July 25, 2017

July 25, 2017
Today, I was sitting with Isabel the house mother, drinking tea and realizing how low my "freak out" standard has become in regards to eating, drinking and basically living.
Before I came to Kenya and started living here for several months each year, I was what was known as a "picky" eater.  (That excludes donuts, I've never met a donut I didn't like)!

And although I married a hunter, having watched, at age 5, the death of Bambi's mother, my view towards eating anything from the wild was tainted.  My mother always talked about how I stood up in the theater after the hunter made Bambi an orphan, shaking my fist and calling him an SOB.  
Thanks, Walt...I'm scarred.

Among my other odd food issues, I like my beef, chicken and pork, completely dead.  NO pink.  I want dead, dry meat. Burgers that remind you of a hockey puck, bacon so crispy it should be broken and sprinkled on something, and chicken that has cooked for hours.  And don't get me started on fish....nope...no fish.

I will not drink from a glass that I used several hours ago, but have not touched lately.  Put it in the dishwasher, get a new one.  

Flies...they bring out the crazy in me.  If one even zooms near my plate, I'm probably not going to eat.

Leftovers are acceptable for 2 days, after that...noooope, not going to touch it.

Before we left, I told Coney that when we're home, sometimes I feel something lightly touch my skin.  It's usually a hair, or a piece of lint, or even my imagination.  But over here....IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING REAL!  A mosquito, an ant, some strange little insect.  And I hate bugs!  I have 3 bottles of lemon/eucalyptus spray, and I know how to use them!

I'm telling you this so you can understand how much Kenya has changed me.

Out at the boy's home, food is sorted/prepared/chopped while still unwashed.  It will eventually be washed, but in a bowl of water.  The only running water in the house is in the bathroom.
And then there's the fact that nothing (dishes included) is washed with hot water.  No hot water heaters here...nothing except soap and cold water.  Always.


And flies always arrive in hordes...like the Huns.

Every day, Isabel  makes tea.  It's made from their water supply, with lemon grass from out in the field and milk from the cow.  I have to keep my hand over the top of my cup, to keep away the flies, but it's wonderful tea!

She makes green gram soup for me, every week.  It's a bit like a split pea soup, only thicker.  I've watched her make it. We're not talking a Grade A kitchen, here.  And she makes the best boiled cabbage I've ever had.  Cooking, in the village is not like cooking at home.  A health inspector would have a heart attack here.  I almost did.  But now, I love it!

Eating out in the villages, with the widows, is by faith.  We usually eat cabbage, potatoes, broth and rice.  And of course, chapatis.  And bottles of soda pop....Orange Fanta is to die for!
I am thankful that boiling is the most common form of cooking.  212 degrees is my friend.

Which goes to show you that people can adjust.  Everyone here, our widows, our orphan boys, our church members, mean a lot to me.  I would never want to offend them.  So I eat what is served.  Except their chicken.  Nope, then I quickly become a vegetarian.

I guess I have only partially adjusted.

But I'm HAPPY!

Fat and sassy in Kipsaina,
Mama Lani






 

June 27, 2017

June 27, 2017
Today, I thought I would show some pictures of the area where we live.  Kitale is considered a small town but there are thousands of people surrounding the town, in different sections.  Sort of like Phoenix is next to Tempe, next to Mesa, next to Apache Junction.  There are lots of pockets of people.
Most of the business owners in Kitale are what the Africans call "Asians".  We call them East Indian.  Our landlord's name is Ashok Mesuria.  He lives in a house right behind us.

 


This is his...
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June 2, 2017

June 2, 2017
Finally, the website loaded and I can write.  If you ever need a website for a blog or whatever, DO NOT use Yola.  It's horrible.  Loses my posts after I'm finished and sometimes refuses to open up when I have something to write.  I'm hoping Yola is reading my post and sees this!
Okay, now I feel better!
We've had a lot of things going on in the last few weeks.  One was seeing Rehema, the little girl that the team last August took on as a medical need.  Rehema was born with a twisted spine and ...
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May 18, 2017

May 18, 2017
Yesterday was Widow's Day in Bwai.  We left Kitale early, way before any of the widows could have walked to the home  where we met.  So we stopped in the village center in Bwai to purchase some pans for the boy's home.  The large aluminum basins are used to cook large amounts of rice, maize or beans.  Feeding 15 boys requires large amounts of food.  So, we pulled up to a small shop, which just happened to have the basins, which they call sofarias.  As Coney is purchasing them, he notices the ...
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April 28, 2017

April 29, 2017
We're back! 
Arrived a week ago Friday, received 4 visitors on the next day Saturday, attended a special church service on Sunday, 2 more guests arrived on last Tuesday, and we also started a 4 day conference that same day.  It's Saturday again, we have church tomorrow and Monday morning, Coney and 3 pastors will be flying to Lodewar, on the northern border of Kenya, to have another conference. Two of our guests will stay with me and will meet with the widows on Tuesday.

Still with a  bit of je...
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September 1, 2016

September 1, 2016
Update on the church building:
It's almost done!  

Coney and the guys did an excellent job.  The bricks were made last year, fired and ready for construction.  The floor is still sawdust, as we ran out of time this trip.  But next year, the floor will be poured.  We started construction the third week of July.  It's been an amazing project to watch.

The team from the U.S. just left on Wednesday morning (our time).  7 women, 5 of them from our church, one from Tucson and one from Flagstaff, We ha...
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August 9, 2016

August 9, 2016
Today would have been my grandmother Mimi's 117th birthday.  I would have loved to have brought her here, she could identify with so much.  Not the large cities, but the villages that we work in.  Being born right before the turn of the century, she experienced more of a rural, farm life.  
The village we work in, Kipsaina is probably farther behind, in terms of progress, than my grandmothers time.  People still cook outside, their homes are not brick or block or even sheetrock, but mostly mud...
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July 29, 2016

July 29, 2016
I haven't been diligent this trip, in publishing my blogs.  Well, actually, I have tried several times and the website that we use, Yola, has not been diligent in allowing me access.  It's frustrating to try over and over, to sign in and open it up, only to have it say "You are not connected to the internet".  Yet I am.  But the worst, is when I complete my entire blog, pictures and all, go to publish it and it disappears with a little box that says "Sorry".  
Extremely frustrating.
But tonight...
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July 2, 2016

July 2, 2016
One of our newest projects for the widows will be bringing water to those who are elderly or living in areas w/o much access to it.
For such a fertile land and one with over 100 inches of rain a year, most of our widows are w/o a daily water source.  Some villages have a well or spring, but it might have become fouled over the years.  Some live far from streams from which most people fetch their water.
After visiting one of the widows homes, we saw that she was using a water catchment system ma...
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June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016
It's wedding time!

This is Johnstone, one of the older boys from the orphanage, and his new wife, Linda.  Sunday, we had their wedding after church, to the surprise of everyone, and as usual, the entire congregation got into it like these were there own kids getting married.  It is wonderful how our people take every opportunity to rejoice over someone's happiness.  Coney announced, after the church service was over, that the wedding would take place and everyone started clapping, music was pl...
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