Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Friday was our last day. We said good-bye to everyone at the farewell ceremony. We all sang, danced, and prayed together with the community. Before we left, we were given gifts to thank us. I am thankful for all the pictures I have to remind me of the good friends and memories we made this past week. I don't want to forget to pray for everyone we met. The ground where we had the ceremony is the land they want to purchase to build the new medical center. Please pray that they can raise the money to buy the land and then be able to start building the new center.
On Wed. we spent the morning digging the pit latrine, helping the women in the kitchen and playing with the kids when they had a break from class. Some of the older women in the village came down and were weaving baskets. The girls all got to try basket weaving. It took me while to figure it out, but after a while I was doing it on my own. A woman named Rachel taught me. In the afternoon, we climbed the mountain behind the village where the medical center it. If anyone needs help, they have to walk or be carried up a long, fairly steep and rocky path. It was a climb for us, I couldn't imagine carrying a sick or injured person all the way up there. The view at the top was beautiful, and once we got up there we said a special prayer for the community. In this picture, you can see Elizabeth's husband, Joseph, standing in front of the medical center. They have no doctors, just 5 nurses. Any cases that are too serious are taken to a hospital in the city. They see a lot of Malaria cases.
We were able to spend a lot of time with the kids this week. When they were let out for recess, we spent time playing games with them and talking to them. Soccer was a favorite. In the afternoon we got to teach the story of creation to the kids, along with a Bible verse, game and a craft. Everyone split into groups and we did a different part each day. I think the kids enjoyed making necklaces the most. You can see some of the kids wearing the necklaces in one picture.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
One of my favorite moments was helping the two women who worked in the kitchen get lunch ready for the kids. Margaret and Benta were what we would consider to be lunch ladies. Each day they started at about 8 am and washed all the dishes for the kids and set them out to dry. At the same time, they started cooking three large iron pots of beans and corn for lunch. The three pots sat on top of three seperate fire pits. They didnt have logs like we would use, but only sticks or some larger branches. We would grab a bundle of branches and feed them into the fire, constantly adding more as they burned up. It was so hot and smokey in that room, some of our girls couldn't stand to be in there. I kept going in to help Benta feed the fire and stir the food. I helped her add salt too. When the food was ready at about noon, we gave each child 2 scoops in their dish. I had such a good time scooping out food for the kids. I was able to get to know Benta as we worked together in the kitchen. Benta's husband had passed away, but she had 6 children, 3 of which had died. The three remaining children were all grown. She taught me how to say "my friend" in her language and would greet me each day as I came to help her cook. At the farewell ceremony, I got to dance with Benta and she gave me a beautiful orange and white basket she had made as a gift. Benta is only one of the many good friends I made and won't forget.
On Monday we started digging the new pit latrine for the school. It was about a 6 by 3 foot hole and they planned to dig it 12 feet deep. Only two people could fit in the hole at one time. They used picks to break up the large stones and loosen the dirt, then shoveled it out. At the end of our time there we had reached 12 feet and started putting bricks in the base to form a solid structure so the rain wouldn't wash out the bottom of the hole. Since only two people could work at a time, everyone else found other ways to help throughout the week.
We broke into groups again and went to the home of a family that needed prayer. Our group went to the home of Elizabeth and Joeseph. Elizabeth and Joeseph both had AIDS, which they were taking medicine for. They had 4 kids and 2 more which were orphans they had taken in. (the other kids are just neighbors that came along)We prayed for thier health and thier family. It was a special time to sit down and talk to Elizabeth and to pray for her. Please keep her family in your prayers.
Our next day at Kandaria was Sunday, so we spilt into groups and each went to different churches. Jason, Jeff, and I went to Saint Meshack church with our translator, Eric. We had a great time talking with Eric and we each got to speak at church. They took offering that was going towards a new roof for the building. The women and children sat on one side of the church and the men sat on the other. After the service, they gave us each a basket as a gift.
When we got to the village, there was a welcome ceremony for us. The children sang songs for us and the elders welcomed us. We each got a Kandarian name. Mine was Akyou, which means harvest, and Jason's was Odundo, which means little. We took a tour around the community and saw the school and some of their homes and churches.
After a VERY long plane ride and being in airports for two days, we finally arrived in Kenya, at Nairobe. The city looked similar to our cities and the country-side was beautiful. We stayed at a hotel near the airport that night and the next morning drove 6 hours on a bus to Kandaria. Our bus driver for the week was Bonefas, and our guide for the week was Pinina.