We are finally here.
It was a trip of waiting in airports. 5 hours here, 3 hours there, and then the standing and waiting for your zone to be called. Plus, I live with a man who pays for economy seats but wants to board the plane with First Class. I have to hold him back.
Our plane arriving from Amsterdam was late, and our luggage, which they consider to be “odd sized” was the last to be unloaded. And I mean the last. But our driver was faithful, and showed up early, eventually waiting 3 hours for us. Thank you Washington, you are appreciated.
We finally reached the motel at 12:30 a.m. With a 7:00 a.m. departure from Nairobi to Kitale, we had to leave the hotel at 5:30 a.m. And if any of you know Coney well, that means between 4:45 and 5:00. At my age, my eyes have almost disappeared from my face, but after that small amount of sleep, they were just slits.
Kitale looked wonderful. It’s still tinged with a lot of brown dust since the rainy season has barely started, but it’s still greener than where we came from and the temperatures run around 70. We haven’t seen much of the sun, and the last two nights have been rain, thunder and lightening.
So today, being excited to see everyone…it was raining. By the time we reached the boy’s home, our faithful people were standing in a procession outside in the rain, waving, singing and dancing. I realized at that moment, that I would have been one of those people staying inside like those below. Dry.
We had the worship team, the young boy’s dancing team, and the church choir perform. Then women always dance/march in and hand out the sparkly leis as a welcome gift.
Isabel is in the middle, she’s the house mother for our 16 boys, has two of her own and is due to have a baby next month. She works harder than most of the men. She has asked questions about how I work when I’m home in Arizona. I’ve mentioned the washer and dryer, the oven (which people in the villages don’t have) and the dishwasher. Her response was “you people are so lazy”. Compared to her, I know I am.
We gave her a washing machine like the one I use which has a side you fill with water and it agitates and a side that wrings out the water. The rinsing is left up to you. Then she hangs the clothes on a clothesline (actually 4 clotheslines) for her family and the 4 youngest orphan boys. Since it rains between April and November, the clothes sometimes stay outside on the line for a day or two. Because of all the mud she has to mop all of her floors every day. She gets up at 4 in the morning to make tea for the boys to have before school. We have a cook that helps her during the week with lunches and dinners, but she still does a lot of it herself.
I sweat at home when I vacuum and complain about that. My life is pretty good.
This being the first time in 9 months of seeing everyone, there were several times during the service we either were up front for dancing, speaking to the church or just saying hello to someone.
This is Edward, the house father. Whenever he calls me on the phone, he always identifies himself as “your son”. We met him when we first moved to Kitale. He worked as a guard on the compound. Five years ago, he and his wife took over the responsibility of the boy’s home. They are truly a blessing.
As usual, when we arrive after being gone for a number of months, we had a church dinner for everyone. That included all of our baby churches, which numbered around 9, and the village kids. They show up whenever they hear the muzungus are back. They know there’s food involved.
Before service, our ladies and our boys help with all the cooking. Alphonse, one of the boys came into church late and I asked him where he had been. I usually give him a hard time because he’s elusive and only shows up for a few minutes and then leaves. I asked him if he was hiding again. He responded, “No, I was slaughtering all the chickens for dinner”.
I didn’t have a comeback. Nor did I have chicken.
These pictures show how the cooking is usually done.
It was definitely an enjoyable time. I enjoy the fellowship we have. I enjoy the children and giving them lollipops. And I love their boiled cabbage and chapatis. I love just being with them.