Over the weekend, we again visited the boy’s home, and contributed to more tooth decay for the village children.  It has become so hectic now, giving out the lollipops at one of the stops,  that I have to get out of the car, and line the children up so I can make sure they only get one lollipop.  They cry out the names of their mama, brothers, sisters, and second cousins, in the hopes of getting a second one.  One little boy, managed to get 3 from me before I realized he was moving around the cluster, sticking his hand in through the arms of the other children.  The tiny ones get pushed and shoved, and scream for me to see them.   It has really gotten out of hand, but it’s not something I can stop now, so I have to learn enough Swahili to get them in line, and to stop yelling.  One of the mothers even comes over and helps.  But I think she has an ulterior motive, since I give her a lollipop and one to her 4 month old baby who she says needs it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The teachers have been on strike for a week and a half, so all the kids are home.  I go through a minimum of 100 suckers each visit.  Pastor Sammy has mentioned that after we leave, and the lollipops disappear, he knows the village kids will come and burn down his house.

We bought Nancy, the boy’s home mother, a gas stovetop.  She has been cooking all this time, outside in a shed, by fire.    As we left, after showing Bobba John how to use the stove, and having Nancy actually turn everything on, Coney remarked that he didn’t want to see wood smoke coming out of the shed anymore.  Well, you know that wasn’t going to happen.  She had never cooked on gas before, and I figured it would take a while before she was comfortable with it.  Sure enough, we drove up the next morning, and billowing from the back was the tell-tale smoke.  Coney yelled, “John, don’t tell me that’s a cooking fire back there”.  And then we see Nancy hightail it out the back, running to hide behind the chicken coop.                                                                               
It was a classic “I Love Lucy” moment.

Friday night, we had a dinner for some other missionaries and included Pastor Sammy and his wife, Rose.  When it came time to wash dishes, I turned on my electric tea kettle for hot water, and got out the plastic basin I use to wash the dishes in.  Once I got the hot water, I added it to some cold, tap water, and poured in a bit of liquid dish soap.  I walked away to scrape the dishes, and turned to see Rose standing at the sink, picking up the dishsoap bottle.  It almost played in slow motion, how she lifted up the bottle, like it was fragile, and looked at it.   We had been talking earlier about the soap we have over here, it comes in a long, narrow bar, and is used in washing clothes and bathing.  Watching her, I asked if she used the bar soap to wash dishes and she nodded yes.  She had never seen liquid dishwashing soap.  Plus, she heated the water for dishes by carrying a basin of water outside to a charcoal fire for heating.  And also when she made tea.  And when cooking.                                                                                                      
Trying not to look spoiled and indulged, I mumbled something about America and all the wonderful things we have available.  Her answer was that it was what she needed to learn about, and then show other women in the village, so they too could learn, and help advance their village and culture.  Talk about a gracious answer. 

So guess what Rose now has in her kitchen.  A shiny, electric tea kettle, and two big bottles of dishsoap.

Proctor and Gamble should use this for advertisement.

Kwaheri in Kitale,

Lani