Well here we are in the final day of our amazing two week stay in Kenya. It has been both inspiring, heart-wrenching, joyful, sad and wonderful in equal measures. We have come away full of gratitude for having the privilege of being here. Every day is an adventure. Every day has seen fresh challenges and fresh experiences.
We have started to learn to live on “African time”. You just don’t know what may happen next. There has to be flexibility in when and where and how something may happen. We have only seen and experienced a minute fraction of life here and we are in no sense of the word experts or even experienced in living here. We have merely observed a small section of life here – but we are so grateful to have experienced even these small parts of life in Kenya.
In the last couple of days Paul has been working on the vehicles. Yesterday he went to the school to service the vehicles (accompanied by his faithful side-kick Ben). He was supposed to do both vehicles but unfortunately one of the buses wasn’t there (not that he realised that) as it had been taken because several of our party went on a home based care team to the outback (Jacqueline will be blogging about this later).
This morning Paul and Ben were again going to the school to look at the bus (along with Rosie who was going to teach). They got in the bus but when they tried to close the sliding door – it came off (yesterday a wing mirror came off the other bus!).
Paul is therefore spending the morning trying to fix a brake, a wing mirror and a sliding door!
We have been sleeping in the new beds with the new mosquito nets over the past two weeks. Quite naturally the children are very much looking forward to using them on Saturday night after we leave! They are currently sleeping on sofas and the floor in the main house. Still it has been luxury for us as previous teams have slept on the floor.
I finally also went into the chicken house today. Due to the diseases prevalent in this area the free-ranging ones often suffer from lots of disease. This is the second batch of chickens that they have had. The first two hundred they got wrong (especially with Lucy and Andrew being in the UK for six months due to Andrew’s illness) and had either to eat or sell they. They have now got the 2nd two hundred and have learn the lessons from the previous experience – the chickens are doing well and thriving and are expected to be laying by April.
Rhoda and Carol work in the compound and have been so helpful to us. They run the compound and help out with the house. Carol in particular insists on helping us with our washing – which is very kind.
Lucy and Andrew pick up waifs like no-one I have met. The youngest is only about four but is mainly mute. She was found next to her dead mother eating her own excrement. Lucy and Andrew were the people that took her in and have shown love and care for her. The boy living with them was also found dying by the roadside. He had an insect that layed its eggs in him and turns into worms. Even the doctor said to take the child back and leave him as othrwise they would be responsible for him. They refused his advice and he is now a healthy boy who has even taken Lucy and Andrew’s surname (although he can’t really he tells school and others that he is!).
I have spent the last two days at the Jubilant Professional Training College(tailoring,carpentry and IT). It was delightful. I was dropped off early on Thursday morning to find that they were doing their daily devotionals.
I assumed that this would last until 9am (I arrived at 8.45). How wrong can you be.
The singing was wonderful. Unaccompanied. In beautiful harmony. We then had a time of testimony and then the preach by the resident pastor. We then had another song and then I was invited to preach! Instead I took a parable and got them to discuss it and asked questions (much like we might in a small group in England). It was a lovely time. They were astonished that I might hug and kiss my daughters – seemingly for them this doesn’t happen. A father provides food and a roof and security – that shows his love. We all agreed that maybe it was time to change.
After this I talked to the carpentry people (making something for Jacqueline – George take note!). They seemed to be mainly make beds and curtain pelmets. I then sat in on the tailor/ seamstress work – with their pedal sewing machines – which are what is used around here.
I sent most of my time with the IT trainees. There are only three of them but the teacher was away yesterday and they were supposed to be starting Microsoft Access database. I started them off on creating tables and then rushed into town to do some jobs before it was too boiling. When I returned they were shutting up shop (I hadn’t realised that they only had two hours of electricit)! Today I spent looking with them at Queries and Reports (and some bolean logic).
This morning on our way to the training college we stopped at one of the RUSH leaders – Neifa. She has brought up 7 children and is a delightful woman. She has a small plot in Kakamega and grows food and has rabbits, ducks and a cow. The eldest daughter is training to be a nurse and the son (pictured with Neifa) is waiting for his results on Monday and hopes to be a doctor. Neifa was given two chickens that she swapped for two piglets which she grew and swapped for a cow (which is now pregnant). She hopes to get milk and will sell the calf. One can see how RUSH can work so well with people like Neifa – focussed on raising her family and getting them out of poverty – whilst living in a tin hut.
This last two weeks has been amazing and humbling in simlar measures. I am sure that I can say from all of us that we are so pleased to have been here and experienced all that we have. It hasn’t all been easy. But I am sure that none of us regret coming to visit this project.
I can’t say how much we have changed anything (probably less than we would have liked!) but Lucy and Andrew are adamant that our coming encourages them. Do pray for them as they face so much in one week that we would maybe face in several years!