we built a whole classroom for them."

Although the flight home was delayed for the students, the student said it was almost a blessing. They were actually glad to be able to spend more time in a country they fell in love with.

"Besides the interruption everything was perfect. I loved being in Mara again and helping with the community service." Marlee Lindstron of Club Hope said.

"We had things set up for us everyday (during those extra days). We got to go to a giraffe sanctuary, an elephant sanctuary, we were playing with elephants up close. It was hard to deal with knowing that we were not going home right away but they definitely did a great job of making us feel better." Colton Fey of Club Hope said.

Many of the students say they despite their travel troubles this week, they'd like to return to Africa in the future.

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