uhundha, Kenya, Africa
It’s been another week of mostly incomprehensible but very positive meetings, incredible meals, and marvelous experiences.
Priscah arrives early Thursday morning. A bundle of boundless energy and endless smiles, she boisterously christens me Akinyi right before twenty-five strong church group arrives. She has brought along Jane, a friend from Nairobi to teach the group how to make juices, soups and tie-dyes.
A chicken is slaughtered; the kitchen is overflowing with women socializing, laughing, chopping kale and meat. Another dries the sardines I got the previous night during my night fishing adventure.
I dine on the amazing feast at dinnertime after spending time with the youth group, who I will be accompanying to Nairobi the next day. Just another day in the exquisite Kenyan countryside filled with beautiful, friendly folks!
Maurice and Godfrey from the local branch of Plan International arrive a few hours before we head to Nairobi. We tour the youth group garden, the orphanage garden, the orphanage center- a couple hours later before Godfrey departs, he confides in me, “I wasn’t expecting much before I came here but was pleasantly surprised.” Collaboration. Hope.
The highlights of the ride to Nairobi and back are the zebras I see casually grazing along the freeway, the spectacular rift valley and the occasional decelerating of Easy Coach for a dog, donkey, cow, and pig on the road. A weekend in Nairobi flies by quick. Shiriki welcomes the Lakeland Youth Group- there’s a healthy exchange of ideas, they plan to visit the village in September. I get my urban fix in the Uchumi shopping for cake and biscuits and my African mask fix at the local Masai market.
I return from Nairobi to find Maureen weak and lethargic. She speculates it is malaria (it is confirmed the following day). In the last four weeks, four people I have interacted with have casually mentioned that they had malaria, as if it’s a common cold. In this part of the world, it is.
Gordon stops by Tuesday evening with the Holy Bible- a gift from Priscah with a lovely inscription inside. It’s a first, and after years of being in Catholic school, I look forward to finally reading it.
I spend most of the last couple days in meetings discussing a water line with the community members, village elders, stakeholders, and existing water line committee members. Joshua from Sana International diligently follows up on the request for help with a water line at Honge Beach.
So, there is indeed a strong possibility that safe drinking water will be provided to the 2000 residents there once all the details are ironed out. Along with it, the chairman Moses suggests, the next daughter in the village or the water pipeline be named Anu!!!
As for me, I will gladly accept either - its an honor (and all I did was submit a request!) :)
Must be the reason I used to call myself a “Bhishti” growing up- a water bearer/Aquarian.
It’s all coming together now…(I hope!)